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Wednesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Mar 09, 2024 09:31 PM

Yesterday's topics with the most engagement included the prevalence of non-binary individuals, a young mother at private school (a thread disrupted by a troll), restaurants that don't live up to their reputations, and an inappropriate remark about Israel by a work colleague.

The most active thread yesterday was titled, "Trans Non Binary - minority?" and posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum. The original poster says that she has toured at least six colleges in the last 2 1/2 months and on every tour at least one guide has used "they/them" pronouns. This prevalence of non-binary gender is much higher than the original poster has been told exists in the population at-large and she wonders if being non-binary is simply more common among college students. Anything related to transgender or non-binary gender is a hot button issue these days, but even I was surprised that this thread grew to 18 pages in just a few hours, at which point I locked it. The immediate issue I saw with this thread was that it appeared that many posters were significantly more interested in writing than reading. This resulted in many posters talking past each other. One poster repeatedly insisted that other posters did not know the difference between sex, gender, and sexual orientation despite almost every poster appearing to have a fairly solid understanding of those concepts. In response to the original poster's question about the prevalence of being non-binary, posters suggested that the numbers were actually higher than the original poster had been told and that numbers were higher yet among young people. Other posters pointed out that even individuals who are not non-binary often choose to use "they/them" pronouns for a variety of reasons. Therefore, the tour guides the original poster encountered might not necessarily identify as non-binary. The thread was soon bogged down in the normal tedious debates surrounding transgender and non-binary topics. One poster made an ill-conceived comparison of non-binary individuals to tomboys. This provoked nearly every tomboy who has ever set foot on DCUM to weigh in claiming that they never once considered themselves to be non-binary. Most of the thread is simply unreadable and, hence, I didn't read much of it. I think the only relevance to colleges or universities was some petty bickering about which posters would do better on their SAT exams. Given the inability of so many posters to communicate successfully, I wouldn't hold out much hope for any of them. The one conclusion that was easily discernible is that a number of posters hate when other people use pronouns such as "they/them". They view this as forcing them to categorize themselves in ways in which they don't identify and they resent it. They hate the idea of having a label forced on them so much that they demand that those individuals who choose to identify as "they/them" be forced to use one of two acceptable labels instead. Another irony that I noted is that many posters reacted to "they/them" pronouns by complaining about there being too many categories of gender. One of the main characteristics of identifying as non-binary is that it erases gender. So, if fewer categories is better, this would seem ideal.