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Ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls, it’s time to tell the non-binary woke warriors where to stick their pronouns

Charlie Stone
Charlie Stone

Charlie Stone is an author and journalist who has worked for the BBC, several national newspapers in the UK and international media.

Charlie Stone is an author and journalist who has worked for the BBC, several national newspapers in the UK and international media.

Ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls, it’s time to tell the non-binary woke warriors where to stick their pronouns
The pronoun police have struck again, with a UK train operator apologising to a passenger who complained about a friendly conductor using the term ‘ladies and gentlemen’. We have to stop pandering to this militant madness.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, hands up if you even know what ‘non-binary’ actually means, and stick your other hand up – in surrender – if you actually even give a s**t.

I've heard the term. I'm pretty certain it's yet another one of those pointless yet poisonous trendy navel-gazing woke things that get thrown about by men – it's usually blokes – who don’t have much of a sense of humour. 

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These crushing bores will jump on you if you step out of line, though. Just ask a jolly   on a train from London to the north-east of England. This evil sod walked down the aisle saying “good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” to passengers. That horrible man clearly didn’t think for even a second that some might be somewhere in between male and female.

Mr. Conductor was, of course, just doing his job and getting through his day with a few friendly greetings and maybe a smile and offending pretty much nobody...except non-binary ‘Laurence’ and his non-binary chum sitting beside him in a carriage. The rail worker’s greeting was an outrage, an affront to this fella ‘Laurence’ and his mate ‘Jarley’.

This lad ‘Laurence’ immediately reached for his gun – his mobile phone – and tweeted out a complaint. This is what the guy tapped into his screen: ‘‘‘Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…’ so as a non binary person this announcement doesn't actually apply to me so I won't listen @LNER.”

His pal ‘Jarley’ waded in later, “Both Laurence and I were customers of the railway – being rail staff does not absolve an operator from the duty of care or responsibility to be inclusive. I was sat with Laurence when this tweet was sent. Both of us are non-binary and we were both alarmed and uncomfortable by the lack of inclusion.”

Some deadbeat bureaucrat for the London North Eastern Railway (LNER), of course, immediately caved in. “I’m really sorry to see this, Laurence, our Train Managers should not be using language like this, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention. Please could you let me know which service you are on and I will ensure they remain as inclusive as we strive to be at LNER.”

It turns out this chap ‘Laurence’ actually works for the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), the trade union that represents transport workers. No wonder the Labour Party is in a death spiral and has absolutely no chance of winning a general election, if people like ‘Laurence’ are actually being listened to.

God knows what this boy's job is at the RMT. Honestly, though, I really don't care. I don’t give a stuff about ‘Laurence’ and his rainbow face mask nor his buddy ‘Jarley’. I’m more worried that this jolly conductor might get in trouble or, God forbid, get sent on an unconscious bias training course. LNER, though, says he escaped censure. I bet he’s worried about his pronouns from now on though.

Personally, I really like these happy conductors, they add a bit of levity to what can be a tedious journey – especially if you’ve made it many times. I just wish I’d been on that carriage, so I could have annoyed ‘Laurence’ and ‘Jarley’ on the jolly conductor’s behalf. But, it seems, they never actually said anything out loud anyway – they just tapped away at their phones.

The best thing, the get-out-of-jail-free card for us all, in ‘Laurence’s’ post is this bit: “...so as a non binary person this announcement doesn't actually apply to me so I won’t listen.” Excellent, my boy! Fantastic, kiddo! Marvellous, son! That means the rest of us don't have to listen to YOU, mate, either.

Anyway, to answer my earlier query – what is non-binary? I know it’s something to do with gender, because the people who go on about these things are utterly obsessed by their gender and personal sexuality. Though, the truth is, nobody else cares. Your gender choice and sexuality is entirely up to you, what’s it got to do with anyone else?

Gender cannot just be male and female, men and women, boys and girls: this is simply not allowed anymore, despite DNA stating, unequivocally, that this is fundamentally the case in nature. That Y chromosome, you see, it can't be hidden – not yet – and it means you’re male, a boy. Whether you like that fact or not is absolutely irrelevant, in nature.

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I checked on Wikipedia, so you don't have to. Binary, as any computer nerd will tell you, just means this or that, on or off. Male or female, in this case. Non-binary, therefore – which is also known as ‘genderqueer’ – simply means someone who identifies as neither male or female. Whoopee.

The singer Sam Smith identifies as non-binary. Other singers such as Miley Cyrus, Olly Alexander and Demi Lovato have also “challenged gender norms.

And I don't know why it is, but not being sure of where you are gender-wise seems to also have some kind of a chemical impact on a person's sense of humour. Just ask comedian Dave Chappelle. He took a digital drubbing and was castigated by the Guardian for some off-rainbow colour jokes. I’m pretty sure Chappelle was well chuffed at all the publicity. 

Isn’t the surest sign of acceptance when you can actually take the mickey out of each other? A very good gay friend of mine calls me “a breeder.” It doesn’t offend me. 

Man, I must say I’m so glad I don’t exist in circles where these horrible and stupid terms are common currency, a world in which they actually do come up in normal conversation. Can you imagine? It must be like living inside a pinball machine, constantly banging into things and ringing bells. Imagine trying to crack an even mildly off-colour joke in a bar where these folk congregate? You’d be marched outside and hung with hemp rope.

I don’t care how anyone wants to identify. Just like Dave Chappelle I am absolutely with them on their right to choose. Live and let live. Just don’t impose your will on me, you know? How much must the rest of the world be FORCED to participate with someone else’s search for identity? 

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The wind has been in the woke sails now for years. Yet a few rips, just a few small tears for now, have appeared in those rainbow sails. And it really is their own fault, for pushing too hard. For being, well, slightly ridiculous and just a little bit fascist. It’s no surprise Boris Johnson's government is now introducing a law to force universities to let people air their views, when at the moment they are likely to get cancelled. 

Even former Prime Minister Tony Blair has waded in. In a segment on free speech, he told the Good Morning Britain programme, “It is a minefield, on virtually everything. And if you're a certain generation, you’re not sure what you can say and what you can’t say. Or whether you can make a joke about something or you can’t make a joke about something. So I’ll – ahem – leave it at that.”

Feminists and lesbians – genetic females, and the L in that clunky LGBTQ alphabet soup – have also had enough of a bunch of blokes stealing their gender.  Some are breaking away, so it’ll soon have to be cut back to GBTQ (Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer). As lesbian rights campaigner Sam Esther told RT.com, “Males who identify as transgender or who are referred to as “trans women” are not any kind of woman because “women” are adult human females – a sex, rather than a gender role or set of “feminine” stereotypes that anyone can embrace.” 

I sense the tide is turning against these zealous idiots, slowly. Let's help it along. Join the resistance and make little cuts in those sails, refuse to play the naming game. There’s an old phrase, way way older than this woke bulls**t, and it’s this, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

So, you know what, gender crusaders? You have pushed too hard and you've gone too far, and the rest of us simply must now resist before you push us all off a cliff. I will alway select my own pronouns based on what I can actually see or hear, ‘him’ or ‘her’ – not ‘they’ nor ‘them’. 

Sorry. But I choose to be binary and I don’t give a toss what you identify as. That’s your problem. Not mine.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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