This is a brief snippet of a dialogue I want to get some response to. I’d like to know where its weaknesses are, if any. It takes place on some college campus that requires students and staff to respect others’ preferred pronouns.
“I’ve realized that I self-identify as a woman now. I’d like you to use female pronouns when you refer to me from now on.”
“No, I’m going to keep referring to you as ‘he’ and ‘him.'”
“But I’m saying that I’m a woman now. You need to use female pronouns with me.”
“I’m saying no.”
“That’s terribly rude, and I could report you to the administration here for it.”
“Really? How could it be rude? I self-identify as a perfectly courteous and tolerant person.”
“But you aren’t! You’re refusing to use the pronouns I want you to use.”
“My mental self-image says I am.”
“Your actions disprove it. You’re rude.”
“My mental self-image is the reality. I’m asking you from now on only to speak of me as a perfectly courteous and tolerant person.”
“Oh, come on. I can’t speak of you that way. Your mental self-image doesn’t change the truth of what you are!”
If a person’s self-image can determine reality for others, what are the limits to that effect — and why?