The Navy is under fire for a video created to train seafarers to “correctly” use personal pronouns and “inclusive language” to create “safe spaces” in service.
The video, nearly four minutes long, caught the public’s attention on Monday despite being shot in June 2021 and posted May 23 on the Defense Visual News Distribution Service website.
“Good advice to remember [a person’s] pronouns next time is to go through a progression of three good things about this person using their pronouns,” the video reads.
“So let’s say the person uses ‘they’: you can say in your mind, ‘They have a nice shirt’, ‘They have a nice smile’, ‘They’re really smart’, so it sticks in your brain. ”
The personal pronouns training video is part of a series called “NAVSpEAksfrom the Naval Sea Systems Command Inclusion and Engagement Council designed to “educate and empower employees to reach their full potential.” The pronouns video is the first in the series.
The two hosts of the video are Conchy Vasquez and Jony Rozon, both civilian engineers from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island, who wear rainbow-themed clothing.
Vasquez and Rozon discuss how military and civilian Navy employees can navigate asking a colleague about preferred pronouns and what someone should do after accidentally “misinterpreting” another person.
“Using someone’s pronouns is a simple way to assert someone’s identity,” Rozon says in the video. “It’s a symbol of acceptance and respect.”
Vasquez and Rozon talk about the importance of “creating a safe space for everyone” by using “inclusive language”. They suggest that sailors refer to others with gender-neutral language until their pronouns – whether he/her, she/her, they/their or otherwise – are known.
“Instead of ‘Hi guys,’ say ‘Hi everyone’ or ‘Hi team,'” Rozon says in the video.
News of a training video focused on the transgender agenda comes after lawmakers and others assaulted the Navy last year for a recommended reading list featuring titles from ‘woke’ authors who were branded racist by The critics.
In the video, Vasquez tells the story of a conversation she had with one of her friends who believed that no one should have to refer to someone else with a particular pronoun when that person appears to be male or female.
“I was really surprised by that comment,” Vasquez says. “[But] it’s not about you at all – ultimately and most importantly, it’s about respect.
So what if you accidentally mistake someone for sex?
“Apologize, accept the correction, and move on,” Vasquez advises.
But, according to the video, never ask for someone’s personal pronouns because the person might be “going through the discovery process” and might not be willing to share pronouns.
“So I should just start with my pronouns and they may or may not follow,” Rozon says. “If they don’t, I can just continue to use gender-neutral language.”
Rozon compares the misuse of someone’s pronouns with the rudeness of continually mispronouncing someone’s name.
“If you insist on mispronouncing my name, I would feel very disrespectful of you,” Rozon says. “Some names are hard to pronounce.”
“But do you know what is very easy to pronounce?” he asks Vasquez.
“She/he/they”, they say in unison.
Reaction to the video has been largely negative, with many comments on the website criticizing the Navy for prioritizing personal pronouns and “safe spaces” over national security.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, a former Navy SEAL, said in a tweet that the Navy should focus on warfare, not pronouns, calling the video “stupidity.”
Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., a member of the Naval Reserve, called out the woke nature of the video in a tweet.
Robert O’Neill, a former Navy SEAL who said he fired the shots that killed al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, addressed the training video in a viral tweet.
The Navy acknowledged the Daily Signal’s request for comment, but did not provide one in time for publication.
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