“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.