It was quite shocking to read about the troubles of professor Jordan B. Peterson from University of Toronto. Who would have thought that the issue of pronouns will reach this level of excitement! Who would have imagined the subsequent legislative control. Rather than a boring topic of a grammar book, suddenly, they seem more thrilling than curse words. It’s amusing to see this level of absurdity, but it seems also very ominous.
However, an innocent mind could ask this very simple question: why is it an issue to begin with? I don’t mean now the question why some people feel they need special pronouns. Leaving it aside: why is it a problem at all?
In a conversation, we don’t use third person pronouns speaking to a person. We use the wonderful YOU that doesn’t categorize anybody in any way. Supposedly, we live in a classless society, and in the past using the third person used to be seen as patronizing toward lower classes. It seems that the only time we could use a different pronoun than “you” is when we talk about the other person, but gossiping is not a nice habit, isn’t it? Unless someone is truly talented and/or accomplished, there is no reason really to talk about this person. Especially now, as the possible pronouns multiply faster than rabbits, and it means taking a risk of accidentally offending someone. So what if we just stop talking about people who need special pronouns? Are they going to legislate not talking about them as an offense?
In my opinion, demanding that one should be addressed in a specific way should result in not being addressed at all. After all, indulging in one’s narcissism is already a form of social suicide.