With all the wonderful things the Canadian government is doing to uphold the rights of conscience, free association, private property, worship, and travel, some observers might not have seen the additional blessing that a British Columbian judicial tribunal just conferred on the principle of free speech.
Well, on September 29, BC Human Rights Tribunal Judge Devyn Cousineau ruled that waitress Jessie Nelson, who claims she is “non-binary, gender fluid, and transgender," was unjustly and “illegally” fired from her job after asking the manager to stop addressing her with pronouns “she/her,” and, instead, to refer to her as “they/them.”
Which poses the difficult question: are diners supposed to tip plural people twice as much?
That may never be answered, but Cousineau awarded Mrmrsmsxethem Nelson $30,000 Canadian to be paid by all but one of the defendants tied to the dining establishment.
And, so as not to be hoisted by his own judicial petard, Cousineau got to add this kind of language to the proud lineage of Canadian jurisprudential history:
Jessie Nelson is a non‐binary, gender fluid, transgender person who uses they/them pronouns. They worked as a server for Buono Osteria, a restaurant run by the respondents Michael Buono and Ryan Kingsberry.
But how can Cousineau write such hateful things? Jessie identifies as plural, yet that uncaring judge wrote: “…a non-binary…” and “They worked as a server…” How can “THEY” work as “A” server? Shouldn’t it read: “Jessie Nelson are non-binary, gender fluid, transgender people who use they/them pronouns. They worked as servers…?”
So confusing… The judge ruling on a human rights violation could be accused of the same terrible, terrible, terrrrrrrrrible crime!
As I have mentioned to students, the use of “they” for a single person is profoundly incorrect. If one were to work in an emergency room, he or she would not accept “they” over the radio when talking about a single victim coming in via ambulance. In crime reporting, “they” is unacceptable when describing a victim or suspect.
REAL gender is important, and so is the difference between the plural pronouns THEY/THEM and the singular pronouns I/ME. In bending to the numbskull idea that a person can be “plural,” Cousineau kneels to idiocy and a dangerous precedent that the state can dictate how people speak.
Stemming from the also idiotic idea of “hate crimes” and “hate speech” being punishable as state offenses, the government of Canada in 2017 passed statute C-16, which mandated to any government bureau or virtually any business “regulated” by the Canadian government (or its subdivisions in the Provinces) that workers MUST address customers or other employees by the pronouns the customer or employee demands.
And now, this horrid act of pronoun terror is not only considered a breach of C-16, it is considered a “violation of human rights.”
So, let’s get this straight.
Calling someone a name or using a pronoun that the recipient doesn’t like? That’s a breach of human rights in British Columbia. Being compelled by the government to use words you might not want to use?
Adds the brilliant judge:
The respondent Brian Gobelle was the bar manager. During their employment, Mr. Gobelle persistently referred to Jessie Nelson with she/her pronouns and with gendered nicknames like ‘sweetheart’, ‘honey’, and ‘pinky’. Jessie Nelson asked Mr. Gobelle to stop, and he did not. They asked management to intervene and were told to wait. On their final day of work, Jessie Nelson again tried to speak to Mr. Gobelle about this issue and the discussion grew heated. Four days later, they were fired. Pressed to explain the termination, Mr. Kingsberry told Jessie Nelson that they had simply come on ‘too strong too fast’ and were too ‘militant.’
God forbid people don’t get along and their approaches to personal interaction don’t jibe. That’s clearly a human rights violation.
What if one were to replace the setting and make it a date? Both parties voluntarily go on the date, and one keeps making demands about how to be addressed, while the other continues to act in a manner that the first does not like. Wouldn’t it seem reasonable that, after their problem getting along, they just part ways and end the friction? Would it be appropriate for agents of the state to police dates, checking on how well both parties are responding to the preferences of the other?
Or is that insane?
Today, the state not only claims the power to control businesses and private business agreements, its agents claim the power to punish folks who use language the government agents do not like – even as those tax-paid government agents fall into the same morass of pronoun-subject confusion.
It’s stupid and insane, and terroristic, and invades private, voluntary association.
It is akin to George Orwell’s Newspeak – language controlled by the state.
In many ways, it is like what Satan told Jesus, “We are legion.”
And it must stop.