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Boulder, CO - June 10, 2021: University of Colorado Boulder, CU Boulder logo and welcome signShutterstock

(LifeSiteNews) — Over the past several years, a frequent response I have gotten to one of my columns has been disbelief. Is that really true? someone will respond on social media. You’ve got to be exaggerating. This doesn’t irritate me in the slightest, as many of the stories I’ve had to write in the last half-decade would have been considered insane circa 2010 and downright unbelievable around the year 2000. Despite that, progressives carry on as if what we are seeing unfold around us is not only normal, but good. 

The complete colonization of academia by the transgender movement, for example, has been wild to witness. The norms of millennia have been replaced by the tenets of gender ideology, and now officials at the University of Colorado Boulder have announced, in their “pronouns guide,” that people should assume those they meet are transgender unless explicitly told otherwise. According to the guide: 

Sometimes people just don’t want to share their pronouns and that’s fine. Usually it’s safe to use they/them/theirs unless that person tells you otherwise. It is never safe to assume someone’s gender and living a life where people will naturally assume the correct pronouns for you is a privilege that not everyone experiences.

Remember “white privilege”? Well, “pronoun privilege” is so much more potent. If you grew up being called “he” and “him” and that never facilitated a crisis because you needed “ze” and “zir” (pronouns the university endorses) hadn’t been made up yet, then check your privilege. The pronoun guide (which is a thing now) was created by the university’s “Pride Office” (which is also a thing now), staffed by people hired to deal with all things LGBT at Colorado’s largest university of more than 36,000 students. The university actually offers cross-sex hormone treatments and “sex changes” in case you’d like to be castrated while getting your degree and features “all-gender” restrooms and locker rooms. 

The pronoun guide offers indispensable advice like this: “Ze is pronounced like Americans pronounce the letter ‘z,’ like ‘zee. Hir is pronounced like ‘here’ and hirs is similar, but with an ‘s’ on the end. There are many, many more than these out in the world. These are simply the most common. If you want to see more, Google is your best friend.” Not using these pronouns if they are requested, the guide warns, “is not only an act of oppression can also be considered an act of violence.” A spokesperson from the university also warned that “misgendering people, whether intentionally or not, can cause harm.”

If you’ve never heard of “ze” and “zir” because you’re too busy getting ready for classes and haven’t boned up on the pronouns guide yet and you meet zir and don’t know what pronouns to use, you may be guilty of perpetrating violence and causing harm. That’s not according to me—that’s right from the Pride Office, which now runs the show. University is more stressful these days than it used to be. 

And to those of you who are thinking that campuses are always cults of crazy, I would remind you that we all live on campus now. This isn’t just universities—our governments have the same policy. And if it seems insane to you that a public university released a guide telling students to assume those that they meet are transgender unless they are told otherwise, I remind you that this policy isn’t nearly as insane as other proposals. One trans activist, for example, recently suggested that because not all children have chosen their gender yet, we should put all kids on puberty blockers until they’ve worked out what their gender is. 

That is probably a bridge too far, but I’m glad I don’t live in California anyway.  

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.