As trans madness has infested public schools all over the country, a focus of particular controversy and disgust has been the graphic novel Gender Queer, which despite containing (or more likely, because it contains) explicit depictions of oral sex and masturbation, has been placed in public school libraries from sea to LGBTQIA sea. But there is a great deal of pushback on this book in particular, and so the media and cultural elites apparently determined that their gender confusion agenda needed a bit of shoring up.
Time, which once published actual news, was happy to help on Wednesday with a glowing profile of Gender Queer author Maia Kobabe, which it advertised on Twitter in Brave New English: “TIME spoke to ‘Gender Queer’ author and illustrator Maia Kobabe on about eir work, the efforts to restrict access to eir writing, and what ey make of the current cultural moment.” Eir? Ey? Eh?
Time is supposed to be an English-language publication, but like the terms “man” and “woman,” that doesn’t mean what it used to. Apparently, the unlucky few who actually follow Time on Twitter are just supposed to know what “eir” and “ey” mean, and the once-respected magazine’s readiness to use these nonce words is just another signpost pointing the way to our cultural disintegration. Who needs the AP Stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style, to say nothing of Strunk and White, when we’re just making up words now and using them as if they were common and known to everyone? Is Time going to give us an article next week on the joys of dalg, glidj, and blimlimlim? Oh yes indeed, I admit it: I lifted those words from Curious George Learns the Alphabet. Apparently, Time, which once featured the portentous and weighty prose of the towering anti-Communist Whittaker Chambers, is now publishing writing that is on the level of a monkey learning his ABC’s.
This madness infuses Time’s hagiographical profile of Kobabe as well. “In the 2019 illustrated graphic memoir, Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, explores eir process of coming out as nonbinary and asexual.” All right. So Kobabe “uses e/em/eir pronouns,” but apparently she and Time both believe that it is incumbent upon us to enter into her world of fantasy and delusion and to play pretend with her. As it happens, neither Kobabe nor Time made up these arbitrary and meaningless pronouns; they’re apparently known as the Spivak pronouns, after a mathematician named Michael Spivak who used them in a book he (yes) wrote. Spivak himself, however, denied having originated them, and no one seems sure exactly who did. The only thing that matters as far as Kobabe and Time are concerned is that we all play along and use them.
In the Time interview, Kobabe insists that her book, despite all the controversy it has aroused, is “unbelievably tame.” However, there’s tame and there’s tame: “it does include the topics you mentioned, it does touch on masturbation, sex toys, and sexual health.” But tamely! She adds that “my opinion is that these things are part of life. These are things that pretty much everyone will encounter in some form or other in their life. And I think encountering a difficult subject, in the form of literature, is just about the safest way that you can encounter something that you might find challenging. This is a book about my life. And these are things that happened in my life.” All right. The question at hand, however, is whether exposing prepubescent children to such matters could cause them damage that could last into their adult lives. That, however, is inconceivable to Maia Kobabe and Time magazine, and they never even come close to considering it.
Maia Kobabe’s pronouns are actually emblematic of her entire message. They don’t signify anything. They’re arbitrary and fabricated. The only meaning they have is as a repudiation of the actual English language and of the male/female binary that has been the one constant of the entire history of the human race. Just as “eir” and “ey” don’t mean anything, Maia Kobabe and Time would have us believe that biology doesn’t mean anything and that the reality of the human person can be ignored, denied, and freely remade into anything the individual wants to be.
Reality is going to kick in sooner or later. The English language, in fact, is infinitely more malleable than human biology, and both will have their day in court, despite the best efforts of Maia Kobabe and Time magazine. Many of those who are jumping on the pronoun/trans bandwagon now will eventually experience reality reasserting itself and come to regret bitterly the choices they have made. No accumulation of glowing Time profiles can possibly change that.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 25 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.