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Discussion on: An Organizer's Guide to Pronoun Buttons

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thejessleigh profile image
jess unrein • Edited

Comparing a nonbinary person letting you know how to treat them respectfully is a far cry from being thrown in a gulag. No one’s acting as the thought police here. They’re just letting you know how to be an inclusive event organizer and attendee. If you choose not to do so, on one is going to physically harm or imprison you. They might just freely formulate the thought that they don’t want to talk to you or invite you to events they put on in the future.

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vladimir_vg profile image
Vladimir Gordeev 🇷🇺 • Edited

Hey! You said:

No one’s acting as the thought police here.

But I have read following in the article:

If they’re intentionally disregarding pronouns or being disrespectful, consult your code of conduct and take action to make your event safer. I’d personally consider it similar to harassment.

As far as I understand, person that refuses demands to pronounce certain words is going to be excluded. Isn't it policing?

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thejessleigh profile image
jess unrein

If you show up at my event are rude to the other guests, you are not entitled to stay there. Private events are not public spaces. This is pretty standard. Restaurants reserve the right to refuse service. Even major public transit lines have Codes of Conduct. So does this very site for that matter!

Participating in a group space often has a price of entry. For events that want to be inclusive of gender minorities, the price of entry is that you use people’s pronouns the way they ask you to. You’re free not to, and they’re free to decide not to have you in the group.

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vladimir_vg profile image
Vladimir Gordeev 🇷🇺

Restaurants reserve the right to refuse service.
Participating in a group space often has a price of entry.

This is reasonable. Organizers have right to set up their own rules. They can exclude any people that don't follow the rules.

What I found disturbing is that policies that were marketed in the article as inclusive turned out to be exclusive in nature, as we just figured out in our discussion.

These policies exclude people who value their right to formulate thoughts in their own words.

The article didn't specify the negative impact that organizers gonna have for adopting such policies. I think it's worth noting, at least in comment section.

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thejessleigh profile image
jess unrein

I mean. We're venturing into Paradox of Tolerence territory here. If you decide that you're a free thinker and that a Code of Conduct is exclusionary to you, I'm clearly not going to be able to change your mind.

But I think you're thinking about this on the wrong axis. If you came to my event and (grudgingly, I assume) agreed to abide my event's rules, then I would protect you as fiercely as anyone else at the event. If people decided to start using the wrong pronouns for you to prove a point. Or if they denigrated you in reasonable discussion, or anything like that, that would also be a violation of the social contract. Codes of Conduct aren't a one way document used to target specific groups of people. They're a covenant that protects everyone who agrees to abide by it.

Maybe you don't want that protection, and you'd rather have a public fight with someone that has no social consequences from the event's organizing body. That's certainly a preference you're entitled to, but it doesn't mean that it's a reasonable expectation for all the private events you attend.

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veraticus profile image
Josh Symonds

This seems slightly disingenuous -- you can say (and think) whatever you like, but there are consequences for your speech, and freedom of speech doesn't shield you from those consequences. In this case, the consequence of being rude is that you will be ejected from the event. It's not substantially different from you cursing constantly at everyone: the organizers aren't required to listen to you use swear words all the time if they don't want to, and would be perfectly within their rights to ask you to stop and then throw you out if you refuse. You would be silly to argue that they violated your freedom of speech in this case. They simply heard what you had to say, decided it had no merit, and closed the doors.