University of Colorado Site Declares Misgendering an “Act of Violence”

The University of Colorado (Boulder) is under fire this week for a statement on the “Pride Office” website stating that misgendering people can be considered an “act of violence.”

The guide on pronouns is reportedly the work of students associated with the office and states that “choosing to ignore or disrespect someone’s pronouns is not only an act of oppression but can also be considered an act of violence.”

It is a familiar position for many in higher education. Opposing viewpoints are now routinely declared to be violence. That allows professors and students to rationalize their own act of violence or censorship.

The most vivid example was recently seen at Hunter College, which is part of the CUNY system. Professor Shellyne Rodríguez recently was fired after holding a machete to the neck of a New York Post reporter and threatening to “chop you up.” However, Hunter College decided not to fire her over a prior incident in which she trashed a pro-life table run by students.

Rodríguez spotted students with pro-life material at the college. She was captured on a videotape telling the students that “you’re not educating s–t […] This is f–king propaganda. What are you going to do, like, anti-trans next? This is bulls–t. This is violent. You’re triggering my students.” Even after a remarkably polite student said that he was “sorry,” Rodríguez would have nothing of it. After all, espousing pro-life views is now “violence.” Rodríguez rejected the apology and declared “No you’re not — because you can’t even have a f–king baby. So you don’t even know what that is. Get this s–t the f–k out of here.”

Just a week earlier, a professor stopped another “violent” display of pro-life views in New York. Professor Renee Overdyke of the State University of New York at Albany shut down a pro-life display and then resisted arrest.

At the University of California at Santa Barbara, feminist studies associate professor Mireille Miller Young criminally assaulted pro-life advocates on campus, and later pleaded guilty to the crime. She was defended by faculty and students, including many who said she was “triggered” by a pro-life display and that pro-life advocates were “terrorists” who did not deserve free speech.

It is that easy. You simply declare opposing views “violent” and then you can justify your own violence as a matter of self-defense.

The Colorado controversy does not involve acts of violence over misgendering. Moreover, the guide reflects a deep-felt concern that using someone’s pronouns incorrectly, even unintentionally, leads to “dysphoria, exclusion and alienation.” There are also some positive recommendations in dealing with these difficult situations.

However, this is a university site and there are countervailing free speech costs to characterizing opposing views on pronouns as violence. We have previously discussed how other countries are prosecuting those who “misgender.” Schools in the United States have promised disciplinary action against any misgendering despite some court cases ruling for faculty with opposing views on pronouns. Even passing out “he/his” candies can result in a university investigation.

Conservative sites like Campus Reform have reported on the Colorado controversy and sought clarification.

Universities are often presented with difficult countervailing interests. On one hand, it must maintain a welcoming and tolerant environment. On the other hand, it must protect free speech values, including the right to express unpopular views or values.

Colorado students have every right to declare misgendering as violence in their eyes, even if many of us disagree. However, the university has an obligation to clearly establish that such views are not the policy or approach of the university itself.  The site states “This information was created by students, for students. The university supports an inclusive environment.” It should state that “while the university supports an inclusive environment, the statements on this site are not official statements or policies of the university.” Otherwise, the university should address the free speech implications of declaring misgendering as a violent act.

85 thoughts on “University of Colorado Site Declares Misgendering an “Act of Violence””

  1. Svelaz – once again you demonstrate that you live in a left wing bubble.
    There are not hordes of MAGA supporters roaming the streets of Chicago waiting to douse Jussie Smollet in bleach and short “this is MAGA country”.

    There are not hordes of teriffied straight men who think that talking to someone gay will infect them with the Gay Virus.

    Somewhere int he country there are probably two people who beleive that.
    Just like there are left wing nuts here – that still beleive Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.

    But in the real world – even extreme right wing nuts like Master Cakes John Phillips, simply want not to be FORCED to produce designer cakes advocating for things they do not beleive in.

    In the left revived culture war of the moment the “fight” is not over homosexuality – MOSTLY that is a settled issue.
    Gay people are MOSTLY not propogandizing children, they MOSTLY understand that now that we live in a country where – gays can expect equal rights – actual rights, and where most of us accept that being Gay is not a choice. There is no need for gay people to prosetheltize.

    Teens who are gay – will become gay adults. There is no harm in not propagandizing homosexuality to teens.

    Todays culture war is over the 0.03% of people who are transsexual and the aparently now 20% of teens who have been propagandized into believing they are.
    That left wing nuts look to indoctrinate starting as toddlers.

    But we can work out Transsexuality fairly easily.

    1). Leave the kids alone. They will work it out on their own eventually.
    2). No penis’s in girls restrooms or girls sports.
    3). No drugs or surgery on non-adults without parental permission.
    4). Like all other products – if you sell it, you can be held responsible for fraud in your sales pitch.

    The rest will work itself out. And very few on the right are asking for anything more.

  2. Svelaz
    “if you choose to address them deliberately by their non-preferred pronoun or name you’re giving them a big F—k You! To their face.”
    I am simply not chosing to ignore reality and to create a positive duty towrds another that does not exist.

    But you are correct I am saying “F#$K you” and disrespecting those who beleive they control others, and control reality.

    “THAT is disrespectful and it’s made worse when it’s clearly intentional. That is what is being pointed out.”
    Those who seek to force others are deserving of disrespect – intentional or not.

    “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    Absolutely – I disrespect, you, I am hostile to you and anyone else who believes they are entitled to control the speech, the thoughts, the minds of others.

    You want to dress as you please, have sex with whoever you please, alter your body as you please, inject in your body whatever you please – that is your choice.
    Though I am free to criticize.

    If you seek to impose a positive duty on me or anything else by FORCE – YOU are the problem, it is YOUR intentions that are the problem.

  3. “It would be disrespectful to address you all the time using female pronouns and in feminine terms.”

    You constantly disrespect me – and others – calling me and others things we are not.

    I have repeatedly chastised you for misidentifying me as a conservative – I am not, I am libertarian.

    How is that different from misidentifying me as female ?
    In both cases you are claiming the right to speak of me – or others as you wish.

    According to the left there is nothing different about gender or politics or sexual oreintaiton. According to the left these are all choices.
    If there is no objective foundation for these – or an infinite number of other attributes of each of us, That all of our speech all the time is repugant when ever it refuses to accept whatever the person we are talking with things at that moment is reality.

    Your debating on intellectual quicksand.

    “Especially when the intent is deliberately malicious. Which is the case a lot of times for them.”
    And there we are atlast – with the most critical element of the left wing nut ideology – the demand to be able to judge others by your GUESS as to their intent.

    It is odd that I am required to identify you by whatever pronoun you wish, but you are free to identify me as racist, mallacious, deliberate – which is just another subjective judgment on your part.

    I CHOOSE not to identify as deliberately mallicious – therefore YOU are committing violence against me when you claim that I am. You are misidentifying me, different from MY choice as to my own identity.

    You have two massive flaws in your argument.

    The first is you do not control others. You do not even fully control yourself.
    The 2nd is you do not control reality.

    Your argument requires that you have control of yourself, of others, and of reality.
    It is not possible for that to be true of ONE person – much less 8B.

    I chose to identify as “”your master”. In the future I expect that you will show the simple courtesy of respecting my identity.

  4. “Addressing someone according to what they identify as is all they are asking. They are not demanding respect.”

    You can ask for whatever you want – you are not entitled to receive it.
    Nor has it ever been “courtesy” to give people whatever they ask for.

    If I ask for $1000 from you – is it discourteous for you to refuse ?

    Of course not – my wishes are not commands to others – any world in which they are is tyranny.

    As to your “identity” – your identity belongs to OTHERS – not you.

    Can Hitler demand that we all refer to him as a dog lover – which he actually was ?
    Hilter has no more control over his identity than you over yours.

    You want control over your own life your own “identity” – act as you wish to be identified and hope that people will refer to you as you act.

    Regardless, you are no more entitled to change your pronouns than you are entitled to demand to be called smart or handsome, merely because that is how you indentify.

    In Canada there is a shop teacher wearing enormous prosthetic breasts.
    Is that his identity ? is he sincere ? is he a troll ?

    A bearded man who chose to call himself a woman for a day won a women’s poker tournament.
    Is that his identity ? is he sincere ? is he a troll ? Is he a grifter ?

    A bearded man who chose to call himself a woman for a day won a Canadian weightifting competition breaking numerous women’s world records
    Is that his identity ? is he sincere ? is he a troll ? Is he a grifter ?

    An american male public servant is chosing to call himself a lesbian woman of color
    Is that his identity ? is he sincere ? is he a troll ? Is he a grifter ?

    If there is no subjective test for identity – if each of us has total control of our own identity – then sincerity is irrelevant,
    You do not seem to grasp that YOUR identity is ALWAYS what others determine. You are not a woman because YOU say you are a woman – but because OTHERS do.

    Each of us is individually free to try to influence our identity, the language and culture we exist in. But we control only ourselves – not even that not all that wel, Be do NOT control the perception of others. We do not control the language of others.

    Attempting to do so leads to anarchy and chaos, which likely leads to tyranny.

    You are not merely wrong, you are stupidly and self defeatingly wrong.

    1984 is a warning NOT a howto manual

  5. Svelaz

    “You are disrespectful,”

    I am disrespectful of those who have earned my disrespect. I am constantly disrespectful of you.

    “it’s the aversion to granting the simplest of courtesies that makes it obvious.”
    Since when has it been “the simplest of courtesies to “misgender” people – for as long as we have had human language that language has been gendered.
    It has been gendered male and female and ONLY male and female In many languages nearly every noun has a gnerder – either male or female.

    For all of human existance nearly all people have been called by the name they were born with – without regard for their preference, and have been called by the pronouns they were born with – without regard for preference.

    THAT is the societal norm of thousands and thousands of years. That is what “the simplest of courtesies” demands.

    In all of human history being FORCED to speak what you do not beleive to be true has been considered repugnant, disrepectful and often criminal.

    Some of the darkest periods of human history are4 those where we tortured people to get them to speak what we beleive is true.
    That is not courtesy, that is evil.

    That is the Spanish Inquistion, that is the cultural revolution, that is Stalin, that is the censorship of Galleleo.

    It is not EVER “the simplest of courtesies” to punish others for speech you do not like.

  6. When I was in undergraduate school, there were lots of building and classrooms left unattended during the “off hours”. Sounds like these would be easy targets for a fire at the university of Colorado…

  7. I often wonder if Turley is amused or dismayed by some of the comments his words generate.

  8. When push comes to shove, bullets will take the place of discussions. There is a time for everything under heaven my friends and we are way past the time for friendly talk when communist are trying to destroy America, while laughing in our faces. Now is the time for civil war against them if we are to save our country.

    1. “Now is the time for . . .”

      Plant training 101: Sound folksy. Misspell words. Butcher punctuation.

    1. Well, the genie is out of the bottle as the saying goes. Many people were warning of this sort of thing when gay marriage was being debated, looks like things were a lot better for society as a whole with gays locked in the closet. Sad to say, but true.

  9. ““[C]hoosing to ignore or disrespect someone’s pronouns . . . can also be considered an act of violence.”

    You can call whipped cream “motor oil.” But that doesn’t mean that it will lubricate your engine.

    This word fantasy is particularly destructive. It is an endorsement of the barbarian notion that physical force is the means of settling disputes.

    1. When push comes to shove, bullets will take the place of discussions. There is a time for everything under heaven my friends and we are way past the time for friendly talk when communist are trying to destroy America, while laughing in our faces. Now is the time for civil war against them if we are to save our country.

  10. I use constantly and randomly shifting pronouns, much like Geordi and Data rotating the Enterprise’s shield nutations so the Borg can’t penetrate. I might be a male when someone starts a sentence and rotate through 60 genders before they reach the end. I guess that means I’m now entitled to just shoot everybody who tries to speak to me, at least on that campus.

  11. Colorado students have every right to declare misgendering as violence in their eyes, even if many of us disagree.

    That’s a bit simplistic – like saying, “Colorado students have every right to declare that the mere existence of Jews is violence that must be defended against violently, even if many of us disagree.”

    Maybe they have the legal right under the First Amendment to say that, but that does not give them any other kind of right, such as a moral or philosophical right, to tell such destructive lies.

    1. “I said ‘jew’ first, I win!”

      You realize this entire LGBT thing is jewish led right? Time to wake up goy.

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