by Diane Roberson
Think for just a moment. What is the first thing you notice about a person as well as the last thing you forget about them? The answer for pretty much everyone is gender.
In fact, gender for humans is much more pronounced than for almost any other species on the planet. The differences are obvious and generally noticeable at a glance. When people cannot tell someone’s gender right away, they usually take a closer look. Seeing gender and separating people into the class of either male of female is so natural, we don’t even think about it.
When I ask my kids about their friends or other people they associate with away from the family, they always start with the gender of the person: “A girl at school…” or “a boy at work…” Those descriptions are then generally followed by the pronouns “he” and “she”.
Unfortunately, the students at Oxford University will no longer be allowed to speak in this natural way. Instead they must refer to one another with the made-up pronoun “ze”.
I’m uncertain about the pronunciation of this new-aged grammar change. It’s about as sensible to me as zizzer, zazzer, zuzz. I would be disturbed if my child called me from college and started talking about how ze asked him out to lunch.
Oxford already has a policy in which deliberately using the wrong pronoun of a transgender person is a punishable offence under the university’s behavior code. But just in case a mistake may offend a transgender student, Oxford student’s all must go by the same pronoun.
It doesn’t matter that girls who think they are girls and boys who think they are boys are still the majority– or that the majority is completely comfortable with the (apparently outdated) pronouns he and she– or that with very few exceptions everyone is born with a female body or a male body and chromosomes to match. Since a tiny percentage of the student body may get offended at the norm, all must change how they speak.
These changes have been coming for some time. Law-makers have already been trying to remove the terms husband and wife and mother and father. Schools have been removing the terms boy and girl. And why? Because whoever the they are that are heading this movement, they want to remove gender to replace the family as the fundamental unit of society.
It’s not just about speech. It’s a matter of conditioning people into removing their gender identity as male and female. This ultimately erodes what makes a family. It removes the identities of mother, father, daughter, son, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, niece, and nephew. Gender defines all our family relations.
In fact, Sophie Buck, the welfare officer at Oxford’s student union, said: “Events start with a speaker introducing themselves using a gender-neutral pronoun. It’s part of a drive to make the union intersectional.” They want everyone to forget who they are—men and women—so that they can forget who they can become—mother and father.