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. Are we surprised? Boulder used to be referred to as “The Republic of Boulder” but now Colorado has been californicated and the state is now The Republic of Colorado. Epoch Times has a piece that’s must (scary) read: How Flipping Colorado Blue Has Become Democrats Blueprint For the Rest of America. It’s a population density thing–the entire Front Range plus three or four resort counties–can outvote the rest of the state which is conservative. Colorado is not alone in that phenomenon. And that’s the blueprint to flip states like Utah and onward.

  2. And, it would appear from the Bud Lite and Target situations, that the majority of Americans disagree with the ivy tower ideologies of these unrelated few. Perhaps we need a boycott of unversities and their funding? I consider this type of legislation “hate speech” against those of us with traditional values – you know – the values of our founding fathers and most who have sacrificed for this nation.

  3. Perhaps these college children could start with basics like nouns, verbs, diagraming sentences. It might help with their education. Make them well-rounded.

  4. Just because a guy wants to pretend to be a woman, doesn’t mean that we have to pretend with him. They keep trying to redefine everything hoping that, after repeating it enough times, it magically becomes true. It doesn’t. Thank you, Jonathan, for an excellent article.

  5. Calling innocent comments that hurt someone’s feelings an “act of violence” is a reprehensible terror tactic to repress free speech and should be ignored, just as is the absurd cudgel word “Islamophobia.” Fight this pernicious nonsense.

  6. Male and female students who reject being referred to as “cis-male” or “cis-female” because they are simply male or female should claim that referring to them as “cis” is also an act of violence. What goes around, comes around…

    1. Yes, push back at them with their own tactics. Racial priorities are racist acts and we should take them to court to stop their use of race as a cudgel against most americans.

  7. MISGENDERING IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER. For much of the world it is self evident that there are 2 sexes and 2 genders, with occasional and rare genetic abnormalities. The transgender universe is an alternate and somewhat insane reality. Best treated with medication, counseling (lots of counseling), and a certain amount of patience but limited. Delusion may be an even better fit for the diagnosis. You know that they cannot really defend their delusion when they secret children off to indoctrination clubs, classes, and altered science courses to proselytize their warped world. Humanity has so many problems to deal with that this needs to be crushed and placed on the dung pile of useless philosophies like flat earths, earth centric universes, marxism, chelation therapy, Lysenkoism, and other crackpot beliefs. Enough said that it could only really survive on college campuses and corporate board rooms.
    Sort of reminds me of “Sticks and stones may break my bones….”

    1. GEB,
      Well said.
      I do consider wokeism a mental illness requiring mental health intervention. Pandering to their delusions is not helpful. The sooner we point out their delusions, get them to admit they have a problem is the first step in getting them help.

  8. Please stand by for the long winded diatribes from ‘the ususl suspects’ in the support and defense of these maladjusted academic miscreant social justice engineers and their War of The New Religion. ‘Divergent’ comes to your neighborhood.

  9. Why is the term “misgendering” appropriate when a male is referred to as he and a female as she? This is a reasonable use of standard English. The woke community continually uses language for the purpose of putting everyone else in a defensive position. The first step in dealing with them is to refuse to accept their terms for the debate. Using pronouns by reference to sex rather than subjective feelings is not “misgendering.”

  10. There is only one God, two genders and only women can get pregnant.

    Everything else is a satanic freak show!

    But if merely saying “I’m a girl” will put me in close physical proximity (sans clothes) with Jennifer Connelly, where do sign up?

    I guess I just committed a violent felony with the first 2 paragraphs and with today’s madness I’m hopeful for the 2nd.

    Pronouns: she/hers

  11. If you are ” triggered” by a “microaggression” and need a ” safe space”, you are a PU**Y. Grow the F**K UP!!!!

  12. Transgenders are the new saints of the alt-Left. No one dare criticize them, everyone wants their child to become one, no expense must be spared in glorifying them.

  13. It seems to me that the ones insisting on using identifying pronouns are the ones who are misgendering. And they are doing violence to our collective sanity.

  14. Where is the evidence of the violence?

    Is there a hospital wing in Boulder with stacks of broken and dead trannies?

    If you submit to the rationale that a man can be a woman, how can you conclude a non-violent act is a not violent act?

    Once you have submitted to the former, you are owned.

      1. That is the next step, “oppression” > “violence” > “terrorism” > lock your ass up for not conforming to the “outrage du jour.”

        That latter will be evident via your thought crimes past and present, and maybe even future…

        F the left, they offer nothing but authoritarianism via anti-intellectualism.

  15. I would hope the university can understand they would be violating the human rights by not allowing people to make mistakes or respectively decline to enter into another persons fantasy that will probably pass as they become adults.

  16. I find myself frequently referring to a comment by Eric R. Weinstein, made on Feb 8, 2022:

    “Earth has now, collectively, gone mad.
    I think I mean that literally.”

    I’m no psychologist or philosopher, but it seems likely to me that the COVID pandemic caused a large class of people to first become hysterical or unstable, then they went crazy with foolish causes they seem ready to die for.

    It’s insane and it most definitely is “mad”.

    1. I agree, but I think it was three things that caused the madness: 1. the election of Donald Trump 2. the Covid-19 pandemic 3. the death of Saint George of Floyd.

    2. Yup. It seems all throughout Europe it’s the same. America is leading the way into the abyss. History shows us that after every major pandemic there have been economic crises followed by wars. This will be no different. Perhaps even worse given the frightening technology we now possess.

  17. If misgendering is “violence”, then these people haven’t lived.

    And have no idea what is coming down the road of life.

  18. “choosing to ignore or disrespect someone’s pronouns is not only an act of oppression but can also be considered an act of violence.”

    This insanity is getting stupid.
    I do not care who the candidate is, I am voting Republican in 2024.

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