Westerners in a knot over pronouns (The Funny Side) … writes Nury Vittachi
A woman about to have a hospital procedure involving her “naughty bits” (to use the official medical term) asked for a female nurse to do it. In walked a beefy individual with a crew-cut, deep voice, facial hair and tattoos.
When she politely pointed out that this nurse was clearly a man, staff told her that their colleague was a transsexual who had chosen to retain some male characteristics.
Staff made her “feel like a bigot” for what she’d said and she left the hospital without treatment.
Details of this incident in a North London hospital, reported in the UK Sunday Times a few days ago, were sent to me by reader Sherwood Tang, who said: “I’m as politically correct as the next man, but it seems to me that the West has gone mad.”
I hear you, Mr Tang. Major international media (which means Western media) now require that reporters MUST refer to individuals by their “current self-chosen gender”, not their DNA gender.
But at least we get to use real words, unlike North American university teachers, who are increasingly required to use made-up gender neutral pronouns, including zir, ze, zem, xemself, hirs, pers and ve. Classes can have hundreds of undergrads, so teachers have no hope of remembering who is what.
Zir will almost certainly accidentally call hirs or xem ze or pers, and Zir will be charged with a hate crime.
Last year, a Canadian psychology professor said he had decided to simply use “he” for boys and “she” for girls. This statement caused utter shock and outrage in the West, and total bafflement among Asians, who struggled to see the problem.
Penalties for getting this wrong are mounting. A law was recently passed in California which makes nursing home staff who repeatedly use “he” for a male who has said he prefers “she” (or vice versa) punishable by a $1,000 fine plus a year’s jail sentence.
I told Sherwood that we don’t have this problem in Asia. “We’ve basically only got one sex left,” I said. China and India have like a billion men each and only a few women.
You think I’m joking but there was a very telling scandal in China a few days ago. Police swooped on the offices of dozens of Tinder-style Chinese language dating apps and found that all the women were robots.
In text conversations with men, the robots gave out random responses with zero logic, jumping from topic to topic, and the men apparently never once realised that they were not talking to actual women.
I have not the slightest idea why, and male readers who value their lives are strongly recommended to make the same claim.
Anyway, this reporter has resigned himself to the fact that he will have to use the new politically correct non-gender pronouns when working for Western media. So the story at the beginning of this column could go something like this:
A pers went to hospital to have zir private parts checked and asked xem for a xim nurse. But a xir entered. “You’re not a zem, you’re xir,” pers said. Em replied: “I am a zem inside but have chosen to retain selected xir characteristics.” The pers understood. And ze lived happily ever after.