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Chase Johnsey leaves Trocks; Joins ENB

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3 minutes ago, nanushka said:

I certainly didn't mean to suggest that you were – just that, in my opinion, you were (inadvertently, I assumed) perpetuating a confusion that has, in many cases, caused problems and pain.

Thanks.

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7 hours ago, nanushka said:

Again, though, that’s not actually all that Johnsey is alleging. According to him, it is indeed the dancers’ degrees of perceived masculinity that was being policed. He is not trans, and yet he alleges having suffered longstanding discrimination.

 

I am just adhering to the very first paragraph of the article:

"On January 1st, Chase Johnsey resigned from Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. In a YouTube video, he outlined allegations of harassment and humiliation over his celebrated 14-year tenure with the company, ranging from discrimination for appearing too feminine to being told that he could no longer perform with the company should he choose to undergo a gender transition."

1- He resigned-( he wasn't fired)- over feeling harrassed

2- He would potentially face firing would he undergo " gender transition" -( declaring himself at some point that he wasn't a man anymore, but a woman. Details are not given if a possible sex reassignment surgery could base this transition.)

So basically he resigned over alleged reciprocal ill feelings to and from the company executives. Being fired from his position if he's not a man anymore is left as a potential risk. Hence my inference that they might not want an alleged female included.

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1 hour ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

Hence my inference that they might not want an alleged female included.

I didn't suggest that you were wrong about this. That's why I wrote, "that's not all that Johnsey is alleging."

The part of your post that I was responding to was this:

Quote

I think that rather than being masculine, they are expected to be, at least, all males. 

If what Johnsey alleges is true, it's not enough simply to be a man; in order to be a Trocks dancer (or, at least, to be a Trocks dancer who is not "harassed and humiliated"), one must also be sufficiently masculine.

Edited by nanushka

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Chase Johnsey really is very talented and I hope he finds a new artistic home. I mean look at this. It's delightful:

 

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And there are those fouettes!

This is indeed charming, but one thing that struck me was that if you watched this with a different soundtrack, it would look very much like outtakes from a Balanchine work (one of the leotard ballets).  Aside from the lipsynch moments, it's really just classical (or neo-classical) ballet.  The humor isn't in the gender switch, it's in the juxtaposition of the classical material and the pop song.

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On 1/29/2018 at 6:00 PM, aurora said:

You are simply wrong.

Didn't they say the same to Galileo...?😂

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13 hours ago, canbelto said:

Chase Johnsey really is very talented and I hope he finds a new artistic home. I mean look at this. It's delightful:

 

This is, FAB-U-LOUS!  I too hope that Chase Johnsey can find a new artistic home.

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17 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

I am just adhering to the very first paragraph of the article:

"On January 1st, Chase Johnsey resigned from Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. In a YouTube video, he outlined allegations of harassment and humiliation over his celebrated 14-year tenure with the company, ranging from discrimination for appearing too feminine to being told that he could no longer perform with the company should he choose to undergo a gender transition."

1- He resigned-( he wasn't fired)- over feeling harrassed

2- He would potentially face firing would he undergo " gender transition" -( declaring himself at some point that he wasn't a man anymore, but a woman. Details are not given if a possible sex reassignment surgery could base this transition.)

So basically he resigned over alleged reciprocal ill feelings to and from the company executives. Being fired from his position if he's not a man anymore is left as a potential risk. Hence my inference that they might not want an alleged female included.

 

Resigning under such circumstances would, in the UK, probably be deemed "constructive dismissal".

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18 minutes ago, JMcN said:

 

Resigning under such circumstances would, in the UK, probably be deemed "constructive dismissal".

In other words, basically the equivalent of a firing without just cause, yes?

Edited by nanushka

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59 minutes ago, nanushka said:

In other words, basically the equivalent of a firing without just cause, yes?

 

Exactly.  

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One more for at into discussing the discussion or discussing each other, especially for long-term members, will result in Moderated status.

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8 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

Didn't they say the same to Galileo...?😂

They also said it to Gall, to numerous creationists, to Osborne and other proponents of Eugenics, etc.

I could encounter anyone with an accent in the US and call them illegals. I could insist that people from Puerto Rico aren't US citizens.  I could insist on calling people who are legally recognized as one gender or the other by whatever pronoun I please.  

But not here. 

And since none of us has any right to require documented proof, a strong guideline is to assume the proper status/paperwork unless otherwise proven to the contrary.

Having learned grammar from Mrs. Skewes, I haven't quite gotten used to "they," "them," and "their" when referring to the singular fully, but I find it quite useful, and, at this point, it's as common and accepted as "It's me."

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4 hours ago, Helene said:

Having learned grammar from Mrs. Skewes, I haven't quite gotten used to "they," "them," and "their" when referring to the singular fully, but I find it quite useful, and, at this point, it's as common and accepted as "It's me."

Great point. A grammatical quibble (which is based on a "rule" that actually goes against literally centuries of common usage, both colloquial and literary) seems a weak excuse for not granting others the basic respect of calling them by the names and words they ask to be called by.

(See what I just did with that dangling preposition? Oh my!)

Yes, it can be hard to get used to. If basic kindness were easy, we wouldn't need Emily Post.

p.s. Mrs. Skewes — love it! Straight from Dickens!

p.p.s. The above post is intended only as a general comment on the issue of gendered pronoun reference, and not as a commentary on the statements or beliefs of anyone on this site. I hope such grammatical commentary is in-bounds!

Edited by nanushka

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The problem is that English, being a weakly inflected language, is at times somewhat ambiguous. Using "their" for first person singular possessive would further limit ways of signaling agreement between subject and predicate. Would be difficult to tell if the pronoun is referring to one or more persons.

I wonder how this is being treated in French or Spanish or Greek where the rules are more consistent and adjectives have grammatical gender – m., f. and sometimes n.?

7 hours ago, nanushka said:

(which is based on a "rule" that actually goes against literally centuries of common usage, both colloquial and literary)

What are some examples of common usage? That might help to set up a precedent and make the grammatical transition smoother.

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9 hours ago, Helene said:

They also said it to Gall, to numerous creationists, to Osborne and other proponents of Eugenics, etc.

I could encounter anyone with an accent in the US and call them illegals. I could insist that people from Puerto Rico aren't US citizens.  I could insist on calling people who are legally recognized as one gender or the other by whatever pronoun I please.  

But not here. 

And since none of us has any right to require documented proof, a strong guideline is to assume the proper status/paperwork unless otherwise proven to the contrary.

Having learned grammar from Mrs. Skewes, I haven't quite gotten used to "they," "them," and "their" when referring to the singular fully, but I find it quite useful, and, at this point, it's as common and accepted as "It's me."

Fair deal Helene.  In the modern world of transsexualism, sometimes it is very difficult to discern how to call them, and from Caitlin/Bruce Jenner to Alexis Arquette, we can find a fair deal or articles referring to them either as "he" or "she".  Early in this article someone referred to Chase as a "ballerina".  Since that was this person's choice of wording, based on personal beliefs, I assumed that me calling him a "he" and a male dancer wouldn't be a problem either.  At the end we don't even know if he considers himself to be a man or a woman.  Professionally speaking I can tell that in many cases they might even carry such questions  to themselves EVEN post op.  So unless someone points me to a personal reference in which he wants to be called a "she", I will rightfully stick to the "he".  

Of course...there is also the fact that I understand this is a public forum carefully moderated.  I totally understand that I am subjected to Moderators and their guidelines...probably based on their personal beliefs too.  I am certainly not questioning my "right" to use my preferred wording out there in the world.  I know I can ...but just not here.

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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Washington State is considering a bill where people can choose Male, Female, or X for gender on their birth certificates, so not everyone chooses.   Since "it" at least currently has too pejorative a connotation when applied to people, "their" is very useful.

In French, you don't know except in context whether "vous" is singular or plural, so there are ambiguities even in languages where things, animate or not, have gendered nouns, just like in English "you" can be singular or plural. Although "youze" or "youze all" is pretty clear :)

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Ahem, Yinz, for the Pittsburghers.  But now I am discussing the discussion.  

I’m going to use the male pronoun until Chase announces otherwise.  

I am worried about Chase in the current American medical environment.  He has resigned, and lost his employer paid medical coverage.  How will he pay for transition medical?  This will be a long process.  

I do wish the Trocks would reconsider hiring him back.  But maybe he will start his own company once he makes the changes that make him feel comfortable in his own body.  

Edited by Jayne
A missing space

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16 hours ago, nanushka said:

Yes, it can be hard to get used to. If basic kindness were easy, we wouldn't need Emily Post.

Yes! This!!!! Yes! Yes! Yes!

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11 hours ago, Quiggin said:

What are some examples of common usage? That might help to set up a precedent and make the grammatical transition smoother.

A very basic introduction can be found here.

I find the Shakespeare example there to be especially interesting, because their so clearly has a masculine singular referent:

There's not a man I meet but doth salute me / As if I were their well-acquainted friend.    (Comedy of Errors, IV.3)

But I particularly recommend (for those who have the time and interest) a deep dive into the many postings on this topic at the excellent site Language Log, run by linguists Mark Liberman and Geoffrey Pullum. Searching their archive for singular "they" takes one to this substantial set of articles.

One particularly interesting and relevant place to start might be the recent series of articles that came out of Pullum's own admission that he has difficulty "saying things that are clearly and decisively ungrammatical according to my own internalized grammar. I'll do my best, but it will be a real struggle." (Emphasis added, just to clarify that he's not saying it is inherently "ungrammatical.")

Pullum's seems like a reasonable admission and an admirable resolution, but nonetheless the article caused some controversy. The relevant articles, in order, can be read here, here, here and here. I found the last of those to be especially thought-provoking, but it's best read in the context of the others. They're neither very long nor very technical.

I'll keep looking and will update if I come across any other particularly useful resources.

Edited by nanushka

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10 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

At the end we don't even know if he considers himself to be a man or a woman.

In the linked interview, Johnsey says, "At this point, I call myself gender queer because I am not one gender more than another. I look male during the day time, but I am most comfortable performing as a woman." Being gender queer, he (see below) presumably identifies as neither strictly male nor strictly female.

Candice Thompson, the author of the article, also refers to him repeatedly with the masculine singular pronouns. (See, for example, the opening sentences of the article.) I would assume, given the nature of the topic, that she was careful to check that with him.

Johnsey also refers to himself — or, at least, to his onstage persona — as a ballerina:

"But now, I am completely lost because my career is gone as far as me dancing as a ballerina."

Edited by nanushka

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6 hours ago, Jayne said:

I am worried about Chase in the current American medical environment.  He has resigned, and lost his employer paid medical coverage.  How will he pay for transition medical?  This will be a long process.  

I do wish the Trocks would reconsider hiring him back.  But maybe he will start his own company once he makes the changes that make him feel comfortable in his own body.  

The linked article actually doesn't make it clear that Johnsey plans to transition. I think the title of this discussion topic is somewhat misleading and has caused some confusion. (Moderators, is there any way it could be changed? "Chase Johnsey leaves Trocks, alleging gender discrimination and harassment," perhaps?)

Again, from the opening paragraph of the article:

In a YouTube video, he outlined allegations of harassment and humiliation over his celebrated 14-year tenure with the company, ranging from discrimination for appearing too feminine to being told that he could no longer perform with the company should he choose to undergo a gender transition.

The real core of Johnsey's allegations seems to me to be that the company is discriminating against dancers who are perceived as insufficiently masculine — not just that they would discriminate against a dancer who would choose to transition.

There's nothing in the subsequent interview that indicates to me that Johnsey is anything other than wholly "comfortable in his own body":

Are you still interested in transitioning?

At this point, I call myself gender queer because I am not one gender more than another. I look male during the day time, but I am most comfortable performing as a woman. Women have been my heroes, and through women, I have strength. I aspire to have the strength of women. 

So for now, I am happy with just being who I am, even if I do not fit any mold. The older I get, the less I feel like I have to apologize for it.

Edited by nanushka

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6 hours ago, nanushka said:

A very basic introduction can be found here.

I find the Shakespeare example there to be especially interesting, because their so clearly has a masculine singular referent:

There's not a man I meet but doth salute me / As if I were their well-acquainted friend.    (Comedy of Errors, IV.3)

Thank you, that's very helpful. I think though the change in the 19th century wasn't so arbitrary – it probably went along with teaching Greek and Latin, two highly inflected languages, at the same time. Interesting that Jane Austen used "their" so many times. Also may have been a kind of regional use – varying in different parts of England. You might be able to tell what county a person came from by it.

I do agree – trying not to step into any of the controversy – that the use of singular "they" is more difficult (that's what originally puzzled me) and there isn't the same history that helps make the change over. 

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7 minutes ago, Quiggin said:

Thank you, that's very helpful. I think though the change in the 19th century wasn't so arbitrary – it probably went along with teaching Greek and Latin, two highly inflected languages, at the same time. Interesting that Jane Austen used "their" so many times. Also may have been a kind of regional use – varying in different parts of England. You might be able to tell what county a person came from by it.

I do agree – trying not to step into any of the controversy – that the use of singular "they" is more difficult (that's what originally puzzled me) and there isn't the same history that helps make the change over. 

As the parent of a 24 year old, I can tell you that I'm having much more trouble remembering to use "they" for some of her friends than she is.  Most of her cohort seems to be making that change without much difficulty.  Younger, more flexible brains...

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1 hour ago, Quiggin said:

I do agree – trying not to step into any of the controversy – that the use of singular "they" is more difficult (that's what originally puzzled me) and there isn't the same history that helps make the change over. 

Certainly one key thing that none of those older historical examples of the singular "they" have is a specific, named referent. For example: "George said that they [i.e. George] would come to the party."

That's something pretty recent, since there has come to be a new understanding that George — who was presumably born biologically male and was identified as male in gender at birth — is a person who may have come to realize that they (George) do not in fact personally identify as male. That wasn't really a thing (or at least not an understood and socially recognized thing) in the time of Shakespeare, or of Austen.

On one of your previous points, Quiggin, one could rightly say that that sentence — "George said that they would come to the party" — is ambiguous. But then, so is the alternative sentence: "George said that he would come to the party." Did George say that he himself, George, would come to the party? Or did George say that Peter ("he") would come to the party?

Context is what helps us work out those ambiguities. Whether or not we begin to more broadly accept that George can be called a "they," without context there's always going to be some ambiguity in our language. And once we really accept the fact that George can be a "they," it becomes clear that neither of those sentences is structurally any more ambiguous than the other. We're just not used to it yet, so when we see, without context, "George said that they would come to the party," we automatically think, "Who would come?" Whereas when we see, without context, "George said that he would come to the party," we think we know who "he" refers to. (But since we don't know the context, we could well be wrong.)

1 hour ago, sandik said:

As the parent of a 24 year old, I can tell you that I'm having much more trouble remembering to use "they" for some of her friends than she is.  Most of her cohort seems to be making that change without much difficulty.  Younger, more flexible brains...

Yup, and also language changes. (Another reason why the "rules" of grammar aren't really rules in the strict sense. They are conventions defined by language use in a particular time and place.) So the language your daughter and her friends were absorbing in their early years (when one's internalized grammar gets formed) was already a bit different from the language you and I were absorbing in ours. That's why "they" with a named, singular referent may well be "decisively ungrammatical according to [linguist Geoffrey Pullum's] internalized grammar" (as I quoted him writing in an earlier post), but apparently is not quite so ungrammatical in the internalized grammars of your daughter and her friends.

Edited by nanushka

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3 hours ago, nanushka said:

Certainly one key thing that none of those older historical examples of the singular "they" have is a specific, named referent...

The problem I see is that "their" is the equivalent of his, hers or its (no apostrophe!), while "they" singular has to stand alongside he, she and it. It's like saying chair, table and furniture as coequals. So it really doesn't build on the precedent of the "their" usage of Shakespeare and Jane Austen.

All language systems including supposedly primitive ones like pidgin and slang do have their "rhymes and reasons", so when you drop a word, when you contract a thought, the other person knows what you mean - like in jazz when you leave out a note and the other notes in a phrase fill in. It's more the overall structure that allows this - and the differences between words as much as the words themselves. You begin to lose a little of the musicality of language when you add artificial constraints.

sandik -

Quote

Younger, more flexible brains...

Maybe younger, more inflexible brains. Less tolerant of inconsistency in their elders, who've learned to deal with all the contradictions and paradoxes of life and are therefore more agile in their thinking. I'm reading J M Coetzee's "Boyhood" right now and you're taken aback by how very severe he is with his mother.

Also came across this while commuting on the streetcar this morning which may tie into the topic -  

Quote

 

These locusts by day, these crickets by night / Are the the instruments on which to play / Of an old and disused ambit of the soul / Or of a new aspect, bright in discovery.

 ... A new aspect, say the spirit's sex, / Its attitudes, its answers to attitudes / And the sex of its voices, as the voice of one / Meets nakedly another voice.

Things of August

 

 

Edited by Quiggin

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