Feb 20·edited Feb 20Liked by Eva Kurilova

The topic of preferred pronouns came up also in the conversation Blocked and Reported podcast host Katie Herzog had recently with her guest Helen Lewis. The theme of the interview was new developments in the gender critical movement in the UK. One of them is "hold the line" polarization over matters such as preferred pronouns.

One can compare and contrast that podcast with this Substack essay by listening to that Blocked and Reported podcast at https://www.blockedandreported.org/p/episode-203-trouble-on-terf-island

It's precisely because I think reality is more important than language that I do not honor people's preferred pronouns. As a gay man, I am especially disinclined to use the preferred pronouns of women who claim to be gay men since that would normalize and encourage them. Now, that's fairly easy for me to do since, to my knowledge, I do not have any trans people among friends and acquaintances. Also, I'm selective about disclosing my gender critical views within my social circle.

However, I have heard indirectly that my granddaughter, age 16, is involved in some way with someone who claims to be trans. Before trans entered the equation, that person was referred to as her "boyfriend." That's going to be tough to negotiate.

I start from the premise that anyone who is a teen today and claims to be trans is almost certainly not trans. My stepdaughter is already aware of my gender-critical views, as is my husband. Assuming things progress to the point where I learn what his or her biological sex is, I will not use his or her preferred pronouns when speaking to my step daughter and husband about him or her. On the other hand, to preserve my relationship with my granddaughter, I will have to go along with whatever pronouns I am told to use. It isn't the kind of compromise with deep-seated principles that will keep me awake at night.

If, as could well happen, my granddaughter announces she's trans, the stakes will skyrocket. Thank heavens we live in different cities. It will then be time to buy copies of "When Kids Say they're Trans" for my stepdaughter, husband and myself and go from there.

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I am a huge fan Eva but it is not possible to “strip language of its power”. The reason TRAs fight so hard on this and radfems do too is not because they are equivalent in “extremism” (not your words, but Stella O’Malley’s in defending the same point) but because they grasp that this is pivotal. Whatever their faults, TRAs are effective tacticians. Things would never have come to this if they were not.

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I'm sorry to read that you're going through this, Eva. I am on the side never using non-reality-based pronouns, and I am as fierce a critic of gender ideology as you can find, but I would never tell you or anyone else how to navigate your own personal situations. My bottom line is removing gender ideology from law and policy wherever and whenever possibe. Clearly you agree with that goal and are bravely working towards it. I have nothing but praise for you and your efforts.

To those chastising you, I say: go do something useful instead. For example: call up your legislators and complain about bad legislation that they have voted for (or thank them for opposing it, if they did). Ask them to introduce repeal bills. Tell them that this is important to you.

Don't spend time and energy on policing allies. It's a huge waste. It does nothing but help your true opponents achieve dominance over you.

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The power of pronouns can be more clear to see when they are being used to bully, threaten, ostracize, etc. This is the most important way women are policing women into doing what these men demand. Where I live, obedience to pronouns is mandatory or else. It's a way to measure our worth as well as a way to control us all. It shows membership in the cult, or if you're one of the few who it's open season on for daring to say no.

If you call the man who has threatened women "he," you're in trouble, and women you don't even know will start hating you, glare at you, and, at this point, it's hard to not suspect that that's why I was shoved by two different Lesbians at a recent rare "women's dance."

I will not do it because this has actually been a large part of how this mess went from a few stalky narcissistic misogynist men to a huge movement where girls and women and Lesbians are under constant siege and threat, and where even when these men murder women, they are still called "she" and "her" and put into women's prisons.

Another important part of this is how do we find out how many of these men are murdering us? I've figured out three of the "women" murderers in the area I live in are of course men, but that actually took a lot of time. (One of these men had such a grinning male face photo that I explored the news in more detail and found that though he was called a "women" throughout the media, witnesses saw him tear off his clothes, expose his prick and testicles, and then try to get into people's cars. The police who reported in the news, looked down, ashamed, and referred to him as "that person.")

With so many murders here, there is no way to keep track of them. Meanwhile, these men are listed as the women in the statistics on violence.

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