The State Department is offering “counseling” services to employees whose entire world was apparently sent reeling by a glitch in the department’s email system that possibly “misgendered” them.
And if you listen very, very carefully, you can hear hostile nations laughing all the way from across the sea.
Here’s the backstory: in an effort to be more “inclusive” to gender-confused people who believe men can be women and vice versa, or that anyone can identify as non-binary or gender-fluid or a dogwood tree or whatnot, the State Department of the United States of America announced plans to roll out a new internal email feature that allows personnel to include their “preferred pronouns” in their email profiles that will appear in the "from" line of their messages.
But in doing so, something went horribly, terribly, irreparably wrong. The feature accidentally went live on Friday, and internal emails between department employees suddenly started including random pronouns in the “from” lines, randomly assigning “He/Him/His” and “She/Her/Hers” identifiers to anyone and everyone in some sort of crazed chromosomal Russian roulette.
Which, in a normal world, would be absolutely hilarious, and a clear indicator of just how ridiculous a system like this is in the first place. But alas, this is not a normal world - it’s one that’s descended into absolute madness. Ergo, the following: the State Department is now encouraging "any employee who feels hurt or upset as a result of this unfortunate mistake" to “speak to a professional counselor”…to be reimbursed at taxpayer expense, of course.
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"I want to stress that the intent behind making this feature available is to make our systems more inclusive and provide employees with options—not to make decisions for them," Kelly E. Fletcher, the State Department’s chief information officer, wrote in an email to all employees this week. "I recognize that this error had the opposite effect, and again, I am very sorry."
"I deeply regret the confusion and distress this mistake caused our workforce," he added.
It’s nice to know the fine folks tasked with handling U.S. relations with foreign nations are so terribly fragile as to be shattered by a known glitch that stuck a wrong pronoun by their name. May God have mercy on us all.
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