I’m no longer sure on any given day if I’m watching the actual news out of New York City or reading the summary of a William Gibson novel. Either way, the crazy train has well and truly pulling into the station in the Big Apple. We learned this week that Hizzonor Bill de Blasio has yet another plan to entrench the city in “transgender” warfare and make sure that business owners are made to toe the line on political correctness. Under this latest scheme, any business which greets someone using a pronoun not matching the gender (or lack thereof) the customer “identifies” as could face a stiff fine in court. No… I’m not even remotely kidding you. (Washington Times)
Greeting customers as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” — or even not using the pronoun “ze” or “zir” — could prove costly for New York City businesses under rules drafted by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bureaucrats.
The Gotham mayor’s Commission on Human Rights says entities that fail to address customers by their preferred gender pronouns and titles are in violation of the law and could be subject to penalties of up to $250,000.
The commission issued a “legal enforcement guidance” for the New York City Human Rights Law, which now “requires employers and converted entities to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.”
So now New York City will regulate the speech of business owners and employees down to the level of punishing those who use standard, polite pronouns which have been accepted protocol for nearly as long as we’ve had language skills. If we were to stretch credulity to the point of denying basic medical science, you might be able to make the argument that someone you assumed was male could correct you and say they are female. With today’s fashions and hairstyles, who’s to say, right? If what appears to be a woman walks up to the perfume counter and, upon being greeted with a cheerful, “Good afternoon, Ma’am” informs you that they should be addressed as sir, what’s the harm? You still want to make the sale, so just call them sir and ring up the purchase. But if you fail to conform to the request, what law has been broken? Your boss might fire you for driving away business (and they would be well within their right to do so) but can you be dragged into court and fined? And we’re not talking about a small fine here.
The maximum civil fine that the commission may impose upon “misgendering” is $125,000. But when the violation is the “result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct,” the maximum fine can double to $250,000.
That doesn’t even begin to address the question of demands to use misappropriated terms like “they/them/theirs” or worse, completely fake pronouns such as “ze/hir.” Shifting generic plurals to be used in the singular (“Would them care for some more coffee?”) is simply bad English and makes you sound illiterate. And don’t get me started on this “ze/hir” nonsense. Those aren’t even words. The city administration chooses to define them as, alternative pronoun systems developed by academics and/or LGBT communities, but that doesn’t make them part of the language and nobody is required to use these made up terms.
Or at least they weren’t until now. If these rules go into place I’m extremely tempted to head down to the city and start applying for part time jobs in retail. I’d love to see them try to enforce this mandate in court and have it survive a challenge up the line. If something like this can actually be done then we need to simply scrap the Bill of Rights entirely and let Bernie Sanders take over and complete the conversion to socialism.