a world without pronouns

As I was drafting this morning’s post on the issues surrounding transgenderism, a good many related ideas were floating around in my head. For instance, I was also thinking about the genderfluid child that Rod Dreher wrote about yesterday. I wondered what all this is like for the classmates of Abby/Adam Scott. What happens to them if they say “Abby” at a point when “Adam” is the preferred nomenclature? Do they get a timeout? Are they scheduled for a counseling session?

And it occurred to me that kids will probably deal with this simply by calling her by her last name, Scott. I mean, who has the time to keep up with someone whose gender identification changes several times a day? The essential human demand for simplification will kick in, and Abby/Adam will be given a name that stays put.

Now, it may be that her Abby/Adam’s teachers won’t like this, and it’ll be interesting to see how they handle it. Most of us went through some period of childhood being called something we didn’t want to be called, so I wonder if there will be an attempt to prevent that — at least for one child in America….

Notice, by the way, that above I have used “Abby/Adam” in a couple of places where one might have expected me to use a pronoun. The problem is, I don’t know what Abby/Adam’s preferred pronoun is. Should I have used “ze” and “zir”? Maybe Abby/Adam doesn’t like those options, or has never heard of them. And since Abby/Adam’s gender identification changes regularly, if I choose one of the existing pronouns I have a 50% chance of being wrong. So I just avoid them in this case.

This is of course what happened when people started getting nervous about using the masculine pronoun for God. “God is at work reconciling the world to Godself in Christ.”  “For God so loved the world, that God gave God’s only begotten offspring…” But this was sufficiently awkward that people just ended up constructing sentences that didn’t require the use of pronominal forms.

So this is the world we appear to be headed for: no first names, no pronouns, and unisex restrooms. Great.