By Jonathon Van Maren
Over the past several years, a frequent response I have gotten to one of my columns has been disbelief. Is that really true? someone will respond on social media. You’ve got to be exaggerating. This doesn’t irritate me in the slightest, as many of the stories I’ve had to write in the last half-decade would have been considered insane circa 2010 and downright unbelievable around the year 2000. Despite that, progressives carry on as if what we are seeing unfold around us is not only normal, but good.
The complete colonization of academia by the transgender movement, for example, has been wild to witness. The norms of millennia have been replaced by the tenets of gender ideology, and now officials at the University of Colorado Boulder have announced, in their “pronouns guide,” that people should assume those they meet are transgender unless explicitly told otherwise. According to the guide:
Sometimes people just don’t want to share their pronouns and that’s fine. Usually it’s safe to use they/them/theirs unless that person tells you otherwise. It is never safe to assume someone’s gender and living a life where people will naturally assume the correct pronouns for you is a privilege that not everyone experiences.
Remember “white privilege”? Well, “pronoun privilege” is so much more potent. If you grew up being called “he” and “him” and that never facilitated a crisis because you needed “ze” and “zir” (pronouns the university endorses) hadn’t been made up yet, then check your privilege. The pronoun guide (which is a thing now) was created by the university’s “Pride Office” (which is also a thing now), staffed by people hired to deal with all things LGBT at Colorado’s largest university of more than 36,000 students. The university actually offers cross-sex hormone treatments and “sex changes” in case you’d like to be castrated while getting your degree and features “all-gender” restrooms and locker rooms.
The pronoun guide offers indispensable advice like this: “Ze is pronounced like Americans pronounce the letter ‘z,’ like ‘zee. Hir is pronounced like ‘here’ and hirs is similar, but with an ‘s’ on the end. There are many, many more than these out in the world. These are simply the most common. If you want to see more, Google is your best friend.” Not using these pronouns if they are requested, the guide warns, “is not only an act of oppression can also be considered an act of violence.” A spokesperson from the university also warned that “misgendering people, whether intentionally or not, can cause harm.”