Most Ethical Quote Of The Month Apologized For After Being Called Unethical

Singing Conductor

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys!”

—A British railway conductor to his train’s passengers. After a “non-binary” passenger complained, the London North Eastern Railway apologized profusely.

The complaint, via Twitter, stated, “As a non-binary person, this greeting doesn’t actually apply to me, so I won’t listen.” As is now the pattern, the railway’s management grovelled,


The better response would have been, “Thank-you for alerting us. In the future, we will have all our conductors greet the passengers with “Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, and assholes!” so you feel included.”

I’m kidding…but barely. The presumption by extreme minorities that they have justification to claim mistreatment if society does not distort its traditions, customs and procedures to include every variation of the norm, no matter how exotic, is pure narcissism and imaginary entitlement. The railway’s management’s response would have been appropriate for a conductor who spewed obscenities and blasphemy, not a cheerful welcome that conservatively applies to 99.9% of the population, and those who it does not apply to are in such outlier category based on a conscious choice: intersex individuals once did the practical thing and picked a gender. That was before they realized that power and victim status lay waiting for them by remaining ambiguous.

Did non-English speakers on the train complain bitterly that the conductor’s greeting wasn’t repeated in their language? Were deaf passengers offended that the conductor didn’t sign? I wonder if an expectant mother felt that her unborn child was being snubbed because the conductor didn’t welcome fetuses…

“Laurence” set out to get an innocent conductor disciplined or fired so in the future conductors would be less welcoming to everyone.

Maybe I wasn’t kidding.

20 thoughts on “Most Ethical Quote Of The Month Apologized For After Being Called Unethical

    • My dad says that these sales of structured settlements must be approved by the court, but this oversight is limited. The courts will routinely rubber-stamp these transfers.

    • I had been following EA pretty heavily by that point, but somehow I missed that article. Thank you for pointing it out.

      I had assumed most of the structured settlements were based on ability of the defendant to pay. I hadn’t realized they were done for the benefit of the plantif. That makes those taking over the settlement despicable indeed.

    • Legally, it means the exclusive label male OR female doesn’t apply.

      By logical extension, it could mean that both male AND female apply, or that neither male NOR female apply.

      Non-binary is also completely different than intersexed, which involves objective ambiguity in the external genitalia. Someone with intact male or female genitalia could identify as non-binary. It is based on the subjective experience of the person identifying as “non-binary”.

    • “As these theories have come to engulf not just academia but growing swathes of our political life, increasingly agitated commentators predict a new dimming of the light, perhaps even the end of western civilisation [sic] itself.”

      The Great Stupid is definitely a threat to western civilization as we know it.

  1. So what would be the acceptable into?

    Welcome ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, and all forms if unhinged freaks of nature.

    • I think something like

      Welcome everybody!

      is preferred, since everybody has a body (and ghosts can’t reliably complain).

      • But what about the spirit-kin? That’s sarcasm, but given that Otherkin is a thing, Poe’s law applies.

        The proper greeting would be “Ladies, Gentlemen, and the insane”

    • I have a Twitter account, but I set it up years ago just so someone wouldn’t co-opt my name and say anti-social things. I have posted exactly two tweets, both to a guy running a cyclist website to ask if the site was down. I have never used it otherwise, and have no intention of doing so.

      If I had to venture a guess, I would say at least some of the responses resemble the noise one hears when quickly running your index finger across your lips while making a sound.

  2. How about “Good morning ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and precious snowflakes”. I’m sure that Laurence would fit the latter category and thus feel included.

  3. *All* civilizations or attempts at civilization police language to some degree. Whether through government or cultural trends.

    Our attempt at civilization while not policing language via government, most certainly does and has always policed language in the community anyway.

    I don’t think there is getting around this.

    Now we spent a radical two or three generations convincing ourselves that relegating the traditional swear words to taboo was old, frumpy, stifling, oppressive, Victorian excess, (pick your denigrating term)…so we now full bore toss those words around like punctuation. Other topics, once treated as hush hush publicly, because those topics protected a lot more than just “polite talk” are now bandied about with casual cheapness.

    And what have we redirected those former prohibitions towards? Can’t say boy. Can’t say girl. Can’t say “men can’t have babies”.

    Well done civilization eaters. All communities police language to some extent.

    Do we make “fuck” and “shit” and casually talking about promiscuity bad again?

    Or do we continue down this stupid road that leads to destruction where we can’t even assert basic truths?

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