We humans are condemned to live lives that are full of problems.
Yet, we manage just fine if, at any given moment, we are able to address a handful of our most pressing problems. By doing so, we have not merely kept our head over water, but made much progress, mitigated suffering and created a better world.
At any given time, we need to be laser focused on solving our most pressing problems. A problem that isn’t as pressing is a distraction.
Given this premise, does everybody having to use the right gender pronoun qualify among the most pressing problem that the human species faces? Is it as important as other big problems that require global attention – climate change, the rise of AI or the threat of nuclear war? Does it deserve a spokesperson on the same stage as these problems?
Secondly, does addressing a person by a preferred gender address the problem at its root? If not, is it worth our their time to memorize conjugation tables of about 40 pronouns to address the person in front of us? As an aside, do gender pronouns also double up as an easy means for a few people to score status points?
A person’s gender isn’t obvious, and our pretending otherwise is definitely a problem. Yet, where does this problem stand in the pecking order of problems that deserve everybody’s attention?