A Washington Post reporter made herself the pronoun police Monday after Bruce Jenner declared himself a woman after having a 10-hour operation to feminize his face, breasts implants and other hormone therapies.
Bruce now calls himself “Caitlyn.”
And if you know what’s good for you as a member of the nation’s media, you will refer to him as a “she.”
The aptly named Washington Post reporter, Caitlin Dewey, is trying to ensure as much with a newly created Twitter bot that catches any offenders who may be calling Caitlyn Jenner a “he” instead of a “she.”
It’s call “misgendering” and according to Dewey, that’s a big no-no. We must all follows AP’s rules. Even AP must follow its own rules, says Dewey.
The Twitter bot works under the handle @she_not_he and catches anyone who commits the so-called crime or “error” of “misgendering.”
A excerpt from the story:
“Misgendering,” as this practice is known is the LGBT community, isn’t just a style error in violation of AP’s own rules — it’s a stubborn, long-time hurdle to transgender acceptance and equality, a fundamental refusal to afford those people even basic grammatical dignity. In fact, almost any time a transgender person is in the news, online errors like this run rampant. And because I cover the Internet, which is nothing if not a merry-go-round of cyclical hysteria, I knew that with Jenner, it would happen again.
So far the bot has caught “CBS This Morning” and even the AP. Caitlin (the one who works for WaPo) called the AP’s use of “he” a “big whoopsie.”
Many unknown Twitter accounts readily apologized when verbally spanked by the bot. “You right my bad,” said one. And this: “Corrected it in my next tweet. Sorry!”
Seriously. Apologizing to a robot?
So far, most publications around town seem to be abiding by the gender rule put forth by the transgender community.
The Hill uses “her” for Caitlyn Jenner. The Washington Free Beacon also plans to go with “her” if need be, although there is no official mandate.
“There’s no policy, but we’ve referred to Chelsea Manning as ‘her’ and will probably do the same if we find reason to mention Caitlyn,” said Free Beacon Editor-in-Chief Matthew Continetti.
At The Weekly Standard, the use of “she” and “he” varies as it pertains to transgenders. In one case they’ve used “his/her.” Another story refers to a little boy named “George” as a “he” even though he thinks of himself as a girl.
BuzzFeed, a site with its own LGBT section, proudly uses “her” for Caitlyn Jenner. A sample headline: “Caitlyn Jenner Makes Her Debut On The Cover Of Vanity Fair.”
Caitlyn Becker, a correspondent with HuffPost Live, wrote that she’s “proud as hell” to share her name with “her.”
You’ve been warned. If you commit the offense, get ready for public humiliation because the @she_not_he bot might scold you like this:
“Beepbopbeep! It’s she, not he.”