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The problem with Goldman Sachs’s preferred pronouns

Accepting ‘ze/zir’ is accepting the idea that sex is mutable and gender is innate

December 4, 2019

4:03 PM

4 December 2019

4:03 PM

White-shoe Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs is the latest corporate giant to impose preferred pronouns on their employees. In a blog post entitled ‘Bringing Your Authentic Self to Work’, Goldman says ‘We are committed to cultivating a work experience where all of our people can reach their full potential and thrive as their authentic selves.’ But in ensuring that some employees can express their ‘authentic selves’, Goldman is demanding that others suppress theirs. It’s one of many recent attempts at modernization under the leadership of new CEO David M. Solomon.

Enforcing pronoun usage does more than dictate how one employee should refer to another; it demands that employees apply the terms of trans gender ideology to themselves. Along with six ‘Tips for Being an Inclusive Ally’, the post suggests employees proactively declare their own pronouns, so that those who have pronouns that differ from their obvious biological sex can feel comfortable sharing theirs. 

It’s not enough for an employee to refer to a colleague by their preferred pronouns. An employee must take on preferred pronouns themselves, even if they’d prefer not to think about it at all. Before you can express what pronoun you’d like to have applied to you, you have to consider what pronoun best reflects you. Sounds easy, but it’s really rather fraught. Instead of this being a simple matter of definitions (am I male, or am I female) you have to understand that pronouns are no longer neutral. Any stated pronoun preference is deferential to trans ideology. 

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‘Pronouns are words that an individual would like others to use when talking to or about them,’ Goldman says. ‘Using a person’s self-identified pronoun(s) is a way to show respect and ensure a more inclusive environment.’ The post specifies the major preferred pronouns as she/hers, he/him, they/them, and even the tedious ze/zir.

When you intentionally subscribe to a gendered pronoun, you are stating an allegiance to trans gender definitions. If you are female, and say that your pronouns are she/her, you are not stating that you are factually female, but that you are fine with being labeled cisgender, meaning that you are comfortable with the gender you were assigned at birth

For women who do not subscribe to trans ideology, the emergence of the term ‘cis’ is a particularly low blow. Because the trans definition of woman is ‘whatever I feel like it is’, and is recognized by long hair, dresses, and a flirty, supplicant attitude, many women are loathe to identify themselves as being cool with being defined by stereotypes.

It is unlikely that Goldman HR would be comfortable with people stating that their pronouns are a factual representation of their biological reality, but that they do not believe in the concept of innate gender identity. Goldman’s inclusive plan excluded those whose authentic selves are opposed to trans gender ideology.

‘Goldman Sachs has launched an internal campaign centered around gender identity and pronouns, seeking to provide education on what the different types of pronouns are, guidance for the way to use them and offering new avenues for our people to proactively self-identify.’ But employers should not be forcing workers to join the cult of gender expression. Making people say things, even out of compassion for others, is compelled speech. 

Goldman are assuming all employees will be on board with gender identity expression once they are properly educated in the concept. This negates the fact that loads of people are not OK with this new enforced language. Women, primarily, are speaking out against this all the time, in notable publications such as this one. Yet companies, universities, organizations, and arms of government are pushing it on us incessantly. There is a sheen of rightness, correctitude, and moral imperative about pronoun preference, but it is a lie. While some may believe that gender defines their authentic self, others may find the practice entirely irrelevant. 

For Goldman Sachs employees who don’t buy into the trans cult, the options are: get in line, believe the hype, use the terms; state your truth and face backlash from your employer and colleagues. Otherwise, you can or pretend to, and present your non-authentic self at work. In trying to accommodate that tiny percentage of employees who believe their gender is the most important thing about them, Goldman disenfranchises those who don’t believe in gender identity from their right to self-expression.

It’s easy to believe that pronouns are no big deal, that using a person’s preferred pronouns and expressing your own is simply politeness. But using personal pronouns that differ from biological sex indicates that you believe that gender is a deeply held, intrinsic, authentic part of a person. Once you’re on board with pronouns, you have accepted the idea that sex is mutable and gender is innate. You’ve now opened the door to bathrooms, locker rooms, fitting rooms, women’s shelters, girls’ schools, women’s sports, legal protections and set aside programs, being open to men who claim to be women as well.

Goldman Sachs’s push for preferred pronouns does not allow all employees to express their authentic selves at work: only those who are into gender identity. If you are opposed to the whole concept, your ‘authentic self’ is not welcome at work. 


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