Former computer engineer for Nike, Jazz Lyles, is suing the athletic-wear giant for failing to use her preferred gender pronouns. Lyles, who was born female (and will therefore be female for the rest of her life), considers herself “transmasculine,” whatever the hell that is. She prefers to be referred to using the pronouns “they/them/their” and is raging mad that other employees at Nike habitually fell back on the pronouns every American has been using since they were born.
Somehow, all of this strife entitles her to $1.1 million in damages.
Willamette Week reports:
Emails and other electronic messages show Lyles politely but firmly communicated with peers and managers, seeking to help them understand why being referred to by the correct pronouns was important. One colleague responded by greeting Lyles, “Hey, girl, what’s up?” Another told them that using Lyles’ pronouns was against her religion.
Lyles cycled through three assignments, becoming increasingly wounded by co-workers using the wrong pronouns. Eventually, they took medical leave and worked primarily from home before their contract ended last fall. In their lawsuit, Lyles says Nike managers failed to safeguard Lyles’ civil rights and blocked them from obtaining a full-time Nike job, as many contractors do.
Wait, who took medical leave? The co-workers who were misgendering Lyles? Probably not, but this is the problem when you start using plural pronouns to refer to a singular individual. Forget about what anyone’s religion has to say about it – the rules of sensible grammar and communication dictate that this is a path towards confusion and absurdity. Nevertheless…
“Nike had a pattern and practice of turning a blind eye to reported and known harassment, instead blaming the harassed, treating them as the problem and as troublemakers, all the while failing to ever investigate or take corrective action to remedy the harassment,” the lawsuit states.
We’re not in the habit of defending Nike by any means, but this is frivolous, bordering on insane. Alas, it goes hand in hand with the UK woman who was fired for stating that “biological sex is real and immutable,” the guy who wants to compete in an Oregon beauty pageant, and the muscular men who are busy making a mockery of women’s sports from cycling to wrestling to weightlifting. And unfortunately, we’re none too confident that a judge will see this for the idiocy that it is.