American Psychological Association Demands Using Plural Pronouns For Nonbinary Individuals

American Psychological Association Demands Using Plural Pronouns For Nonbinary Individuals

I am certainly not a 'they,' and I shudder to imagine a society that prefers to see me as a generic and inclusive pronoun, rather than a whole and autonomous person.
Chad Felix Greene
By

In what appears to be one of the most remarkable examples of irony in left-wing “progress,” the LGBT left is celebrating the American Psychological Association’s style guide adopting “they/them” as the official pronoun designation for nonbinary people.

LGBTQ Nation tweeted, “With this move, the APA is recognizing the existence of nonbinary people and inviting others to understand them better.” This change follows the highly publicized revelation of British singer Sam Smith changing his personal pronouns to “they” and “them” and stating, “I hope you can see me like I see myself now.” This style guide change represents a moment of truth for the LGBT left in erasing individuality to celebrate absolute personal customization of identity.

They/Them Just Doesn’t Work as a Singular Pronoun

The APA style guide is widely used in academic writing, and the decision to essentially create a new usage from an established pronoun is absurd. The APA blog post, titled “Welcome, Singular ‘They’,” explains that “they” is a generic third-person pronoun identical in usage to “he” and “she” and apparently “ze.”

It elaborates, “[S]ome people use other pronouns, including ‘they,’ ‘zir,’ ‘ze,’ ‘xe,’ ‘hir,’ ‘per,’ ‘ve,’ ‘ey,’ and ‘hen.’” Why is this necessary? The article argues, typically scholarly papers would use “he or she” to avoid introducing bias to the reader. Doing so allows the reader to make assumptions about the sex of the subject that may not be accurate.

The concern now is that this bias may assume the subject identifies as male or female when that may not be the case. The guide states, “APA advocates for the singular ‘they’ because it is inclusive of all people and helps writers avoid making assumptions about gender.”

The irony, of course, is that if “they/them” is meant to designate a nonbinary person, then the use of “they/them” significantly biases the reader about the subject’s sex. If, on the other hand, “they/them” is inclusive of all people, then it is not particularly useful for helping nonbinary people, as LGBTQ Nation and Smith argued, feel seen or better understood.

More specifically, the guideline mandates the pronoun usage, stating, “If you are writing about a person who uses ‘they’ as their pronoun, then yes, you have to use it. Respectful and inclusive language is important.” Again, this creates a standard for readers that if they see the pronoun “they/them,” the subject must be nonbinary.

As illustrated by my use of the pronoun, it designates a hypothetical person with no other individual characteristics. The messaging here seems to be that nonbinary people are both significant and individual enough to require “respectful” recognition while simultaneously being interchangeable with the generic representation of all people.

Generic Identity Removes Individuality

The LGBT organization GLAAD instructs that “nonbinary” or “genderqueer” are “used by some people who experience their gender identity and/or gender expression as falling outside the categories of man and woman. They may define their gender as falling somewhere in between man and woman, or they may define it as wholly different from these terms.”

This was explained in the People magazine article about Smith, which concluded with Smith saying, “Some days I’ve got my manly side and some days I’ve got my womanly side, but it’s when I’m in the middle of that switch that I get really, really depressed and sad. Because I don’t know who I am or where I am or what I’m doing, and I feel very misunderstood by myself.”

Both descriptions involve scenarios in which male and female are established sex standards, and only when a person feels somewhere in between the two, defined exclusively by societal sex stereotypes and norms, are they something else. This designation removes people’s individuality, making their identities dependent on their own fluid perception of how they experience these sex stereotypes on any given day. This does not, in any way, seem empowering or healthy.

This is equally revealed in the addition of an “X” on birth certificates, recognized in 11 states to indicate a nonbinary person. How does reducing identity to a generic “X” on a birth certificate indicate progress toward a more inclusive and respectful society?

I have adopted the term “nonbinary” for myself, as it illustrates what liberal society has been advocating for decades: a freedom from strict sex norms. While the left has moved backward toward fusing male and female into the very essence of a person’s identity, I, and most of the right, advocate for individuality and freedom from such unnecessary limitations.

Strangely, where the LGBT left has associated nonbinary identity with a rejection of physical sex, in reality, it better aligns with the traditional feminist view of equality  of the sexes and human autonomy. Gender was not supposed to dictate a person’s fate or determine his or her path in life. As a male person who does not particularly identify with either set of gender norms, this concept is empowering and freeing for me. It seems the LGBT left wishes for me to abandon this sense of autonomy and personhood.

Why Does the LGBT Elite Accept the Generic Pronoun?

Our society allows people to achieve things based solely on their individual desire, ability, and ambition, without limitation imposed on them by their condition of birth or physical characteristics unique to them. People can discover their identity without the boundary of social gender norms restricting their options. The purpose of the sexual revolution was to free people from believing they were trapped in the life they found themselves born into. Why on Earth would academia take this boundless opportunity and reduce all people to a singular “they”?

More importantly, why would LGBT people welcome such a dehumanizing social designation? LGBT culture once boldly celebrated the rejection of sex stereotypes, and referring to a transgender person as “it” has been considered a slur for some time. It is baffling to watch a generation of LGBT people, who often love to distinguish themselves with brightly colored hair, clothing, and tattoos, adopt such a gray, generic term. It is even more frustrating to watch them view their bodies as a form of oppression, restricting them from fully living as their true selves.

The push in academia to normalize “they” as a singular pronoun is concerning. Without the option to verbalize views without adhering to strict official guidelines in scholarly language, dissent will become more and more difficult. Furthermore, belief in generic identity constrains the fight for individuality. I am certainly not a “they,” and I shudder to imagine a society that prefers to see me as a generic and inclusive pronoun, rather than a whole and autonomous person.

Chad Felix Greene is a senior contributor to The Federalist. He is the author of the "Reasonably Gay: Essays and Arguments" series and is a social writer focusing on truth in media, conservative ideas and goals, and true equality under the law. You can follow him on Twitter @chadfelixg.

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