A frightened State Department spokesperson became visibly rattled and refused to either look at the evidence or comment Thursday, when an Associated Press reporter asked him why State Department emails have begun imposing pronouns on their senders – and getting them wrong, in the process.
During a press briefing, Associated Press Writer Matt Lee asked State Department Spokesperson Vedant Patel if he’d seen any emails from his department recently. Suspicious, Patel became overcome by nervous laughter and refused to answer.
Lee, then, asked Patel to pull up and look at one of his emails, without showing it to the reporters. Again, the frightened Patel refused.
Finally, Lee explained to Patel that the State Department email system had begun inserting mandatory pronouns into the “From” section of emails being sent:
“Why? This is not an optional thing; this is something that has just been arbitrarily imposed.
“I understand that people can have their pronouns attached if they wanted them to a signature before, but this is not something that anyone has a choice about, and so I’m just wondering, why and who made this decision.”
“Well, Matt, I have not seen this phenomenon for myself,” Patel – who had just refused to look at his emails when Lee asked him to – replied. Lee offered to show Patel the evidence. But, instead of looking at it, Patel panicked and began to question the reporter.
“Well, I’ve just told you about it, so can you get an explanation?” Lee asked Patel, again, to no avail.
Lee went on to explain that the email system wasn’t just forcing pronouns on the senders – it was even assigning some of them the wrong pronouns (the ultimate sin, in the eyes of the Woke):
“The problem is that a lot of them, or at least some of them so far, as far as I’ve been able to tell, are wrong. They’re giving the wrong pronouns.
“So men are being identified as women and women as men - and this has nothing to do with whatever transgender or anything like that. But, it’s ridiculous.”
Lee tried to reassure the flummoxed spokesperson that he had nothing against people choosing their own pronouns; he just objected to having pronouns forced on people against their will –especially, if they’re wrong.
Instead of answering the question of whether or not he supported the concept of having the email system choose and impose pronouns, Patel simply said he’d “look into” the matter – and left the room.
On Thursday, The Daily Signal independently confirmed Lee’s findings:
“The State Department has added pronouns to employees’ email address lines, The Daily Signal has learned.
“One signature viewed by The Daily Signal inaccurately identified a man with “She/Her/Hers” pronouns. It is unclear exactly when or why the policy was enacted.”
In response to the PR fiasco, Matthew Miller, another State Department spokesperson, posted a tweet admitting the problem and promised that it was being handled by something called the “Bureau of Information Resource Management”:
“The State Department’s Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM) is aware of the recent issues with user profiles on Microsoft Outlook and working to remedy the situation. This change was unintentional and the bureau is working to correct this immediately.”
The State Department became so racked with guilt that it even offered free counseling to anyone whose feelings had been hurt because they'd been misgendered by the department's email system.
What’s more, this isn’t the first time the State Department has delved into the email pronoun policy issue, Fox News reports:
“The State Department has been accused of going ‘woke’ under the Biden administration with its heightened focus on pronouns and LGBTQ+ issues internally. The department previously took heat for celebrating "International Pronouns Day" amid a series of global crises that critics argued better deserved its attention.
"‘Today on International Pronouns Day, we share why many people list pronouns on their email and social media profiles,’ the department tweeted in October 2021.”
In 2022, however, the State Department reportedly declined to publicly celebrate International Pronouns Day.
International Pronouns Day began in 2018 and is celebrated on the third Wednesday in October. Thus, in 2023, it will be held on October 18, as Pronouns.org explains:
“International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities.”
Pronouns.org also says that calling people by their chosen pronouns is a courtesy, not an obligation:
“Do I have to use the pronouns someone wants me to use when I refer to them?
“It's common courtesy and basic to human dignity to do so, like calling someone by their name. Some jurisdictions and organizations have also made it clear that intentionally or repeatedly using the incorrect pronouns could be evidence of discriminatory harassment or a hostile environment.”