Representative Madison Cawthorn, Republican from North Carolina, was resoundingly mocked after he claimed his preferred pronouns are "MA/GA."
Cawthorn's tweet was a reference to "Make America Great Again"—former President Donald Trump's controversial campaign slogan with roots in the White supremacist movement of the Ku Klux Klan.
Preferred gender pronouns are the pronouns a person prefers be used when they are referred to, in order to indicate their gender identity.
It has become increasingly common for people to display their pronouns in the workplace or on social media profiles. Because pronouns are not indicative of a person's sexual orientation, not everyone who shares their pronouns necessarily identifies as LGBTQ+.
Considering that, Cawthorn's post is obtusely ignorant of grammar at best and deliberately transphobic at worst.
Straight, cisgender people often choose to share and display their pronouns to let others, especially LGBTQ+ individuals, know they are in a safe space, especially if their gender identity is often questioned or if they are regularly misgendered.
The use of gender pronouns in the workplace, for instance, help normalize and encourage discussions about gender in such a way that transgender and non-binary individuals can feel safe and included.
Cawthorn has long been criticized by the LGBTQ+ community for his opposition to the Equality Act, which would, among other things, add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal civil rights legislation.
Although the bill ultimately passed through the House of Representatives (and has yet to be taken up by the Senate), Cawthorn later said he voted against the bill because it would restrict the rights of parents in regard to healthcare for their transgender children, something which was not in the bill.
Cawthorn's tweet opened him up to criticism—and many pointed out that "MA" and "GA" are the Postal Service's state abbreviations for Massachusetts and Georgia.
It's safe to say the jokes wrote themselves.
Mentally I am: https://twitter.com/cawthornfornc/status/1472326053364477956\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/vuhqqqWhhJ— Nick Saldivar \u2600\ufe0f (@Nick Saldivar \u2600\ufe0f) 1640123746
Massachusetts and Georgia are not actually pronouns.\n\nBut respect that you identify as non-binary.https://twitter.com/cawthornfornc/status/1472326053364477956\u00a0\u2026— THEE Democrats in Array (@THEE Democrats in Array) 1640080477
Me: MA is so annoying.\nFriend: Yeah, I hate GA.https://twitter.com/cawthornfornc/status/1472326053364477956\u00a0\u2026— Brady Shields \ud83c\udf39\ud83c\udf0e\ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udd3b\ud83d\udeb0 Kristof hate account (@Brady Shields \ud83c\udf39\ud83c\udf0e\ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udd3b\ud83d\udeb0 Kristof hate account) 1640083584
This Mf Goes By The Pronouns "Massachusetts/Georgia."https://twitter.com/CawthornforNC/status/1472326053364477956\u00a0\u2026— The Red and Blue Review (@The Red and Blue Review) 1640091430
These people really are fucking morons. Does this dipshit even know what a pronoun is? You\u2019d think a guy with the name \u201cMadison\u201d would be more understanding to the idea of being called the right pronoun.\n\nWhat a joke.https://twitter.com/cawthornfornc/status/1472326053364477956\u00a0\u2026— Bird App Disliker (@Bird App Disliker) 1640097219
Thank you for coming out as Massachusettsgender and Georgiagenderhttps://twitter.com/CawthornforNC/status/1472326053364477956\u00a0\u2026— \ud83c\udf84\u2603\ufe0f\u2744 Brayden Claus \u2603\ufe0f\u2744\ud83c\udf84 (@\ud83c\udf84\u2603\ufe0f\u2744 Brayden Claus \u2603\ufe0f\u2744\ud83c\udf84) 1640058654
sounds good mor/onhttps://twitter.com/CawthornforNC/status/1472326053364477956\u00a0\u2026— some guy from PA (@some guy from PA) 1640043498
Oh here I thought it was \n\nNA/ZIhttps://twitter.com/cawthornfornc/status/1472326053364477956\u00a0\u2026— Monjula Ray (@Monjula Ray) 1640050096
I choose to assume that ma sincerely wants to be identified by these neopronouns. I mean, gas tweet could simply be a lame joke, but ma also could be truly coming out as non-binary, in which case I wouldn't want to make ga uncomfortable.https://twitter.com/cawthornfornc/status/1472326053364477956\u00a0\u2026— Matthew Chapman (@Matthew Chapman) 1640055899
Cawthorn isn't the only Republican politician to be criticized for apparently misunderstanding the purpose of preferred gender pronouns.
Earlier this year, Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert was mocked after she said that her "pronoun is patriot."
Boebert also drew criticism after she made the absurd claim that Democrats are "trying to get rid of parents" in response to the House's approved rules about the language that would be used in official documents as part of an effort to include more inclusive language.