Some items from the archives:
On pronouns, politeness, and the strange mental rumblings of Ms Laurie Penny.
Regarding rudeness, I’m generally polite by default, at least in person, and don’t go out of my way to needlessly put a kink in someone else’s day. I’ve had perfectly civil chats with people who regard themselves as transgender or gender-non-conforming or whatever. Nobody got upset. But what is often being asked – or demanded – is not a small thing, not in its implications.
Taken broadly, we are being asked to affirm, wholesale, a bundle of phenomena that includes not only actual gender dysphoria, whether the result of developmental anomalies or childhood molestation, but also autogynephilia, serious personality disorders, adolescent pretension, and assorted exhibitionist and unsavoury compulsions. The expectation seems to be that we should take these different phenomena, with very different moral connotations, as being one and the same thing, and then defer to them, habitually and uncritically. Which is asking rather more than can readily be agreed to.
At Middlebury College, woke piety erupts. A 74-year-old scholar is quite literally chased off campus.