If only adapting to using various gender pronouns were as easy as teaching someone how to “Dougie” or following instructions to “Whip and Nae Nae.” Maybe then people would GET IT! Maybe, you would constantly hear a contagious clingy beat in your head all day. Maybe you would attempt to do it correctly every time you think about it. You would practice in private moments just so you would be able to do it correctly when the time comes (beat drops). The time would come (beat would drop) unexpectedly on your way to work, on your Pandora station, and on the radio in someone else’s car. The words “teach me how to pronoun, teach me how to pronoun” would be ringing in your ear in quiet moments.
You would champion “watch me respect, now watch me pronoun, watch me respect respect, watch me pronoun!” with ease. Even though you actually have no clue how to use gender pronouns (or do the Dougie, Whip or Nae Nae) appropriately, you would try! There would be instructional videos and for a few minutes out of your day you would defy your brain’s natural patriarchal programming. You would swing your tongue off beat in order to refer to someone correctly. You would actually throw your perspective out of whack repeatedly until the use of a variety of gender pronouns become as second natural as the ongoing memory, usage, and beat of the “norm.”
It is true that somebody somewhere has not heard of the Dougie or the Whip or the Nae Nae (I have no clue where, but somewhere). It is also true that a large percentage of those who have heard the Dougie or the Nae Nae have no clue who Dougie is or why the Nae Nae exists but will still attempt to do the dances. Why? Because America loves simple, contagious, pop culture phenomena. In terms of seriousness, I don’t view the use of gender pronouns as fad or as silly as the next big pop culture thing. However, I wonder if the need for widening the levels of thought without thought could happen as easy as a new dance craze. One of the key aspects of a dance craze is tolerance. People are more tolerant of someone attempting the Dougie and it being a complete disaster than someone miscalling them a particular pronoun. As the evolution of what to call who continues, capitalists will find a way to make it big business by creating education courses, staff development videos, and seminars. Gender education is needed. I believe that it could be an “each one teach one” organic spread of new thought patterns. This new thought pattern requires those requiring pronouns unidentifiable by a simple glance will have to do just as much work as those who are unable to identify them. This is hard work. The work is worth it.
I believe that with a little tolerance, the world could be taught to do a new dance.