Sunday, July 03, 2022

If You're Stupid In Small Things, You're Likely To Be Stupid In Large Things

 Halifax Bank in England has gone woke.

Halifax customers are closing their accounts en masse today after its social media team told them to leave if they don't like their new pronoun badges for staff in what is being branded one of the biggest PR disasters in British business history.

The row began this week when Halifax, which was propped up by the taxpayer to the tune of £30billion as part of a 2008 bailout, tweeted its 118,000 followers on Tuesday revealing that it would allow staff to display their pronouns on their name badges, in a post that read 'pronouns matter'.

It showed a photo of a female staff member's name badge, which featured 'she/her/hers' in brackets under the name Gemma, and said the policy was to help avoid 'accidental misgendering'.

One customer replied: 'There’s no ambiguity about the name “Gemma”. It’s a female person’s name. In other words, it’s pathetic virtue signaling and is seen as such by almost everyone who has responded to the initial tweet. Why are you trying to alienate people?' Within 20 minutes a member of the Halifax social media team, calling himself Andy M, replied: 'If you disagree with our values, you're welcome to close your account'.

Andy M's response has outraged customers, and seen hundreds claiming they will boycott the bank with many saying they have closed their accounts. Others have cut up their credit cards or getting rid of insurance policies and said the threat was the final straw after it cut 27 branches alone in 2022.

I'd close my account, too. Not because I think trans isn't a thing, which it isn't, but because I would have lost faith in the bank. If they're willing to insult and lose customers over pronouns, what are they doing with their investments behind the scenes? God only knows what idiotic measurements they're using to decide where to put their funds. 

Look, I know they're all doing this right now, at least at the social media and HR levels. They're all recruiting new workers from the same pool of mentally-poisoned college graduates. I know I'm heavily invested in all kinds of companies that are racialist and gender-insane at those levels. However, a bank is a different thing. It's not part of an investment portfolio, it's the direct holder of my money. I wouldn't feel comfortable with them behaving like lunatics in public.

"If you will each state your preferred pronouns as you approach the teller, we will be happy to assist you."


Ilíon said...

Consider this other aspect of this "woke" stupidity -- when a customer is interacting with an employee of that bank (or of any like-minded company), the *only* pronoun which either the customer or the employee are going to be using is "You".

tim eisele said...

I actually agree with Ilion on this one: it doesn't make sense to worry about 'the pronouns' of a person you are actively talking to, and so there is no need to put them on a name badge. You use 3rd person pronouns to talk about people (almost always when they are not present), not to them.

Which means that if you refer to somebody with what they regard as an inappropriate pronoun, the only way they are going to find out is if somebody tells them.

And it also means that people who refrain from gossiping aren't even going to have it come up much.

Ilíon said...

"My pronouns" is not about civility, nor politeness; it is a power-play, it is a passive-aggressive demand of dominance over others.

Here is another aspect of the wickedness of the "my pronouns" game -- we all know, or at least encounter, thousands of people, at varying points of a spectrum from casually to intimately. No one can remember for each of that myriad of persons a different and potentially unique set (*) of third-person pronouns which are the “correct” way to refer to them. The "my pronouns" game is intentionally set up so that the patsies who surrender to it can ever win.

(*) And which, by the by, may be changed on a whim and without any prior notice.