Putting an End to the ‘Pronoun Game’: Pentagon Reverses Gender Pronoun Policy Amid Mounting Criticism
The Pentagon recently retracted a directive that demanded the exclusive use of gender-neutral pronouns in specific award citations. This policy reversal followed significant public and political reaction.
Initially, the “gender-neutral” pronouns rule was quietly introduced, but it stirred controversy, leading to its prompt review. The unfolding of these events presents a significant episode in the ongoing discourse around gender identity and language in official domains.
The Initiation of “Change 6”
On September 19th, the Pentagon introduced “Change 6”, a modification to the Manual of Military Decorations and Awards that mandated gender-neutral pronouns for six joint awards.
This adjustment was not widely publicized initially but was later revealed by the Heritage Foundation, triggering a series of reactions from various quarters. The mandate affected the language used in official military award citations.
The Heritage Foundation’s Revelation
The Heritage Foundation uncovered that award citations, including that of Gen. Mark Milley, were revised to comply with the new pronoun usage. The change required the use of “themself” instead of gender-specific pronouns.
Awards, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and the Joint Service Commendation Medal, came under the ambit of this modification, indicating a significant shift in language protocol.
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, along with other lawmakers, expressed skepticism towards the new mandate. On September 8, he wrote to the Pentagon, seeking clarification.
The sudden language adjustment wasn’t received well in some circles, causing a stir in the political and social landscape. Senator Cotton’s scrutiny of the change marked a critical point in the unfolding scenario.
The Pentagon Responds
Following the backlash, the Department of Defense issued a comment clarifying that award citations could revert to using “himself” or “herself.” This move marked a significant rollback of the initial directive.
The policy’s adaptability demonstrated the Pentagon’s responsiveness to public and political sentiment, further emphasizing the sensitive nature of the intersection between language and gender identity.
Senator Cotton’s Remarks
The Pentagon’s reversal led to the approval of Gen. Mark Milley’s award citation, which initially faced rejection due to the use of male pronouns. Senator Cotton highlighted this episode, underscoring that the language policy was not a mere oversight.
The quick policy change and subsequent reversal emphasized the delicate and contentious nature of language use in official domains.
Social Media Reaction
Social media users voiced their reactions to the Pentagon’s pronoun policy. The change and its rapid reversal sparked a wide array of comments.
Some applauded the withdrawal of the gender-neutral directive, while others dissected the implications of such a policy on the broader military environment.
Conversations on social platforms displayed a mix of support and opposition to the pronoun change. Some individuals were quite expressive about returning to traditional pronoun usage in official military communications.
These online dialogues mirrored the broader societal discourse, highlighting the complex and multi-faceted nature of discussions surrounding gender pronouns and their place in formal settings.
The debate extended beyond pronouns to encompass other related topics, including medical procedures for transgender individuals in the military.
The pronoun policy’s introduction and withdrawal became a catalyst for broader conversations.
Military Recruitment Concerns
There were worries expressed about potential implications of such policies on military recruitment.
Some believed that these policy shifts might affect the perception and strength of the military institution. The discussion reflected the multifaceted nature of policy implications.
The Reversal’s Implications
The Pentagon’s decision to reverse its pronoun policy marks an end to this particular episode.
However, it also stresses the importance of continual dialogue about evolving topics like language, gender, and institutional policy, and their intersections.
The Ongoing Conversation
While this chapter concerning the Pentagon’s pronoun policy has concluded, it’s evident that discussions about language, identity, and policy will continue to evolve.
Both the Pentagon and the public will undoubtedly engage in more dialogues about similar topics in the future, reflecting the dynamic nature of societal issues.