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I remember the day our family moved to Hawaii. It was scary
for all of us since none of us were able to communicate with the locals.
Struggling with my ESL class, I could not comprehend the sounds that were
coming out of the teacher’s mouth; English was very complicated, for all of us.
Time have passed where I finally proclaim myself as a fluent English speaker
where I am comfortable enough to write an essay. Well, until I was introduced with
“gender identities.” Binary was once a math term, now can be potentially offensive
on par with racist, homophobic, or sexist, where we must choose wisely of the
pronouns to use.

 If you thought there
were just two genders, think again. There are many more genders beyond just
male and female. Dennis Baron, a linguist at the University of Illinois,
categorized a list of “proposed” gender-neutral pronouns which dated back from
200 years ago. Baron explains that social media platform, Facebook, has added over
58 genders (currently over 70) where people are free to choose more than one
preferred gender, but offers only three “tired pronouns”: he, she, and they. He
describes the proposed gender-neutral pronouns by the Scottish grammarian,
James Anderson, will not be used by the majority any time soon, despite some
terms made it into multiple dictionaries.

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I agree with Baron, that these invented pronouns will not
survive. As Baron explains, “gender may be socially constructed, but grammar is
sacred,” where people may choose to identify themselves as whatever they
prefer, but the word itself will not change its meaning. What Baron fails to
add was the current gender pronouns that are used by the majority of the
minorities. I am not aware of who made the standard, but schools especially are
posting lists of “correct” pronouns to use along with a “how to” guide to
referring people with correct ones. According to UC Davis website, 50 pronouns
are listed, with the statement in all caps, “this is not an exhaustive list.
Any combination is possible. Co, en, ey, they (singular), xie, yo, ze, ve are
just some examples. “This means that there are no standards, no nomenclature
for the “non-binary” types, where there are countless invented words and which
of those you are supposed to use is dependent entirely on the subjective choice
of the person you are talking with; easy enough, right.

Are we really going to ask each individual we talk to of
their preferred pronouns? As Baron states, “it is better to simplify than
complicate it.” We are now dealing with a whole slew of invented gender
pronouns that we are compelled to use. For instance, if a group of my employees
identified themselves with different preferred pronouns, this will be so
difficult to keep track of which pronouns to use to each person, where it can
be potentially considered discrimination. Moreover, these ideas are not just
being promoted, but are being enforced, and believe it or not, written into
law. It may be unintentional, but surely can lead to legal problems.

According to New York City Human Rights Law, it is now
illegal to address someone by a pronoun that they don’t identify with at the
workplace, public accommodation, or even by your landlord, it will be
considered discrimination and can face a fine up to $250,000. For example, if a
man works at a department store but the person considers themselves as
non-binary and would like to be addresses by “xie” or a preferred name, the
employer must do so or else face a hefty fine. Unfortunately, New Yorkers must
now ask each individual their preferred pronouns before starting any
conversation, as they must choose their pronouns wisely.

Now going back to Baron’s article, he explains that the
social media platform Facebook has over 58 gender identities. Set aside the
religious gender identities, there are some that can be problematic. According
to an article by Jasmine Villalobos, a person can transition between male or
female at any given moment, called bigender. “They have two sexual identities,
and will feel and behave like one gender or the other depending on the
circumstances at the time”(Villalobos). The “shifts” between genders vary, and
could last from hours to years. In contrast to bigender, Villalobos explains, those
who identify as gender fluid have a shifting gender identity. They do not see
themselves as male or female. A gender fluid individual may identify as one or
the other sex at any given time, through their interests or clothing. All of
the previous identities come under the umbrella term genderqueer. This refers
to identities that are outside of gender binary, so those who do not
exclusively identify with either male or female. Another term for this is
non-binary. Genderqueer individuals may identify with having two or more
genders, or having no gender, or being beyond gender, or moving between
genders. In terms of sexual orientation, they may not identify as either
heterosexual or homosexual. The differences are very subtle, where an average
person may not see the difference; according to Villalobos, they are entirely

We are being compelled to change the English language, or
any other language for that matter, for those who claim that they have an
identity that doesn’t fit into either binary category. The claims they are
making are coherent in any sense because if a person could be a man, woman,
neither, or both, there is a lot of room for abuse in terms of frivolous
lawsuits and what the employer would have to go through. It can be very
complicated, but I must say employers also have rights, not just employees. New
York City Human Rights Commission fails to clarify where the due process for
this, where clearly the problem will get into a “he said, she said” or “xie
said, ze said” between the employer and the employee since the amount of money
here is outrageous. One day the person may be “en” or “Kelly Cupcake,” on
Monday, the same person can be “they” or “Magnus Steel.” This is simply bad for
the economy, where lawsuits are then followed up by the press or social media,
and as a result, demonizes the business. It’s simply bad for our economy.

Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly believe in equality
among race and gender. No doubt that transgendered or any non-binary people do
need to be protected. According to the Indian Journal of Psychological
Medicine, suicide rate and suicidal tendencies among transgendered persons are
considerably high compared to general population. The suicide rate ranges 32%
to 50% across the countries. The IJPM explains that this is due to the
discriminations they go through such as obtaining education, housing, and
livelihood, where they often lack social support and vastly prejudiced by
social stigma. We are blessed to live in a country where same-sex marriage is
legal nationwide. But we also need to set a definite standard: Religion and
science. Religion was the influence of many great literatures where words
evolved to what we have today; Science provides knowledge and defeats our
curiosity of how the world develops and works today. These are the standards
and the foundation of everything, where it cannot be changed or altered.

If a minority of snowflakes proclaims to be one or the other
at any given moment, and if society recognizes it, the world will be very
complicated and confusing. There must be some kind of due process for both the
employer and the person who is going to claim discrimination. That goes for any
kind of discrimination in the workplace whether it is a civil rights issue or a
transgender rights issue. If the legal battle over pronouns is the issue, there
needs to be a body of evidence, where employer should also have the right to
defend themselves. For example, there should be something in writing by the
transgendered person to their employer regarding their status of transition,
possibly endorsed by a physician, and the pronouns they prefer to be addressed.
As a Japanese immigrant, if I had a dollar for every racial comment and discrimination
I experienced, and invested that money into bitcoins, I would be a millionaire.
So, should there be a law protecting me from being misidentified with a
different ethnicity?

Everything is so PC theses days where overly sensitive
people are too uptight. I get it, that language evolves, and society gradually
adapts to that. For instance, the term “hermaphrodite” is no longer considered
appropriate, where the new term “intersex” should be used. According to the UN
office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, intersex individuals do not
fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies. They are born with
variations in chromosomes, hormones, or genitalia that aren’t consistent with
typical gender characteristics. In this case, countless months of researching
chromosomes are done where scientists have decided that the term intersex would
be more appropriate scientifically. It becomes a problem when any individuals decide
to call themselves as any non-binary identities and force society to use
ridiculous pronouns. The PC department is getting too out of hand. There are
too many problems we must face if this becomes the social norms of political

If we make these gender-neutral pronouns as a standard, it
becomes a never-ending loop for political correctness. A perfect example would
be the LGBT rainbow. The community is getting caught in their own metaphor,
where there is an infinite number of gradations in a rainbow, and also an
infinite number of letters that are accumulating on the LGBT rainbow. Few years
back, the community was called LGBT, where recently transitioned to LGBTQ+,
which now includes other gender identities. When it becomes normalized, it is
simply an everlasting loop where the community of the marginalized expands
limitlessly. People will continue to invent their own plurality of categories;
it’s not logically tenable because of the possibility of infinite number of
categories. There is always an element to every individual who is marginalized,
but we sacrifice a certain portion of our individuality to fit ourselves into society.
Otherwise there would be no such thing as a society, where we would have to live
on own own.  It is just a part of life
and diversity. If we focus too much on the marginalized, the marginalized would
just keep expanding until everyone in society would be mariginalized.

Let’s be real. As Baron mentions in “their” article that grammarians
have proposed gender-neutral pronouns for centuries and failed.  If there was a natural evolving solution to the
linguistic problem that is posed by a small fraction of the transgender community,
we would have already adopted it. We never ha a situation in the usage of English
before that required legislation to produce a transformation in the matter in which
people spoke until the New York City Human Rights Law, where it is now multiplying
rapidly out of control. The law is bad from a ethical perspective because the solution
which it imposes is practically untenable. Non-binary people claim it is just a
recognition of their existence which shows respect and act of kindness. These are
just excuses that the social justice worriors use when they want to excerise control
over what others think or say. We should all be protected by the Bill of Rights
and I will remain to excersise my right of free speech, where I should not be compelled
to use invented pronouns.

I truly believe our right to free speech is at stake. Even in
my own state, California, passed a bill that could threaten imprisonment for people
who refuses non-binary pronouns. Although the law is limited to nursing homes and
care facilities, anyone that repeadedly refuse to use the non-binary people’s preferred
gender and pronouns, they could be fined $1,000 and face up to 1 year in jail. I
feel it’s no longer about pronouns. Non-binary people along with the legislatures
are now ignoring the principle for political reasons, our freedom of speech. Just
like the non-binary people and the social justice worriors, everybody is entitled
to express our own view; if other people don’t like it, they just don’t. You shouldn’t
be put in prison for saying what you express or believe that it is true. New York
and California seems to ignore the long standing right that we have enjoyed, criminalizing
speech if you choose the wrong word; socially or morally wrong, maybe, but should
they go to jail for that?

Just like the New York City Human Rights Law, California’s bill
can be quite controversial. According to the California Health and Safety Code,
“any person who violates this chapter, or who willfully or repeatedly violates…shall
be puniched by a fine not to exceed $1,000, by imprisonment in the county jail not
to exceed one year.” People may consider “willfully and repeatedly” an abuse and
therefore should be criminalized. So who is going to draw the line of misusing pronouns
willfully and repeatedly. If the person is gender-fluid, bigender, or any other
gender that can switch from male, female, neutral, or no gender at all, it means
that their preferred pronouns will change also. The bill only states vague and euphemistic
words such as “continuous” and “repeatedly.”  I think that the quality of care of the elderly
should be prioritized rather than pronouns. If the medical staffs and caregivers
are overwhelmed by the use of proper pronouns, the quality of service would have
an negative effect since the consequences is very severe. How long will it take
for the law to branch out of the medical field and into our everyday life. We all
have problems of our own and pronouns shouldn’t be one of them.

If people are triggered by misuse of pronouns or gender identities,
so should I. I am triggered to be labeled as cisgendered. In case you don’t know,
most people who are cisgender probably don’t even know the term exists, let
alone identify as cisgender. But the term refers to a very common gender
identity, which is that the individual feels they are their biological sex. So,
the gender the person was given at birth matches how they perceive themselves.
Their gender identity is same as their biological sex. People should be fined and
imprisoned because they label me as cisgendered and not male. People should be fined
and imprisoned because they call me an Asian male; I am a Black lesbian male who
sometimes identify myself as a cat. All of these sound crazy and absurd but the
world is becoming to this. Decades ago, “Ms” was introduced to society and adapted
to it quickly; it was not enforced by law. We must draw the line where things are
acceptable or not because it is an unnatural evolution.

Words are tools and people are looking for new tools to operate
in the world. If you invent a good tool, a new word, people will pick it up just
as fast as they possibly can, especially in English. Non-binary pronouns are not
good tools therefore not being used by the vast majority. Instead, what we have
is the use of force where we are enforced to use a language; not the same as not
using the language. Misuse of pronouns shall not be considered hate speech or any
form of discrimination because it strikes at the heart of free speech. Freedom of
speech is the freedom to engage in the processes we use to formulate the problems
in our society, generate solutions to them, and reach a consensus. By using any
type of force, it interferes with our ability to think and communicate. If our society
comes to a consensus regarding these non-binary pronouns, where it becomes a popular
parlance, without being required to memorize an infinite amount of pronouns, I am
willing to reconsider my position. Until then, fuck their pronouns. 

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