Ethics Quote Of The Week: Prof. Glenn Reynolds

“If you need counseling over being “misgendered,” you’re too mentally fragile to handle the diplomatic interests of the United States. Get another job.”

—-Conservative law professor, pundit and blogger Glenn Reynoldsmaking the required observation on this ridiculous story:

Because the State Department has nothing more important to spend its money on, it is “testing a new feature that will provide users with the option to include their preferred pronouns in their Global Address List profile.” Unfortunately, do to human error, the feature went live, and many State Department employees had randomly assigned pronouns added to their profiles. Men were given female pronouns and vice versa, due to what was termed a “pronoun glitch.” Emails from colleagues suddenly included random pronouns, like, “She/her/hers” and “He/Him/His” in the “from” line. As Colonel Kurtz would say…

The State Department apologized profusely to those who were “triggered, and—I’m not kidding, now—is offering free therapy to “any employee who feels hurt or upset as a result of this unfortunate mistake,” according to an internal email that went out to employees on yesterday.

And thus Reynolds’ observation. You know, back in the Sixties (or so I’ve heard), male rebels with long hair protesting the draft, the Vietnam war or just trying to annoy adults were pretty routinely called girls by old fogeys (like one of my uncles), and the unisex garb of the period caused some of the less attractive young women enjoying the Summer of Love to be confused with boys. Those “misgendered” youths just laughed it off even though those misgenderings were often intended as insults. Now our government feels it has to expend resources on “therapy” for the employees charged with navigating the choppy waters of international relations who are emotionally wounded by a mechanically misdirected “he” or “she.”

Reynolds is right. Those misgendered emails should be used to cull the emotionally and intellectually unfit from the ranks. If a mistake in an email “triggers” you to the extent that you need counseling, the State Department, among other parts of the government, should have no use for you, and the rest of us are “triggered” by knowing such lilly-livered weaklings are in positions of responsibility at the heart of our nation’s diplomatic corps.

9 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: Prof. Glenn Reynolds

  1. Whoa there, Nellie! No reaction to the State Department getting involved in this pronoun baloney? I’m having a hard time getting past that.

    • Isn’t the “foreign service” a long-standing career choice for gay guys who get to be stationed in some far away foreign outpost? Shouldn’t foreign service people be pretty comfortable in their own skins?

  2. I would be more irritated that I would be assigned pronouns at all, rather than whether they were accurate or not.

    But, it would not require me to seek counseling.


    • That was going to be my comment. I find it silly to include pronouns unless you are choosing to be something that is not readily apparent. If you present yourself as a woman then you will get a feminine pronoun reference. If you’re someone that wants to appear as someone that may be either then you can include them but the government has no business including pronouns in my email address line.

      This was not done in the area for a signature.

      • The only caveat that I would add is for androgynous names.

        I think I referred to a “Terry” recently as a “he” when she was a she.

        But, even there, do you NEED pronouns for that. When it was pointed out that Terry was a “she,” problem solved.

        And, for what it is worth, I have no idea whether Terry is “cisgender” or “transgender.” Never met her. But, when someone explained Terry was a “she,” I made the presumption that she was a woman.

        Cue George Costanza: Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? Because, I gotta plead ignorance on this one.


        • That is a valid point so those with names that are not easily identified one way or another then people with those names could use the appropriate or preferred salutation such as Mr. or Ms. Some may even prefer Miss or Mrs.

          In the case of those with professional salutations just use their title and last names.
          We don’t need preferred pronouns on business emails we just need to return to formal practices in correspondence. If one needs to refer to a third party just use that person’s name.

          The entire pronoun controversy seems to be merely a power ploy for claims of misgendering when such simple and obvious solutions exist.

  3. I dunno. I did my MA in England, and without telling you my advisor’s first name, I can say that my flat-mate assured me that it was “no kind of name for a bloke.” Said advisor was not infrequently misgendered when people referenced something he’d written. If he suffered deep and enduring trauma from that experience, it might explain why he was such an asshole.

  4. The clip you provided, is proof that the British Invasion ruined not only American Rock and Roll but the American culture. before them, the guys sported crew cuts and flattops, the girls went about ins bouffant Hairdos. after the British invasion what you see in the video came up. The whole unisex phenomenon paved the way for the rise of metrosexuality destroying traditional masculinity. It was all the fault of the Beatles, particularly John Lennon, and his Yoko.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.