But the real reason we need to rethink the place of pronouns in public life is even more significant: the advancement of transgender rights. What a distraction the pronoun go-round has become. I have sat through countless meetings in all kinds of spaces facilitated by well-intended people, often gay, sometimes straight, seldom trans, who righteously assert compulsory pronoun identification on everyone in the room and then never speak another word about transgender issues, rights, or people. It is as if this achievement — making space for pronouns — is the beginning and the end of the needs of transgender people. College students report doing this in meetings of all kinds and not really understanding why they do it. No one is doing anything to educate themselves or each other about the widespread discrimination and violence faced by transgender people, but by golly, every person will have a chance to state their pronoun! Now, if only people actually listened when said pronoun is declared — and remembered it — and used it every time in reference to that person. Then we would be getting somewhere, but that never happens. People cannot hear what you said or they forget it or mix it up with someone else’s anyway. What a thoroughly misguided good intention.