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Friday, August 23, 2013

NPR Says It Will Continue to Refer to Chelsea Manning as "He" Until Her Gender Is "Actually Physically" Changed

Posted by Paul Constant on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Christine Haughney at the New York Times reports:

National Public Radio will continue for now to refer to Private Manning as “he,” according to a spokeswoman, Anna Bross. “Until Bradley Manning’s desire to have his gender changed actually physically happens, we will be using male-related pronouns to identify him,” she said.

What the fuck, NPR? This is some draconian bullshit, right here. Gender is not just physical. And anyway, the content of Chelsea Manning's underwear is none of NPR's business. Is an editorial board going to demand photographs of her crotch before they agree to switch pronouns? I can understand some news organizations having some difficulty yesterday as they transitioned from using "he" to "she" with Chelsea Manning. An announcement of this scale has never happened before, and I don't think it's happened to these kinds of reporters—the ones covering breaking national and international news (thanks to Chaz Bono, entertainment and gossip reporters are actually ahead of the curve on this issue). But for a whole organization to demand proof of a physical change in gender before they respect someone's wishes is more than just institutional ignorance; it's outright aggression.

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