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Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:11 PM

 

Why Is It So Hard to Call Chelsea Manning ‘She’?



The morning after the WikiLeaker formally known as Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in military prison, the convict issued a public statement: "As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am female." Chelsea is seeking hormone therapy and has one request: "that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility)."

Most news outlets who wrote about that request denied it. "He intends to live out the remainder of his life as a woman," both Today and USA Today reported. "Bradley Manning says he wants to live as a woman," the Associated Press announced. CNN, ABC News, the Boston Globe, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, Politico, the Telegraph, the Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times* used masculine pronouns. The Washington Post only used proper nouns, a tactic the Times used last year in a profile of transgender performer Justin Vivian Bond, who prefers the pronoun v. Reuters, the Guardian, and the Daily Mail used female pronouns, as did Daily Intelligencer.

Why is it so hard for people to type an extra s when they write about Manning? We updated our nomenclature for "Snoop Lion" and "the Artist Formerly Known as Prince." "Ali Lohan" and "Lil' Bow Wow" became "Aliana" and "Bow Wow" to reflect personal growth. We accept typographical requests from branded products like iPhone, PowerPoint, and eHarmony — and from branded humans like Ke$ha, A$AP Rocky, and 'N Sync. (The last being unusual even without the asterisk.) The idiosyncrasies of capitalism, apparently, are more compelling than a human's self-professed gender.

So why not pronouns? Particularly when the change is one that won't even set off spell-checker? Even if you cling to the belief that a word is not real until a certain number of dictionaries endorse it, she isn't a linguistic problem. It's only a problem for those who read it and balk, because they aren't used to it in the context of this particular person.

Squeamishness, then, is the obvious answer. But Manning's public gender identity is admittedly complex; today's press release arrived on stationery labeled "Bradley E. Manning," presumably owing to the "official mail" name caveat. Since the military still refers to her as "Bradley," masculine nomenclature has an air of authority. Similarly, editors who prize consistency in style and prose seem unwilling to accept change, preferring to waste precious column inches typing out "Private Manning" in every sentence if it saves them from making a decision. ("Bradley Manning" and "he" are also more recognizable in this context.)

More: http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/08/why-is-it-so-hard-to-call-chelsea-manning-she.html

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Is It So Hard to Call Chelsea Manning ‘She’? (Original post)
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 OP
hrmjustin Aug 2013 #1
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #3
hrmjustin Aug 2013 #4
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #5
myrna minx Aug 2013 #6
hrmjustin Aug 2013 #7
Marrah_G Aug 2013 #9
hrmjustin Aug 2013 #10
Marrah_G Aug 2013 #13
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #14
hrmjustin Aug 2013 #16
LittleBlue Aug 2013 #21
hrmjustin Aug 2013 #23
hrmjustin Aug 2013 #18
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #24
NuclearDem Aug 2013 #2
snooper2 Aug 2013 #8
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #12
TBF Aug 2013 #11
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #15
hrmjustin Aug 2013 #20
TBF Aug 2013 #26
Posteritatis Aug 2013 #30
RebelOne Aug 2013 #17
La Lioness Priyanka Aug 2013 #19
bunnies Aug 2013 #22
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #25
winter is coming Aug 2013 #28
Rex Aug 2013 #27
jeff47 Aug 2013 #29

Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:14 PM

1. Being on MIRT we see all hidden posts when the TOS buttons were clicked. It is getting very ugly and

I am sick of it.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:45 PM

3. I keep expecting these to be new accounts

 

but they've been posting here for years. Very ugly.

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:47 PM

4. The MIRT and the admins have been busy removing these bigots.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:55 PM

5. Good for you and the admins.

 

It's times like this that I miss the Meta forum. (Though it would be.very ugly.in there right now.)

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:56 PM

6. Thanks. It's been an upsetting couple of days. I can't imagine how MIRT members must feel.

It must be exhausting.

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Response to myrna minx (Reply #6)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:57 PM

7. It is infuriating.

Some people sign up to say nasty things.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:04 PM

9. Those are not the ones that upset me

I know there are assholes on the internet. The ones that really bother me are the long time members.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:06 PM

10. They should know better. Someone that I like said something nasty yesterday and it broke my heart.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #10)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:17 PM

13. yup- very sad

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #10)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:18 PM

14. I should check to see if the ons who was joking about

 

providing Chelsea Manning fuzzy bunny slippers is still here. (Actually, he wasn't joking.)

Have any long time posters had their posting privilages revoked over this?

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #16)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:37 PM

21. He was absolutely vile

Openly trolling for months and nothing done.

If anything these debates expose them for what they really are.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #21)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:37 PM

23. He will be back. They always try to come back.

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Reply #14)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:28 PM

18. This just happened. He was a low poster but he has been here awhile.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #18)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:38 PM

24. Those are both new.

 

I meant posters who have been here for years.

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:16 PM

2. Some people just haven't adjusted yet.

The rest are assholes.

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:00 PM

8. FYI, nobody changed shit for Snoop Dog...he will always be Snoop Dog

no matter what he says...

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #8)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:11 PM

12. That's because Snoop flies just under tbe radar.

 

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:07 PM

11. I was on a jury yesterday

for a post in which there was an abundance of "s/he". Fucking bigot ... when someone calls herself Chelsea and clarifies that she is a woman your best bet is to use "she". Yet the jury was 5-1 to leave it and comments included things like "too sensitive".

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Response to TBF (Reply #11)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:21 PM

15. I hate juries like that.

 

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Response to TBF (Reply #11)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:35 PM

20. We banned one last night for calling Chelsea an IT.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #20)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:42 PM

26. Unbelievable ...

thanks to you and MIRT for the work you are doing. It's not an easy job.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #20)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:33 PM

30. Uuuuugh. (nt)

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:26 PM

17. I am sorry, and you may flame me for this,

but she is really a he, and until he has a total sex change, I will always think of Manning as a male.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #17)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:29 PM

19. do you normally ask to see people's dicks or vaginas to decide what gender to refer to them as?

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #19)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:37 PM

22. I think Im going to start calling them the...

Genital Inspection Brigade. It is, after all, the ONLY way they know what pronoun to use. Whaddaya think?

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #17)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:43 PM

25. Was JohnnyReb already taken?

 

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Reply #25)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:45 PM

28. Yes, actually.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #17)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:45 PM

27. Well there you go, you will always think of Manning as a male.

How exactly are you going to know when she has a sex change operation?

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #17)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:22 PM

29. Were you planning to sleep with Manning?

No?

Then why do you give a damn about her genitalia?

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