The Santa Fe New Mexican’s columnist Randall Balmer, who says his “politics lean left, sometimes far to the left,” recently posted a column criticizing the use of pronouns in one’s email signature as over-the-top. He also commented on the grammatical incorrectness of using “they/them” and other words that are meant to represent more than one person in an article titled “Don’t look for pronouns on my email signature.”
“Aesthetically, the eclipse of singular pronouns — she/her, he/him — in favor of plural — they/them — has wreaked havoc on sentence structure. As an insufferable grammarian, I cringe whenever I hear statements like, ‘Everyone has a right to their opinion,’ utterly disregarding the fact that everyone is singular, not plural. My rejoinder is likely to be something along the lines of, ‘No, everyone are not entitled to their opinions,’” he wrote.
“Second Wave feminists argued that people should not be defined by gender but by their abilities and their attainments. Denying equal opportunity simply on the basis of essential characteristics related to sex and gender, they insisted, was inherently unfair. To appropriate Martin Luther King’s words, individuals should be judged not by external characteristics but by the ‘content of their character.’”
He then went even harder on the pronoun fad sweeping across the globe, writing, “The mania for specifying pronouns signals an unfortunate recidivism back to the days of gendered essentialism. People seem all too willing to reduce their entire identities to gender, whether female, male, trans, cis, bi, below the belt or over the top. It’s so important, they argue, that it needs to be stated prominently, whether in conversation or in the signature line of emails.”
“I understand that this obsession is fueled in part by people struggling with their own gender identities. I sympathize; the road to clarity for many is fraught and painful. But the sum of an individual is infinitely greater than gender or pronouns or sexual preference and should never be reduced to that,” Balmer concluded.
Although Balmer is a left-winger and even leans far-left on many issues, even he cannot stand the obsession over pronouns.