Transgender Student Up In Arms As 88-Year-Old NYU Professor Refused To Use Preferred Pronoun

Submitted by: littlemissqt 8 months ago in Lifestyle News & Politics

An 88-year-old NYU psychology professor is under fire for, among other things, not using the preferred pronouns in referring to transgender students.

August Enzer, a transgender man (pictured above), submitted a complaint in November against Professor Edgar Coons, who has been teaching at the college since 1965.

The junior is demanding the professor be disciplined and the resolution be made public, according to the Washington Square News, NYU’s student newspaper.

Enzer told the student paper Coons made "transphobic" comments during his Introduction to Psychology course freshman year, even using the term "abnormalities" in referring to transgender individuals during a class about gender and sexuality.
There are 51 comments:
Male 70
I will only use he/she/it to descripe ones gendered appearance. I don't care if you want to be called something else. Its my choice to call you what i want, just like it choice to be called something else
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Male 660
This is a "no country for old men" situation.
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21
I do not have to agree with the way you live, nor do I have to accept or want it in my life.  I will, however, respect you and the way you live, if you respect me and the way I live. (With some exceptions on true even thoughts and morals, ect, ect) It's easy.  If the prof don't wanna call you by your preferred pronoun after having a calm, conversation about him with it, Let. It. Go. and move on to be with people who will respect you. College is a short term thing if you let it and you CAN move people out of your life that don't respect you.

tl:dr Show Respect. Move on.
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Male 42,934
@_forbes I agree: it isn't a "request" if you REQUIRE only ONE answer or else you'll throw a fit!
That is a demand. This student has NO right to demand his professor do anything like 'address him properly'. He lost his case so now he's throwing shit. Too typical eh?
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Female 6,442
I'll address you as you want to be perceived most of the time (sometimes Im stumped and just stick to 'honey, sweety, or pumpkin' like the rest of my customers get )  But this demanding stuff is bullshit, entitled, bitchass, behavior and anyone that tries to force another to conform to THEIR ideals should be expelled immediately.
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Male 245
If someone is polite to me I'll call them whatever they want to be called it's just the courteous thing to do.  Hell I'll call them Thor god of thunder if they want and are polite about it, BUT if they are an asshole about it then that's exactly what I'll call them.  

I don't know who is being the asshole in this situation so I'll reserve judgement on that. 
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Male 42,934
geobas1 Sounds a lot like me :-)
I'm happy to address a 'trans person' or cross-dresser as "they present" at the time. If my friend's friend "Mark" is trying to look like a female and calls him(her) self "Mandy"? I have done so with no hesitation (Mandy/she) even though he couldn't 'pass' as female to a blind bat... true story!

But don't try to force me to do so... that just 'gets my back up' and I'll call you whatever pisses you off :-o
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6,574
First I would say Fuck this kids and their stupid little games.

Now if we want to be serious why don't we follow their tradition of the Asians in use "San". As in stupid little snowflake san. It's an honorific that uses no gender.
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Male 42,934
I demand everyone call me by the appropriate gender pronoun for my gender-type:

Wham-bam-sham-a-ling-ding-dong-damn!
 
Or they'll go to jail.

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Male 326
5cats I insist on calling you by a little name we like to call Shama Lama Ding Dong.

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Male 42,934
johndplorable Don't call me that in Canada, it's illegal! Or soon will be :-)
My proper gender identification is Wham-bam-sham-a-ling-ding-dong-damn!

You can only shorten it if you take me to dinner and a movie ;-)
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Male 326
5cats lol! Ok, understood!
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Male 42,934
No, just stop being a little bitch about it and show some respect to your elders.
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Male 12,943
#NationInFreeFall
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Male 1,709
monkwarrior If the US is in freefall, there's quite a few other countries that have already splattered into a pizza.
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Male 12,943
squidbush while many nations were affected by Rome's fall, Rome took the full burnt.
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Male 42,934
monkwarrior I think Europe is going to "get it" much harder than us in North America will.
The Muslims have been invading them for over 1000 years now eh?
It is only a question of how many dominoes fall, not if they will...
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Male 1,709
5cats Yea just look at what's happening in Germany right now.
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58
transgender people have a serious mental illness... they need professional help

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Male 10,002
Abnormal: ab·nor·mal - deviating from what is normal or usual,
Normal: nor·mal - conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
Standard: stand·ard - used or accepted as normal or average.
Usual: u·su·al - habitually or typically occurring or done; customary.
Typical: typ·i·cal - conforming to a type
Expected: ex·pec·ted - regard as likely to do or be something.

Seeing as Transgenderism involves only 0.6% of the population, it can not be considered Standard, Usual, Typical or Expected.

Thus, by definition, it is Abnormal. (as in, outside the norm.)

Her/His/It's hang-ups does not require me to change my actions or method of address in any way. 
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Male 493
megrendel Agree 100%. I have no problems with anyone's sexual choice or how they want to live their life. I will in no way change my life for you however.
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Male 42,934
megrendel I thought it was 0.06%? Or 0.006%??

It's like homosexuality: people have been led to THINK there's a lot of them, but there simply isn't:
http://news.gallup.com/poll/183383/americans-greatly-overestimate-percent-gay-lesbian.aspx

That '1 in 10' is a complete fabrication eh? It's under 5%...

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Male 4,018
megrendel 
Well said.
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Male 6,981
Everyone is abnormal if you look hard enough.

Hell, just reading this means you are abnormal because most internet users do not come to IAB.
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Male 938
bahhahahahahaha...

Coons.

heheh
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Male 1,124
Ok, I am a believer in respect for other people's choices, but I'll call this one intolerance. I should explain myself. If this kid is expecting everybody to immediately (this being the key word) update their protocol, well, that's being intolerant. Some people, even the most accepting, will err and or take time to learn. For example, I have no fucking idea what are this kid's preferred pronouns, and I'm meanwhile happy to accept transgender as a gender.
To me, it boils down to this: there are assholes, white brown and black, men women and trans. And actually human and beast too, since I keep seeing some asshole squirrels on the road bent on causing car crashes. The fuckers. 
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Male 276
Sex and gender are the same thing, if you want to play pretend then you can do it where other people aren't trying to learn about the real world.
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Male 1,124
moldysod you cannot tell the difference, doesn't make the, the same. You've been given a nice explanation below. The thing is, "I don't understand" or "I disagree" doesn't imply "it doesn't exist". 
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6,574
bearbear01 saying so doesn't make something exist.
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Male 1,124
dm2754 thus god.  
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Male 36
moldysod No way. That's why we have two words. Sex is a biological category, suggesting your role in reproduction. Gender is a set of social expectations based on that sex category. Wearing skirts (or ties) is doing gender. It has nothing to do with sex. 
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Male 6,290
phacter "Gender" is biological. It's based on "Genes". "Gender identification" is social.
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Male 36
broizfam Words can certainly have different meaning. Within sociology, gender is as I have named it, but colloquially it is often just another word for sex. However, in your description you leave no term for "the set of behaviors, thoughts, and appearance socially associated with a sex". What is that if not gender? Male is a sex. "masculine" is a gender. 
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Male 5,192
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Male 1,634
First of all, I will continue to call people by their sex, not their gender.  Sorry, not sorry.  If you have a problem with it, you need to understand that medically, if you have a cock, you are still a male.  Your gender doesn't come in to it at all.  In a professional or academic setting, sex matters, not gender.

Second of all, no offense meant to any transgenders, but is it not an abnormality?  Are you claiming that you are not a minority and are in fact the majority?  If not, it is abnormal.  There is nothing wrong with being abnormal though.

Sorry guys, some of these LGBTQHJGQJVGQJGBHJGGGQJHVGBNSVDCHDGFOPKBVHJ's just need to learn to grow some thicker skin.
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Male 493
waldo863 Very well said. I'm sure the men in Scotland that wear kilts are very sure about their gender and their sex. The professional and academic setting is a great point also. 
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820
waldo863 heh, you can't handle the idea of using an alternative word, then bitch about other people needing a thicker skin.
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Male 1,634
barry9a It's not that I can't handle it, it's that there are so many, and I don't want to use the wrong one and offend anyone, so I will continue to refer to people by their sex in professional and academic settings.  It's usually pretty easy to look at someone and determine their sex.  It's not so easy to look at someone and determine their gender.  If they want to be referred to by their gender, perhaps instead of name tags, they should start wearing gender tags.  Until they do though, I can't tell just by looking at you and, in this professor's case he sees A LOT of students every day.  It's hard enough to remember all their names and now they have to remember all their gender's too?  When sex is so easily identifiable?  
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Male 36
waldo863  In normal interaction, we call people what the wish to be called, out of respect. If I'm "Jack", and you called me "John" or "Jackie" or "Bill" it would be rude. If I took a class and my professor said: "No, I'm gonna call you John because that's the more formal or correct form of your name" I'd have a right to be annoyed and ask for someone to intervene. Why do YOU get to tell me who I am? 

I fail to see the difference with gender. 

At first, it will strike everybody as annoying: no one likes to be called out and corrected, with the implication that they're clueless. No one appreciates getting lessons about how to accommodate others. Still, it's only polite. We'll get used to it. 
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Male 1,634
phacter It's not the same thing as a name though.  I am simply calling you by your sex, not your gender.  I don't give a fuck what gender you are or what your sexual preference is in a professional or academic setting.  Your gender does not matter at all.  I don't even think about gender.  I don't care what your gender is, you can be whatever gender you want, you can make up whatever pronoun you want and I'll respect that.  However, at work or at school, your sex is what mattes, not your gender.

If we ever become anything more than acquaintances, ok, I'll start calling you by your gender.

If you want to compare to names, it's really the same in a way.  If your name is Johnathan Doe, at work you are probably called Mr. Doe, but your friends call you Jon.  It's the same thing, at work, people will refer to you by your sex, but your friends will call you by your gender.

It's not trying to tell you who you are at all.  It's not like this guys sex is not male.  He is calling him what he is.  He's not making anything up.  Medically speaking, his sex is Male no matter what his gender is.
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Male 36
waldo863 I'm not getting your point or why you're making it. Why are you interested in calling anyone "by their sex" in the first place? Why is it important for you to distinguish among people with penises and people with vaginas at work? How often does that come up? That's not what we're usually doing with pronouns, anyway. We're usually distinguishing gender roles (mom/dad, e.g.) and identities (I am masculine/feminine) and secondary sex characteristics. If my name is Mr. John Doe, and I act in a masculine way, you would probably call me "he" and never think to ask why I have in my pants. If you then find out I don't have a penis, would you then call me she? What in the world for? My gender is how I'm attempting to present myself socially. Who are you to contradict me? 
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Male 4,380
waldo863 I agree. But I'll assign pronouns based on chromosomes (harder to argue that way). XY = male pronouns, XX = female pronouns. Though I do throw exceptions because one can be born with an extra chromosome.

But that has been my question as well. The way I look at it, it is a mental abnormality being fixed with a physical procedure. Now, I could totally be wrong, and I am open to changing my opinion with the onset of facts, but this is my view as of now.
(I say this, because 10 years ago, I used to think gays shouldn't be married, and now I don't care)
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Male 943
DuckBoy87 Curious question why did you care before in reference to marriage, and why do you care now in reference to pronouns?
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Male 4,380
mischeif954 Both for the same reason. I simply didn't/don't understand it.

I can wrap my head around marriage, but I can't wrap my head around trans.

Just as a side note, I really don't care what people do. And people shouldn't be bullied because of, again, what I consider a mental abnormality. Character matters more than anything, and I do have 2 F -> M friends. I just don't understand it.
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Male 943
DuckBoy87 Well said I gather you meant you cared in terms of you gave it thought, not you cared as in you tried to proactively stop people from doing it, I think a lot of people find themselves in that space of not getting it thinking about the issue. I wonder how for others it goes from there, to make it go away.
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Male 42,934
mischeif954 That's a really nice thing to say mischief! And to a really nice IAB member too! 
:-)
I too have given quite a lot of thought to these issues, but I came up with some "unpopular" conclusions. Oh well! No skin off my ass...
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Male 5,522
Stop...just stop...

You can live your life anyway you want, but don't be offended when someone wants to live their life differently.  88 year old is not going to change his ways for you and he is not being transphobic by doing so.
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Male 1,709
kalron27 -phobic  the most horribly misused suffix of the modern age.
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Male 18,150
kalron27 +1 TG kid deserves common the courtesy, but loses respect for politicizing exaggerated offence.
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Male 42,934
Draculya Forcing others to use language they don't agree with isn't "courtesy" at all.

Demanding a ridiculous and NOT lawful request isn't courteous. It's rude and disrespectful.

Asking politely IMPLIES that the answer of "NO!" is also acceptable, correct? Otherwise it isn't "asking" at all: it's a demand.
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