I’m a noun and so are you

Sylvia Shawcross

I’m afraid to go out there now. In the world I mean. Not because it is getting more and more violent or because of the germs or anything, but because I’m afraid someone is going to ask me what my pronouns are. And truth is, I haven’t got a bloody clue anymore.

I just read an article where a school in California is officially teaching in their curriculum about nine different genders (agender, androgynous, bigender, cisgender, gender-nonconforming, gender fluid, gender questioning, nonbinary, and transgender) and ten different romantic and sexual orientations (androsexual, skoliosexual, demisexual, gynesexual, polysexual, and asexual, as well as heteroromantic, gyneromantic, homoromantic, androromantic, and skolioromantic.)

This is getting confusing. I don’t know about you but I had to drag out the on-line dictionary. Now I’m trying to figure out how are we to match our pronouns to all this?

We’re going to have to sign up for a pronoun Ap. (Now there’s an idea for an enterprising young Ap programmer actually…)

I know I’m supposed to know all this but I’m absolutely convinced we all have a finite amount of space in our brain which I’m carefully saving up for retirement and this whole thing was just getting entropically complicated and I’m sorry to say I gave up after Zer and Zem.

I mean, if I was trying to be serious about it all I’d have to ask which pronouns? The Personal, Objective, Possessive, Reflexive, Intensive, Indefinite, Demonstrative, Interrogative, Relative or even Archaic? I mean which one do you mean for heavens sakes!!!

Leave me alone! I am not my pronoun! I’m a noun, dammit!

Am I allowed to be a noun?

I’m not sure anymore. I figure we’re really all a bunch of nouns looking for a verb and being sidelined and bamboozled by adjectives so we never get to the object. We’re nouns all dressed up in adjectives for a party we never get to attend.

It’s a brutal world isn’t it. And somewhat complicated. I mean if pro-nouns matter, are there anti-nouns? Maybe antifa-nouns. I guess the media would be the Ad-verbs and… yeah okay… taking the pun too far again but you get my drift: we are nouns in a complicated world.

I’m not sure what that has to do with anything but there it is. And I make no apologies for it.

I’m not sure how it happened but now the government seems somewhat consumed with these gender issues. I was just remembering a time here in Canada… was it so long ago? When Trudeau said something like “The government has no place in the bedrooms of the nation.”

I forget why now. But that wasn’t Justin, but Pierre Elliott, then Prime Minister and father of our now Prime Minister.

The thing is, it used to be we were about other things besides gender. It is almost hard to remember what those were now. But that I suppose is just what happens with time—Pendulums swing like pendulums do. (You now have this ear worm. See how I did that. You’re welcome.)

Now, speaking of language and gender I have a bone to pick with the powers that be. So many of these power-brokering controlling types are always doing things to transform the world as we know it that it worries me more when they don’t do things. And one of the things they appear NOT to be doing is creating genderless objects.

See, I live in Quebec, Canada and they are driving us to division again over language laws*** as if we all were about to be enlisted to re-enact the 1759 battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City where the French lost the grand battle to the English. So it would have to be re-enacted to a different outcome (which is the only way a re-enactment might be allowed.)

The powers that be have determined that language is what this part of the world can be divided over. (Little do they know it is actually who makes the best Poutine.)

Nowadays the English and French have started to get along quite well here in the greenery of the Belle Province. This tended to happen indeed once people decided to ignore their government for the most part and the generations coming up were pretty much bilingual and our immigration policy was bringing in people who spoke something like five different languages regularly.

We realized we kind of looked rather pathetic squabbling over two languages after that. Most of us anyway.

But in any event, the problem is, while they are driving us all to distraction with French-only policies they seem to have forgotten that French is one of the most gender-racist languages we have.

Objects can either be masculine or feminine. People can only be male or female. The “le and the la” are the lay/les of the land so to speak. The “ils and the elles” are the ills and the hells of everyday life. (Alright, I tried punning there again. Rather badly. Maybe I should stop that….)

Anyway, this is absolutely shocking. There is no way in tarnation that if they really do decide to re-enact the battle of the plains of Abraham that the LGBTQIA2S+ paraders can participate and that is very upsetting. It’s about human rights. And dignity. And freedom. And inclusion.

Except maybe for English speaking Quebecers.

Who knows why this mind-boggling oversight is happening except perhaps those who control seem to have one-tracked minds. They can only do one thing at a time and they’re so busy dividing people they’ve forgotten how to amalgamate things. They can do language or they can do gender but they can’t do both. Probably because they are funded by different departments and never the twain shall meet.

I wonder if the English would have a court case arguing that the province is forcing them to speak in a possibly misogynistic language and it is detrimental to the spirit and goals of the LGBTQIA2S+ community?

I suppose, in the spirit of the New Abnormal we could just cancel the French language altogether for not being politically correct. That would, of course, make me and a lot of other people very sad but that’s what we usually do now, isn’t it?

The truth is, I haven’t actually looked this up to see if they are addressing this grievous grammatical human rights issue. For all I know they may have changed everything and everyone to plural which will make gender identification just that more difficult I suppose.

I personally think we should all go back to grunting and howling since it is all just noise anyway and nobody is really listening to anybody else anymore. Nor should they. In this ghastly world.

Also, the best poutine is made by Carlos in Masham, Quebec, Canada.

Sylvia Shawcross is a writer who may or may not believe a single thing she writes. That’s the great thing about writing humour. Everybody should try it. Just a warning however, that might involve dragging yourself out of the pit of despair about the state of the world and the way some people are and a lot of coffee and more than a few prayers in a desperate search for one small inkling of a funny thing in the bleak and unforgiving landscape of our miserable downtrodden existence as humans. Well, at least that’s how it is for her. Also, a reminder, even though you are only a noun in this world, there are other nouns. There are trees that have leaves that flutter in the wind. There are oceans drifting on shores. There are children laughing and the touch of a cheek by someone who loves, loved or may one day love you. Even the ubiquitous rainbow after a storm exists. That is there for all of us. It ain’t all bad. There is also chocolate.


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