Imagine you’re taking a ride on the bus or subway in New York City, and you hear an announcement that begins, “Ladies and gentleman.” Do you react in horror?
No, you do not. Because such terminology is biologically correct and therefore, inoffensive.
For those who prefer gender-neutral language, though, these regular terms are the height of shocking, Because that’s where we are in 2017. We live in a world where Facebook has fifty-six custom gender options for the confused among us.
Forget biology and all that. Feelings are what matter most.
It is out of this vein that the New York City transit system’s new rule came about.
New York City transit workers will no longer refer to riders as “ladies and gentlemen,” thanks to a new edict banning gender-specific terms in the subway and bus system.
Transit workers recently received a bulletin that requires them to use gender-neutral terms such as “passengers,” “riders” or “everyone,” the New York Post reported, adding that conductors will override prerecorded greetings that use “ladies and gentlemen” until the replacements are made.
“They are trying to be politically correct,” Anthony Staley, a station worker and Transport Workers Union member, told the Post. “They are acknowledging that they have some transgender riders. They don’t want to offend anyone.”
Upon the new changes, New Yorkers had mixed reactions.
Transgender individuals make up a very, very small percentage of the U.S. population. In 2016, the estimate by The Williams Institute put the number at only 0.6%. Basing even city-wide policy on such a minuscule number says much about the desire to placate the feelings of those whose worldview is not based in reality.
So in an effort to keep that feeling of inclusion, the NYC is banning those terms.
This is hardly the first fight against gender norms in New York City. It goes much further than just an announcement during your commute. In fact, using terms that may be offensive to some individuals may actually cost city businesses a boatload of money.
Last year, the New York City Commission of Human Rights released a list of gender-neutral pronouns to all the city’s businesses and landlords. The list required business owners and landlords to use gender pronouns like “ze,” which can be used instead of “he” or “she,” and “hir,” which is similar to “they.” A business could be fined as much as $250,000 for willful, hostile and repeated misuse of pronouns.
Scary, is it not? I’m sure we’ll see further decline on this front as biological fact is assaulted in favor of soothing those ever-changing feelings.
So you ladies and gentleman need to pay attention.