The New Year is in full swing, and with it new laws and regulations carefully designed to enrich the lives of Americans who are insane.
Because the essence of our approach to life together in our degenerate age is that, for every problem humanoids may encounter, there is a potential law that could solve it, we may expect the federal and state law codes to grow infinitely. If someone somewhere thinks the wrong thoughts—say, that there are but two sexes, and everything else in between is an aberration of nature—then those thoughts must be corrected, and the thought criminal punished.
That’s now the case in the City That Never Sleeps, whose insomnia is well earned as the reward of moral degeneracy. Thanks to the NYC Commission on Human Rights, as of 2016, your female employee may sashay into your office and demand that, from now on, she is a he, or a ze, or a hir. (So ridiculous is that last nonword that even the left-leaning Apple computer on which I am typing this editorial attempted a hate crime, in the form of autocorrect.) To ignore an employee’s or a tenant’s or—yes—a customer’s request to be called what he is not is, according to the commission, a human-rights violation. Every Homo (sapiens) has the universal right to be called by hir “preferred name and pronoun.”
Any semi-sentient being in the Big Apple can already change his name legally, and have that reflected on his state-issued I.D. But that’s irrelevant. This newly discovered Right to Name & Pronoun, emanating from Hell’s Kitchen and its head chef, is not dependent on a driver’s license, or a “court-ordered name change.” It is purely a product of the will.
There is nothing in the commission’s guidelines to suggest that any gender-confused person couldn’t demand a different name and pronoun every day of the week, or perhaps even within the same conversation. If you think that is far-fetched, I will remind you of what we’re talking about to begin with.
In fact, “Gender Non-Conforming” is a category recognized by the commission’s guidelines. Who are you to say what that means, at any given moment of the day?
Gender Newspeak is only one of several categories of human-rights obligations defined by this document. Others involve the duty to offer enthusiastically whatever bathroom or public locker room an erstwhile man or woman desires—and private, single-user stalls do not count, if the Gender Whatever person wishes to see and be seen in all hir glory. (Clearly, Judd Apatow’s reboot of Porky’s is imminent.) There is also the obligation not to engage in “sex stereotyping,” which NYC refers to as any pressure “to conform to stereotypical norms of masculinity or femininity.” And let us not hesitate to take a whiff of the newly minted duty not to enforce “grooming standards based on sex or gender.” If the ladies at the office are expected to wear brassieres, and Tyrone, who today prefers to be called Kimberly, wants to wear a brassiere, you may not stop him/her/hir from doing so. By the way, you are likely in violation for requiring the ladies to wear bras to begin with.
Penalties for upholding common decency are capped at $125,000 per violation, provided said violation was, whoops, unintentional. If the violation includes whatever these bozos can argue to be “willful, wanton, or malicious conduct”—insisting on saying “yes, ma’am”? operating a newsstand that sells the magazine you hold in your hands?—the cap shoots up to 250 g’s.
It seems unlikely that such standards could be enforced with any consistency. But should New Yorkers be willing to risk it? The New York Times celebrated Mayor De Blasio’s appointment of tough-as-nails prosecutor Carmelyn P. Malalis as head of the commission, describing her as “the daughter of Filipino immigrants, [who] is married to a woman from Ethiopia and has two biracial daughters.” To the tune of $10.3 million for FY 2016, she is empowered by the city to deploy her own investigators and prosecutors, who argue before her own court (the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, OATH), which gives her a recommendation concerning which she makes the final decision. Any appeals may be considered by the New York state supreme court.
A man who claims he’s a woman is mentally disturbed, diabolically possessed, pulling a fast one, or some combination of the above. A morally sane society will treat or punish such a person. Far from demonstrating compassion for these individuals, NYC is enabling, encouraging, and establishing their moral malady. And instead of protecting society from sociopathic behavior, the Big Apple vows to punish those who refuse to play along. Happy New Year.
Will your city or state be next? Or will the federal government be forced to step in and update our morality en bloc?
Aaron D. Wolf (1973-2019) was Chronicles' executive editor. His writings have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. He was a frequent guest on Issues, Etc. (Lutheran Public Radio) and The Paul Youngblood Show (nta.fm), and has appeared on several other radio programs, including The Tom Clark Show (Wisconsin Public Radio) and Extension 720 With Milt Rosenberg (WGN).