7:15 PM
I cannot recall the content of my original, now deleted comments enough to reproduce them.
Kate said: "There is simply no need ever to tell anyone 'you are not [married, female, really an engineer, a true Canadian] because [my personal belief.]' Go ahead and believe that, @jpmc26 but do not offer your unsolicited opinion on someone's identity based on your conscience and belief. That is where I draw the line. Comment on behavior, sure. Answer when asked about identity, but try to be polite and use language that indicates your belief. not 'this is the 100% truth that we all know.'
But don't jump into conversations with firm statement of 'fact' that are actually a belief. I try to do the same"
I said: "@KateGregory I don't think you understand. When you tell someone that they must use a pronoun, you are insisting they craft their language according to someone else's beliefs. How do you resolve the conflict between their belief and their conscience? Also, I'm really not sure how to apply your statements about fact vs. belief if a person makes a biological argument about gender. Biology is measurable, observable fact, not opinion."
Kate said: "If a stranger on the internet says 'I am a woman' you are free to refer to that person as 'she' or 'her', or to not use pronouns, or pretty much anything except say to that person 'you are not a woman and I can prove it', or say about that person 'he is not a woman'. Those things are hurtful and unnecessary to say, though you can think whatever you like.
Refusing to call someone 'her' and engaging in comment threads to 'prove' that 'her' is the wrong word for the person doesn't answer questions or make the internet better. Don't do it."
I said: "It is markedly telling that my first comment here was deleted. We are not even given the opportunity to attempt to sort through these difficult issues. That is not okay and is incredibly inconsiderate toward the community as a whole. I have done all I can here to make my comments neutral and polite. Denying us the opportunity to discuss this peaceably is, in fact, hurtful, which demonstrates that preventing hurt feelings is not actually the basis of the reasoning."
I agree that arguing with someone is unproductive, but that's not what we're talking about here. One can refuse to use a person's pronoun without arguing over it, and that is a very different situation from arguing. They cannot easily be equivocated, so most of your response does not apply. The problem I am pointing out is the first sentence: you are imposing a choice of words on people, even if their analysis given the available facts is that those words represent a false statement.
When a person states they are a "trans woman" or publicly asserted they were a "he" previously and now state they are a "she," that is not the same situation as someone saying, "I am a woman." That gives a participant additional facts to consider in analyzing the situation. Insisting that the participant must ignore these facts and cannot consider them in deciding what to do is... well, I can't think of a better word than wrong. Both logically and morally.
Also, if we follow your reasoning completely, we must also consider the feelings of the person making a decision about what pronoun they use in their speech. When you dismiss the thought they put into making that decision in a difficult situation, you are bound to hurt their feelings as well. So if feelings are the basis of the moral decision and choosing a side in the disagreement hurts someone regardless, then how can we pick a side at all?
So as I see it, this basis of reasoning is paralyzing if you are considerate toward everyone involved. It appears your answer to that is to ignore the effect on the feelings of the person whose speech you wish to restrict. Is that a correct assessment?