This week Merriam-Webster added a “non-binary” definition of “they” to the dictionary to cater to individuals who identify as neither male nor female. Also this week, National Review’s Douglas Murray went on BBC Radio 4 to promote his new book The Madness of Crowds. During the interview, Douglas said “I don’t think there is any such thing as non-binary. And I think a lot of people know that too.”
The journalist Afua Hirsch disagreed. She said that Douglas’s criticism of the pop singer Sam Smith, for his recent announcement that he is non-binary and now prefers “they/them” pronouns, was akin to bullying. Smith is simply “somebody who is making an expression of his identity,” Hirsch said.
Oops! Presumably, she meant to say, “making an expression of their identity.” Easily done — isn’t it?
"I don't think there is any such thing as non-binary. And I think a lot of people know that too." @DouglasKMurray debates his new book with @afuahirsch @MarthaKearney | #r4Today pic.twitter.com/FvcHmkFTgR
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) September 17, 2019