The season amid GW elections has brought no shortage of contentiousness and controversy. In a recent editorial, the GW Hatchet unenthusiastically endorsed Christina Giordano for Student Association President over her competitor Erika Feinman. The editorial board tediously examined both candidates’ platforms, calling them “wholly unimpressive” and “miss[ing] the mark.” Their criticisms were fierce, but fair.
In assessing Feinman’s disposition, theHatchet used words like “combative” and “condescending.” Though many readers took issue with the overall tenor of the editorial, an even larger controversy erupted over the pronouns—the Hatchet boldly called Feinman a “she” (!). Feinman, however, prefers to be addressed as “they” and “them.” Forget for a second the grammatical problems of antecedents, plurality, and conjugation that a newspaper must tackle to acquiesce this request. TheHatchet, usually a champion of GW’s edgy and progressive causes, quickly fell victim to liberal cannibalism.
One reader snidely commented: “I was politely informed during an endorsement hearing of Erika’s preferred pronouns: they/them/theirs. I am certain you were too. Transphobia is never a good look, Hatchet.” Apparently, by using a grammatically and biologically correct pronoun, the Hatchet joins the ranks of GW YAF and the on the frontlines of bigotry.
Another remarked, “Let’s be real: Feinman would not be described as ‘combative and condescending’ if they were a man [sic]…these words, especially in the context of discussing leadership qualities, are gendered. The Hatchet should know better.” That words like “condescending” are gendered is, of course, absurd, and no amount women’s studies-quality logic makes it any less so. This is not to mention that leveling implicit charges of misogyny against the Hatchet carries no weight considering Feinman does not ‘identify’ as a woman.
Praise for Feinman’s victory does not validate the intensely idiotic charges of transphobia and misogyny. As the Hatchet later explained, they adhere to AP writing guidelines, but would happily refer to Feinman by her preferred pronouns notwithstanding the English language.
Ben Shapiro will be speaking at GW on March 29 in an even organized by GW YAF as part of Young America’s Foundation’s Fred R. Allen lecture series. He will address issues related to political correctness and diversity.