Have you ever been in that situation where you really want to know what someone’s pronouns are, but you feel awkward about asking? Probably not. I mean, very few people outside the fashion and entertainment industries ever have, but that hasn’t stopped Walmart from solving the problem. The retailer has introduced buttons for workers that proudly display their pronouns.
The buttons, which are available for Walmart employees to purchase, are the wokest of flair for people who aren’t satisfied just doing the bare minimum. Four buttons have come out so far: one that says “He/Him/His,” one that says “She/Her/Hers,” one that says “They/Them/Theirs,” and one that says “Ask me my pronouns.”
So, a couple things on this right off the bat. Do we really need all three pronouns listed? Does anyone identify as He/She/Theirs? And if so, doesn’t Walmart need more buttons? What about this “Ask me my pronouns” button? I mean, if I’m in the mood to buy some graphic T-shirts and cheap beef jerky, do I really want to interrogate the nice old man (sorry, I shouldn’t assume) by the door about his gender identifiers? I don’t want to do that.
This is corporate pandering at its saddest and most desperate. Walmart often finds itself in the crosshairs of progressives like Bernie Sanders. They love to talk about the billions the owners are worth and how some of their employees are on public assistance. Does Walmart really think it can win over these naysayers with trans-glorifying buttons it sells to its employees?
At the heart of the trans issue is the fact that institutions terribly afraid of blowback from activists have taken the path of least resistance and buckled to demands to deny biological sex as the foundation for gender. Why have they done this? Because trans activists and their allies are the squeaky wheel. Those of us who do not believe that men can become women and the other way around don’t threaten boycotts, the other side does.
This is very much how progressive concepts slide into our culture without votes, without town halls, without debates, but simply by the fiat of corporate boards that want to avoid controversy more than anything. But in engaging in these ridiculous antics, the corporatists don’t even understand how absurd their efforts are.
Why stop at pronouns? Why not have black employees wear a button that says “Black,” like Stanley in “The Office.” Short employees could have “height-challenged” buttons, and lesbians an “I like girls” button. Why not fans of Nickleback, furries, Lutherans — where do we draw the line?
This sad genuflection to progressive mores is not going to win Walmart any progressive fans. Lefties will still view the Waltons as vain overlords of a broken capitalist system. But it also won’t stop most people who understand what gender really is, because it’s quite obvious from seeking deep discounts. No, those people will just roll their eyes and get on with his, hers, or theirs shopping.