Why I won’t use “your” pronouns (video transcript)
This video is proving to be one of my most popular and I have been asked to provide the transcript. Here it is – I have not included the supporting evidence in the form of screenshots and video clips that I show in the video.
Pronouns are part of language. If we are to speak naturally, we use pronouns. We use ‘he’ and ‘she’ about people even when we are in their company. I sometimes see people saying they don’t talk about people in front of them so it’s not an issue. but think about it next time you are in a group, interacting. You’ll find it is impossible to avoid using he or she about someone present, at least some of the time. It’s not something we can avoid doing.
But we don’t have our own pronouns any more than we have our own verbs or adjectives. People refer to me as ‘she’ and ‘her’ because they can see that I’m a woman or they refer to me ‘he’ and ‘him’ because they can see that I’m a woman and they think it will upset me for some unfathomable reason. But I don’t own the pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’ any more than I own the adjectives ‘brilliant’ and ‘fabulous’. It is other people’s choice how they refer to me – not mine.
If you expect me to use the terms ‘transwomen’ and ‘transmen’ and to refer to men who call themselves transwomen as ‘she’ and to women who call themselves transmen as ‘he’, then you are expecting me to go along with a falsehood.
I realise that for countless people what I have just said is outrageous and even incomprehensible. They cannot even understand why I call it a falsehood. They actually believe it is possible and even normal and even commonplace for women to be born in male bodies and vice versa.
I often wonder how they rationalise this belief to themselves and I think, for the most part, they don’t. Like most of us they weren’t raised to question everything they are told and ask themselves, could this be true and, if so, how? Every one of us has held irrational beliefs – beliefs that don’t stand up to scrutiny – at some time in our lives.
If you believe in anything for which you are unable to point to robust independent evidence that anyone can examine, in other words… if you have a faith, why wouldn’t you have faith in an idea being promulgated by people in authority: politicians, teachers, even some doctors? More importantly, why wouldn’t you believe someone you like and admire, whose personal story of being deeply unhappy with their sexed bodies and the expectations placed on them or with their sexual orientation because they grew up in a homophobic environment?
Belief in transgenderism – by which I mean the belief that some people are actually born in the wrong sexed body – when that belief is sincerely held is one that comes from the heart rather than the head. In spite of what so many of the cult trolls say, it is not scientifically supported.
None of us is born in the wrong body. We can all look over the fence and see greener grass on the other side. If only I’d been born the other sex, I could do this or that and the other. If only I’d been born the other sex, I wouldn’t have to endure this or that or the other.
Having been born on my side of the fence, I naturally have more empathy with the girls who say, “if only I’d been born male, I wouldn’t have had my clitoris hacked off and my labia sewn together without an anaesthetic at the age of six”, as happened to anti-FGM campaigner Hibo Wardere and millions of other women.
Hibo Wardere has been bullied by trans activists online for not being “trans-inclusive” or some such nonsense. She’s trying to save girls from one of the worst forms of physical child abuse and they bully her for not giving them the time of day and yet they expect us to submit to their fantasy and they resort to coercive strategies like calling ‘misgendering’ violence or accusing us of “driving people to suicide”.
I have more empathy with the little girls who are married off to adult men – against their will, obviously. That is not something they can identify out of. To all those men living in Western liberal democracies and who claim to be women, I would ask: do you think you would still like to be a woman if, for example, you were born in rural Yemen where girls have to cover themselves from head to toe in the blistering heat, cannot go to school on the grounds that there are no female teachers because there are no educated women. It’s a Catch-22.
In the West, many of the most vulnerable, disadvantaged women, survivors of child sexual abuse…dysfunctional families end up in prison. If not prison, domestic violence refuges, or seeing rape counselors.
The world over female people are oppressed by male people and when I get gender nutters calling me a hater and a disgusting old bigot because I’m not kind enough to forget that fact and pander to a man’s feelings and call him ‘she’ while he is performing his caricature of a woman act…well, it probably makes them feel better because they are absolutely contemptuous of women who won’t do as we’re told and it’s obviously not going to do anything to change my mind. On the contrary, it confirms everything I believe about gender ideology being rooted in misogyny.
Women and girls – female human beings – are a sex class with needs that are separate and distinct from those of men yet these are being disregarded out of deference to men’s feelings. As a result of gender ideology, our boundaries are being eroded and we are being deprived of the language we need to talk it.
Of course, most people who support what they call “trans rights” – whatever they mean by that but typically it’s the right to self-identify so-called gender, by which they mean sex – most people who support that don’t believe that people are literally born in the wrong body but that they are just unhappy in their sex and wish they could be the other one and they see no problem in going along with that falsehood. They might even see it is desirable to do so because that is the side on which their bread is buttered. Others don’t necessarily perceive personal benefits but think that it is the kindest thing to do. That is the camp I was in for about five years between 2012, which is when I got my first opportunity to hear a couple of trans-identifying speakers and 2017 when I woke up to the full horrors of gender ideology and what it is about and what its widespread dissemination is doing to people, which is when I decided to build the website and show what’s happening. I’m saying this for the umpteenth time because I’m still incredulous at the number of trolls who post asking, “How is it harming people?” and expecting me to spend my time giving personal responses.
I have also – in dozens of my videos – talked about the effect on women’s sports and on women and girls in what should be our single-sex spaces and on people who have tragically regretted their decisions to medically transition.
Gender ideology is not like anything else that people have taken up as a noble and progressive cause. That is, firstly, because it is based on falsehoods and, secondly, because of its power to hurt and ruin lives. It’s a regressive cause, it hurts me, it hurts other women, it hurts children and it hurts young gay men – the ones who feel they have to “trans the gay away”.
The trans lobby have made pronouns such an important part of this ideology that even many of those who oppose it and the policies it gives rise to, will still kowtow to that part of it. OK, it’s sometimes out of necessity because they won’t get their article published or they might get fired. Other times it’s out of cowardice because they are afraid of the consequences for them in terms of loss of their popularity. Sometimes it is out of fear of the abuse and possible violence they will face, or as they see it, it is a matter of courtesy and politeness and kindness. Again, I was once in that camp. I didn’t see the harm in showing that deference to trans-identifying people who were decent and rational and didn’t actually claim to be the sex they tried to present as.
Having been on that journey myself, I’m not going to harangue people who are still on it or interfere with other people’s choice of language. I don’t think that’s constructive. All I can do is share the kind of arguments that persuaded me. Before I do there is one silly assertion that gets made repeatedly that I want to address and that’s the idea that we have to put effort into referring to their sex and that it would be easier to use their preferred pronouns and that by not doing so we are arseholes.
What if someone’s preferred pronouns are they/them? Or ze/zim or whatever? Do you think that’s easy? Or would it be fair to say that people who ask us to use them are arseholes?
It takes me no effort to call men ‘he’, regardless of what they look like. Once I know he’s a man, I can never think of him as a woman but in most cases, it’s obvious anyway and when it’s obvious, it takes more mental effort to use ‘she’ and ‘her’.
Having, over the past five years, seen what the trans lobby is capable of, the suggestion nowadays that I should refer to any man as ‘she’ – however nice he is, however supportive of my feminism he is – seems ridiculous and insulting. And in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I mean the abuse both verbal and physical, the attempts to silence people through bullying and intimidation, the spurious complaints to anyone who’ll listen, the attempts to ruin people’s livelihoods and reputations by stirring up hate against them, defaming them and reporting them to the police on the most trivial excuse.
As many of you know, I faced a man who assaulted me in court and while I was having to relive that assault – which was actually by three trans-identifying men, only one of whom was caught – while I was watching that on a large screen while I was giving evidence, I earned a rebuke from the judge for being unable to pretend that this six foot plus, violent man was a woman and refer to him as ‘she’. That I now have strong personal feelings against submitting to this particular demand, that I find it triggering…distressing, isn’t something I expect the gender nutters to understand because they have no empathy for women or men outside of their cult. I’m called vile names and told that correctly sexing people causes them pain and triggers their dysphoria and how unkind I am, how disrespectful. Read my lips: I don’t care!
I have never exhorted, participated in or celebrated violence against any trans-identifying person. I have not tried to get anyone banned from websites, de-platformed, censored or fired from their jobs. I have not stalked them to public meetings and screamed abuse at them and tried to drown out their voices, whereas so many of them have done all of this and more to feminists and our allies – yet I’m supposed to show respect by going along with a lie? Not a chance!
But more important than the psychological effect on me, which I became aware of and am alert to, is the psychological effect on others who are not alert to it. They think compliance doesn’t cost anything. I’ve drawn attention to Barra Kerr’s article before, in which she compares pronouns to Rohypnol.
She calls it a “cheap psychological trick”. She says she doesn’t want to play even the tiniest part in grooming girls to disregard their natural protective instincts and neither do I. If you think Barra Kerr’s argument is crazy or over the top or sinister – that’s exactly how I feel about the angry, vicious, hateful responses to my refusal to allow anyone to police my speech in this way. Here is just one example of dozens. This one is beneath a video I did about Riley Grace Roschlong.
The irony of her comment is obviously lost on this individual. But she is an example of someone successfully brainwashed by this psychological tactic. Calling an extremely nasty, hateful man who is colonizing womanhood and makes videos abusing women ‘he’, is failing to acknowledge his humanity somehow and obviously, she knows nothing whatever about me and makes all manner of assumptions. What an idiot.
I find it very revealing that my so-called “misgendering” is the single most common complaint that I get from genderists. Anyone would think they have no arguments against all the other things I say.
So that’s it really. Once you start calling men she, it becomes much harder to argue that she shouldn’t be in women’s spaces, that she actually isn’t any kind of woman, which is what they want. They want it to be hard.
Colin Wright wrote an article a few months ago in which he puts it concisely.
And for the last time, if you can’t see what the harm being inflicted is – go take a look at my website at peaktrans.org and read some of the thousands of news stories and articles I link to. That’s all.
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