Counting on Grammatical Gender

This wall of words was posted in a Facebook that the AI thought I would be interested in. I’m not, save for the rhetorical and grammatical structure. I am not interested in the veracity of the claim or the sentiment it is meant to provoke.

May be an image of text

The author purportedly had a conversation with a former student, who identified as being a member of another race—black, I suppose; African-American in the current vogue; negro and coloured in bygone days.

Notice the head-fake. A conversation with an individual person quickly morphs into a generalisation. This individual, in the mind of the author—or at least the conveyance—was now the representative mouthpiece for this so-called race. But that’s not what I question.

They and them are now considered to be acceptible singular forms if a person identifies as such. I’m not sure I am equiped to comment on identification to a grammatical element, so I’ll side-step that and focus on the outcome.

Perusing this or something similar, there is a sense of undeserved weight—an inclusion from the perspective of a single person. Some people actively promote themselves as spokespeople for a group, whether race or something else. But this person did not necessarily claim to speak for anyone beyond him or herself—perhaps some small, immediate group of collegues who shared this perspective.

I am wondering how this will play out as a device to intentionally deceive the reader.

Another thing…

I was in Philadelphia yesterday, and a black associate of mine was commenting on what he deemed to be 150 neo-Nazi skinheads parading in the rain, a point eliciting more pleasure than perhaps it deserved. His assessment is that race was not a problem, that he held no illwill toward any race. His contention was with ‘motherfucking racists’. Unfortunately, there is no scientific racist litmus. There are only actions and perceptions. This is where Popper’s paradox of tolerance pops into mind. And so it goes

3 thoughts on “Counting on Grammatical Gender

  1. A friend coworker of mine, who I called a conspiracy theorist, Trump supporter, Q anon person, it was actually my friend, and knows that I think she’s just a conspiracy theorist, today was telling me that do US government is inventing this latest hack wherever it was. And that this was predicted three weeks ago on the websites she follows. And that the US government is going to invent another Covid issue to keep everyone locked down. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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