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johnphil
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« on: August 09, 2019, 04:49:52 AM »

Hello,
I have a cadet in my squadron who is neither male or female gender, and is currently a C/CMSgt. They are promoting soon to officer so it made me think how would you refer to them, as for male is Sir, Ma’am for female, but I don’t know for them. Thank you.
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Holding Pattern
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2019, 04:54:13 AM »

If you cannot resolve this via common sense, I'd consult with your chain of command.
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2019, 05:04:24 AM »





Easy answer. "Lieutenant"... Works just fine.


R/s
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Fester
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2019, 06:29:04 AM »

Do they wear a male or female uniform?  What does eServices state their gender as?
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Ned
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2019, 10:23:39 AM »

And, of course, it is always respectful to ask the cadet how they would prefer to be addressed.

Very easy, takes just a couple of seconds:

Perhaps while you are congratulating them on their awesome achievement.

Ned Lee
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MSG Mac
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2019, 11:13:20 AM »

This was addressed at a National Conference a few years ago. You refer to the individual as whichever he/she identifies as.
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Michael P. McEleney
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2019, 05:59:47 PM »

And, of course, it is always respectful to ask the cadet how they would prefer to be addressed.

Very easy, takes just a couple of seconds:

Perhaps while you are congratulating them on their awesome achievement.

Ned Lee
National Cadet Program Manager

 :clap:

Gets your answer, while modeling a core value!
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Tim Day
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2019, 01:50:57 PM »

That cadet is going to find a major inconsistency in how they're greeted across the universe that is CAP.

The regulations and pamphlets say to address males as "Sir" and females as "Ma'am." It instructs on how to introduce male and female members.

The third gender aside—

Any deviation from that is going to be met with a level of awkwardness, none of which is ill-intended. But that cadet is going to be "out in the world" and will be greeted quite frequently by other cadets (who may visually see, say, a female) who will say "Good evening, Ma'am." That's just what should be expected, because the other 26,951 cadets in CAP do not know that this person identifies otherwise or prefers to be called otherwise, and they have no regulation or guidance that says to call them a third option. It is key to understand that there is no disrespect intended by any of these people, but they simply won't know until they're told otherwise. (The same goes for androgynous cadets...females with short haircuts, males with "baby faces"). "Good evening, Si—oh, my apologies, Ma'am."

While at the local level, there may be a courtesy established to respect that cadet, the remainder of Civil Air Patrol has zero clue. You might need to explain that to that cadet, point to the manuals, and help them to understand what to expect.
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2019, 07:03:51 PM »

Not all adults can manage to easily rise above their discomfort at being mistakenly addressed. It can however be a growth experience.

20 years ago, as CC of the CAP unit then aboard NAWC-AD Pax River (southern Maryland) we had a group of cadets mistake a very large female Senior Chief for a male. Since she was wearing khakis, is six four like me, had a short haircut, and was working late and came out of the next door building unexpectedly in the dark. They crisply saluted with a "Good evening, Sir". She blew, and (again, in the dark) mistaking them for active duty (I told them to take that as an implied compliment). After being loud for a moment (a la "I am not an officeryoudontcallmesir and I am a FEMALE"), I stepped outside, asked if I could help, and defused the situation. She accepted an invite to step inside and talk it out, and we ended up with embarrassed mutual apologies and a requested briefing on CAP for her. Admitted that she was carrying some emotional baggage from being in the bow wave of AD female maintainers, and that it made her touchy, and that she needed to toughen up. She ended up returning to give presentations to the unit, and I ended up working with her on what is now the F-35 (she was my lead Navy NCO for the maintainer working group).

But, you have to be ready as a unit to support your teammate in correcting and defusing those awkward first encounters, ready as a leader to step in to de-escalate such situations, and (as Hornet states) ready as an individual to toughen up if you present unusually/atypically, and not jump to attributing a lack of respect where a simple mistake occurs.

I realize that last, especially, is counter to some cultural elements these days, but we need not devolve to the baser impulses.


V/r
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NIN
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2019, 08:01:09 PM »

<snippage>
Any deviation from that is going to be met with a level of awkwardness, none of which is ill-intended. But that cadet is going to be "out in the world" and will be greeted quite frequently by other cadets (who may visually see, say, a female) who will say "Good evening, Ma'am." That's just what should be expected, because the other 26,951 cadets in CAP do not know that this person identifies otherwise or prefers to be called otherwise, and they have no regulation or guidance that says to call them a third option. It is key to understand that there is no disrespect intended by any of these people, but they simply won't know until they're told otherwise. (The same goes for androgynous cadets...females with short haircuts, males with "baby faces"). "Good evening, Si—oh, my apologies, Ma'am."

While at the local level, there may be a courtesy established to respect that cadet, the remainder of Civil Air Patrol has zero clue. You might need to explain that to that cadet, point to the manuals, and help them to understand what to expect.

And more practically speaking, we don't have a "third gender uniform" so there's going to be immediate visual confusion.

I see a tie tab versus a necktie, or a female flight cap/service coat/untucked blouse shirt, my lizard brain clicks into "ma'am" mode.  Same goes for the visual cues of a male uniform.

Individuals addressing a cadet (or senior) of another gender that does not correspond to the uniform type are going to make that mistake, probably more often than not.

(Obviously, the utility uniforms are far less gender-cueing, and there you're prone to sir/ma'am mistakes at all times without the additional layer of a 3rd gender)

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etodd
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2019, 08:24:35 PM »

The key question to ask them is "what pronouns do you prefer?"  The person will be happy you asked and glad to tell you.
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« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2019, 08:43:42 PM »

The key question to ask them is "what pronouns do you prefer?"  The person will be happy you asked and glad to tell you.

This is not a "pronoun" issue this is a courtesies / greeting issue, and there is no "other" greeting in this context.

The only option, within the current paradigm, is to refer to the member by grade and last name.
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2019, 09:00:26 PM »

The only option, within the current paradigm, is to refer to the member by grade and last name.

That may apply in garrison at the unit. But that's not going to apply at Encampment or any other activity at which the cadet is present.

If that cadet goes to a Wing Conference, or Encampment, or NCSA, and meets someone who has no idea who this cadet is, they're going to be greeted 100% with a "Good (whatever), Ma'am/Sir." It's only going to be those two.

Unless you give them a special insignia for their gender, you can edit out the rest of the population on what they've been taught/trained to do or say.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2019, 09:07:01 PM »

That may apply in garrison at the unit. But that's not going to apply at Encampment or any other activity at which the cadet is present.

Actually, this is more appropriate for encampment or other environments where you don't know the person, or need to get their attention from behind.

No one is going to be insulted being referred to by their grade and last name or just their grade. 

Regardless, this is something CAP needs to "address" (see what I did there?), since it has a much more inclusive environment then
it's Uncle Blue.

I would posit that adopting a gender neutral "Sir" for all officers, including Seniors would suffice.
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NIN
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2019, 10:23:02 PM »



I would posit that adopting a gender neutral "Sir" for all officers, including Seniors would suffice.

Mr. Saavik approves

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Spam
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« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2019, 10:28:08 PM »



I would posit that adopting a gender neutral "Sir" for all officers, including Seniors would suffice.

Mr. Saavik approves

Only the Robin Curtis Saavik would, though.

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xyzzy
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2019, 12:51:00 AM »

I would posit that adopting a gender neutral "Sir" for all officers, including Seniors would suffice.

Some cadets don't see a whole lot of polite speech outside of CAP. So their experience in CAP should be something they can use outside CAP when good manners are needed, because they aren't learning it anywhere else. Therefore, CAP shouldn't go off on our own; we should follow the traditions of the military and polite society. Sometimes we might need to get out ahead of society in general if society is mistreating people, but I don't think there is a consensus for unisex "sir", even in considerate sectors of society.
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etodd
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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2019, 01:24:19 AM »

But Margaret didn't like being called sir by Radar. Made her mad! LOL
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2019, 01:55:11 AM »

I would posit that adopting a gender neutral "Sir" for all officers, including Seniors would suffice.

Some cadets don't see a whole lot of polite speech outside of CAP. So their experience in CAP should be something they can use outside CAP when good manners are needed, because they aren't learning it anywhere else. Therefore, CAP shouldn't go off on our own; we should follow the traditions of the military and polite society. Sometimes we might need to get out ahead of society in general if society is mistreating people, but I don't think there is a consensus for unisex "sir", even in considerate sectors of society.

Sadly, society these days is many things, but "polite" isn't one of them, however there are a lot of Tactical Assault Moms
actively looking for a reason to be outraged, and this issue is already well ahead of CAP, precisely because of its current stance on the matter.
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Fester
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2019, 02:01:45 AM »

That may apply in garrison at the unit. But that's not going to apply at Encampment or any other activity at which the cadet is present.

Actually, this is more appropriate for encampment or other environments where you don't know the person, or need to get their attention from behind.

No one is going to be insulted being referred to by their grade and last name or just their grade. 

Regardless, this is something CAP needs to "address" (see what I did there?), since it has a much more inclusive environment then
it's Uncle Blue.

I would posit that adopting a gender neutral "Sir" for all officers, including Seniors would suffice.

How, exactly, is "Sir" gender neutral?

noun
noun: sir; plural noun: sirs; noun: Sir; plural noun: Sirs
used as a polite or respectful way of addressing a man, especially one in a position of authority.
"excuse me, sir"
used to address a man at the beginning of a formal or business letter.
"Dear Sir"
(in Britain) used as a title before the given name of a knight or baronet.
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1stLt, CAP
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2019, 02:04:27 AM »

I don't think there is (a consensus), either... on a unisex "Sir", or any of the dozens of tortured words being pushed these days to refer to alleged third (or more) sexes.


"Ser" (originally ancient It. for mister or master, also ME AD 1200 - 1500) has been used as a unisex honorific by David Brin, Jack Vance, GRRM (Game of Thrones), Greg Bear and other SF/Fantasy writers (some of my favorite writers ever). I rather like the idea, and agree with Eclipse it would be a nice place for society to go. David "Honor Harrington" Weber also uses such terms in his rather egalitarian future military SF societies. Yet, Star Trek and speculative fiction aside, CAP just isn't the place for such social experiments. The traditions of the military are, then, "Sir" and "Ma'am", period, and so are CAP.

https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/media/cms/Respect_On_Display__CAPP_151_A1658A31B2A97.pdf
"MANNERS OF ADDRESS
Key Principle
Address superior officers as “Sir” or “Ma’am.”
Finer Points
• Cadets address fellow cadet airmen and NCOs by grade and last
name (ie: Airman Curry, Sergeant Arnold).
• Cadets address cadet officers and senior members by grade or as
“Sir” or “Ma’am.”
• Senior members may address cadets by grade or simply by the
noble title, “Cadet.”"


As CAP members we are not mistreating anyone by enforcing proper wear of the authorized uniforms, or by using the current legally assigned sex of a member ("Sir" or "Ma'am"). A cadet who makes an honest mistake in a form of address isn't a bad cadet, breaking a Core Value by "misgendering" a fellow member. Even if we have a member who refers to another by their legally assigned sex rather than whatever that other members current mental state is telling them, that's not, in my mind, cause for action to "school them" (i.e. I agree with current policies).


Indeed, members suffering from gender identity disorder (or dysphoria) are arguably due a degree of reasonable accommodation under current EEO guidance.  A cadet suffering from feelings of unease, dissatisfaction, and disconnectedness with their bodies and sex needs therapy - it is not proper for fellow members to feed into an ultimately destructive dissociative disorder by trying to learn and spout new invented worlds of fantasy pronouns.


But we're not therapists to fix such problems, just as CAP isn't a social science experiment. So, lets just stick with respective, well meaning forms of address, and press on in good faith, respecting each other's struggles and beliefs.


So:
"Cadet Doe, good evening"
"Excuse me, Lieutenant Doe"
"Cadet Lieutenant Doe, FRONT AND CENTER"!
even, from subordinates as an affectionate form:
"Hey, L-T, great job, that was AWESOME"!
or (between peers) "Doe! How you doin'!" (for those of us who grew up as cadets calling each other by last names).


R/s
Spam


(PS, etodd, Hot Lips really got the angriest when Frank called her by his wife's name, right)?


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etodd
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2019, 02:37:54 AM »

"Gomer says Hey!"   Lets just go casual.
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xyzzy
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« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2019, 03:01:41 AM »

legally assigned sex of a member
People tend to assume people have a legal name and a legally assigned sex. But if you try to pin down whether such things exist, it turns out it's not so easy. They appear on birth certificates. But names can be changed in a wide variety of ways, with or without legal formalities. The sex on a birth certificate could be regarded not as being "legally assigned", but rather, the birth certificate is the medical opinion of the doctor that signed it, and could be overturned by better medical information discovered after the certificate is issued.

In a number of states, enhanced, Real ID compliant non-driver ID cards are available from the DMV which allow a third option for the sex, such as "other" or "X". These are available on the say-so of the person named on the ID (together with the signature of the parent(s), if the holder is a minor). Does this override the gender on the birth certificate? Hard to say; typically it's only the motor vehicle laws that have been amended rather than a through-and-through edit of all of a state's laws.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2019, 03:02:14 AM »

Indeed, members suffering from gender identity disorder (or dysphoria) are arguably due a degree of reasonable accommodation under current EEO guidance.  A cadet suffering from feelings of unease, dissatisfaction, and disconnectedness with their bodies and sex needs therapy - it is not proper for fellow members to feed into an ultimately destructive dissociative disorder by trying to learn and spout new invented worlds of fantasy pronouns.

The above is best left to other forums, but from a CAP perspective in regards to NHQ's current stance on the issue,
at least 11 states now allow non-binary legal gender identification, so the idea of "wear what your birth certificate says"
isn't going to fly much longer, assuming it's even still airborne.

CAP isn't going to be able to preach inclusiveness while at the same time ignoring this issue.

It'll be even worse when members travel from a state that recognizes the above to a state that doesn't.
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2019, 03:17:45 PM »

Indeed, members suffering from gender identity disorder (or dysphoria) are arguably due a degree of reasonable accommodation under current EEO guidance.  A cadet suffering from feelings of unease, dissatisfaction, and disconnectedness with their bodies and sex needs therapy - it is not proper for fellow members to feed into an ultimately destructive dissociative disorder by trying to learn and spout new invented worlds of fantasy pronouns.

The above is best left to other forums, but from a CAP perspective in regards to NHQ's current stance on the issue,
at least 11 states now allow non-binary legal gender identification, so the idea of "wear what your birth certificate says"
isn't going to fly much longer, assuming it's even still airborne.

CAP isn't going to be able to preach inclusiveness while at the same time ignoring this issue.

It'll be even worse when members travel from a state that recognizes the above to a state that doesn't.


Just for fun I looked at some international birth certs, and many don't even list a gender...
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 06:22:47 PM by Майор Хаткевич » Report to moderator   Logged
CFToaster
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« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2019, 05:17:49 PM »

I think Ned is on the right track with his suggestion that OP ask the cadet how they would prefer to be addressed. I would add that depending on the cadet's environment and experience, they may not know what options they have.

For instance, if the cadet has connections to the LGTBQ+ community (either in person or online) they may have seen examples of how to handle these situations, or have a role model to base their expectations on. On the other hand, if the cadet is insulated from the LGTBQ+ community, or is newly defining their gender identity, they may think their only option is to pick "sir," or "ma'am," and go with whichever one chafes the least, unaware that there are options that actually affirm their gender identity.

I would probably open the conversation with something like this:
"So, Chief Smith; have you given any thought as to whether you would prefer 'Sir,' 'Ma'am,' or something else when being greeted by other cadets once you pin on your 2nd Lt?"
This gives them the opportunity to mention the third option of their choosing if they have one, and further opens up the conversation for the Senior Member (who has done a reasonable amount of research on the topic) to offer suggestions.

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CFToaster
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« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2019, 05:45:50 PM »

As CAP members we are not mistreating anyone by enforcing proper wear of the authorized uniforms, or by using the current legally assigned sex of a member ("Sir" or "Ma'am"). A cadet who makes an honest mistake in a form of address isn't a bad cadet, breaking a Core Value by "misgendering" a fellow member. Even if we have a member who refers to another by their legally assigned sex rather than whatever that other members current mental state is telling them, that's not, in my mind, cause for action to "school them" (i.e. I agree with current policies).

As XYZZY points out, "legally assigned" sex/gender is a slippery thing to pin down, and even one's subjective feelings on the subject can vary quite a bit over time (especially during adolescence in in the case of folks who identify as genderfluid).

I don't think accidentally misgendering someone is breaking a Core Value; as in your anecdote above, there are lots of ways it can happen will no ill intent. However, when you wish Lt. Smith "Good Morning, Ma'am" and he says, "'Sir,' if you please" it is MOST disrespectful to intentionally "Ma'am" him going forward.

I do not use my legal first name in any context, personally or professionally. Since it's still on my ID, I have to use it for booking plane flights, buying real estate, and anything involving a background check. When I started my first nursing job, I was listed as Flying Toaster on the orientation roll. When my name was called, I politely corrected the facilitator: "CF Toaster, please." They called me CF the rest of the time, and everything was good.

My PRECEPTOR, however, would only call me Flying Toaster. It didn't matter that I corrected him. It didn't matter that I had "CF Toaster" embroidered on my scrubs. It didn't matter that he heard me introduce myself to other people as CF Toaster. He would only call me by my legal name, and that was a totally disrespectful move on his part.
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2019, 06:05:08 PM »

The bottom line on this topic is that CAP recognizes two genders: male and female.

Males are addressed as "Sir."
Females are addressed as "Ma'am."

When others greet that cadet, they're going to say one of those two options and nothing else. You're looking to establish protocols that don't currently exist in CAP.

Senior members shouldn't be addressing that cadet as anything other than "Cadet (grade) Name" anyway. So I think that part is moot.

But when a new cadet walks in the door, I don't think you should be pulling that cadet aside and saying "Hey, just to let you know, Cadet _____ is (gender), so you'll address them as (pronoun)."

If there is a greater issue here that needs to be taken to the National level for official guidance/direction, then perhaps that's the route to go.

This isn't a cadet issue either. A cadet saying "I am (gender)" is no different than a senior member saying "I am (gender)." This goes beyond the scope of CAP Cadet Programs management.

Don't establish local traditions on how to greet or address those higher in grade. This already exists.
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« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2019, 06:27:37 PM »

Although I have very strong and definite right-wing opinions about this, I will attempt to keep the politics out of my answer, if possible...

In whatever world you live in outside of CAP, the US grants you the legal right to be called by whatever pronoun you prefer, but in CAP, THERE ARE ONLY TWO GENDERS. You can give whatever opinion you would like about this, but this is the way the US Military has kept it for years and this is the way (I hope) it will stay.

I'm not going to waste valuable meeting time dealing with a trivial quarrel with a cadet that didn't call LT Snuffy by a title not even issued or approved in CAP doctrine. Instead, I'm gonna go give my class on the next community service event, or go give a cadet a drill test to promote, not waste time with LT Snuffy feeling 'attacked' or 'degraded' because she didn't hear her cadets sound off with 'Yes, non-binary!' or 'Yes, gender queer!'.

And if I ever hear it in my time, It'll be shut down faster than a Cadet wearing OCPs.
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« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2019, 08:18:35 PM »

noun
...
(in Britain) used as a title before the given name of a knight or baronet.
;D
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Michael Moore, Maj, CAP
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« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2019, 10:49:09 PM »

There already exists gender neutral terms of address, the individual's grade. There is neither anything improper nor disrespectful when referring to someone by their grade. "Yes, Lieutenant/Captain/Major/Colonel," is acceptable in those circumstances, no further thought need be given beyond that.

As usual the thinly veiled contempt for change and inclusion on this message board is astonishing. 
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Fester
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« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2019, 04:37:00 AM »

As usual the thinly veiled contempt for change and inclusion on this message board is astonishing.

Agreed.  And acceptance.  And respect.  And empathy.
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« Reply #32 on: August 14, 2019, 04:41:24 AM »

If a cadet is struggling with these issues, how do you imagine they would feel if you refused to budge a bit about what YOU believe is "the way it is"?  If, as a SM with some authority over them, how do you think you'd feel if you so blatantly, with no empathy or tact told them "Well, CAP only recognizes two genders.  Whatever is on your birth certificate is what you ARE."?  Do you think they'd feel respected?  Do you think they'd feel you empathize with their struggles?  Do you think they'd feel that you care about them and support them and want them to succeed?  More importantly, how quickly do you think they'd quit showing up and give up on CAP?

Have some [darn] empathy.
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« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2019, 01:18:50 PM »

If a cadet is struggling with these issues, how do you imagine they would feel if you refused to budge a bit about what YOU believe is "the way it is"?  If, as a SM with some authority over them, how do you think you'd feel if you so blatantly, with no empathy or tact told them "Well, CAP only recognizes two genders.  Whatever is on your birth certificate is what you ARE."?  Do you think they'd feel respected?  Do you think they'd feel you empathize with their struggles?  Do you think they'd feel that you care about them and support them and want them to succeed?  More importantly, how quickly do you think they'd quit showing up and give up on CAP?

Have some [darn] empathy.

I don't think that's being implied at all here.

The fact of the matter is that this cadet is going to go to an Encampment, or Wing Conference, or NCSA, or orientation flights, and they're going to be called either "Sir" or "Ma'am" by people who don't know them. Those are the two gender-specific greetings that are rendered on a regular basis.

At the unit, it's an easy fix. Call them by their grade.

Out in the rest of the world, nobody else knows what the cadet's preference is, or even how that cadet identifies.

Do we send an email to all CAP members saying "From now on, before you greet any individual, please ask them what their preferred pronoun is?"

If the C/2d Lt holds a door open for another cadet they've never met, and that cadet replies "Thank you, Ma'am," there's zero misconduct or offense intended in that. What else are they supposed to call that person? How do they know otherwise? They don't.
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« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2019, 01:28:22 PM »


Fester, I happen to agree with you there.

I think some of our comments may be seen as lacking empathy, and require some context. Since the thread is centered on forms of address, ensuring that we adhere to Respect on Display is a must. Remaining empathetic to members with disabilities is a key concept to that. Deviating from these principles (by endorsing mental disorders on one hand, or demonizing them on the other hand) is unacceptable.


There is a difference between empathy with someone struggling, and exhibiting codependent behavior (words or acts) which reinforces deviant thought patterns and aberrant behavior, however. Feeding the problem and normalizing it through invention of non standard address (forcing the entire organization to conform to the pathology of an individual) is unacceptable, unmanageable, and harmful to the member in that it may motivate them to avoid getting therapy.


I think we have discussed and have listed some humane, empathetic ways to make members feel part of the team, through approved, standard forms of address, without compromising USAF style or CAP standards. We've also discussed the principle of a reasonable assumption of courtesy without attribution of evil intent when someone misidentifies a members sex. I think this is progress, really.


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« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2019, 06:42:00 PM »

and with that thoughtful, reasoned response, we'll end this thread on a good note.

Nice work guys. This thread could have gone far afield, and looked like it might have been a couple times, but you all did a great job staying the course.

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