Whether you prefer to be addressed using he, she, they, or ze there is something we can all agree on; identity is complicated and we’re all human (otherkin excluded). The way we see ourselves can be vastly different than how others see us, not to mention it can change by the hour and over the years as we grow and learn more about what matters to us. But do I only have the right to my own views about myself or do I have a right to enforce that view on others too?
While my friends and I may disagree on whether I am the greatest tennis player that ever lived, no where has identity become so controversial than it has with sex and gender. I’ve written a previous article titled “Don’t Drink From the Gender Blender” in which I discuss the harmful effects and antiquated thinking associated with this zeal around gender identity. It has become such a pressing issue today that California has recently passed a bill through the senate which is making its way through the rest of the state legislation channels. It’s called bill SB-219. If passed, this bill states that within nursing homes and intermediate-care facilities it can be illegal to use a pronoun or name other than that which a person chooses for themselves. A $1000 fine and possibly a year’s worth of jail time for addressing someone based on their sex and not their chosen gender. While this is only the first step, targeting a group which has little involvement with the current gender debate but appears relatively innocuous, the agenda is more than clear. California wishes to make it government policy, to enforce with the threat of violence, a restriction of free speech that protects one social view over another.
Who knew that one day you could be killed for referencing someone in regards to their sex rather than their social construct? Not only does this construct become further invalidated by not having a function, showing one’s sexual reproductive capabilities, but now it may become an ideological threat to free speech and thought. To those who agree with this new legislation, let me ask you this: if you stood behind someone with a gun aimed at their head, would you feel justified in pulling the trigger because they continued to refer to you based on your sex and not a sex-derived social construct? No matter what your answer, you may soon have the state doing it for you. Do not forget that it could just as easily have been you in the sights of a gun because you refused to identity with the gender associated with your sex.
Once the state has that power, no matter what view they choose to protect, no belief is safe. I ask that you see how much this “victory” would really cost and if that’s a price you’d willingly pay.