In a move subsequently described as moving from “virtue-signalling” to a “PR disaster”, UK bank Halifax managed to start what has been described as an exodus after telling customers who objected to their pronouns badges for employees to go elsewhere.
The row started when the British financial institution tweeted that “pronouns matter” over an image of an example of its new staff name badge, featuring the words ‘she/her/hers’ underneath.
— Halifax (@HalifaxBank) June 28, 2022
Amongst the many responses were large numbers of people – predominantly women – asking questions like this: “Why is a bank forcing employees to wear a badge signalling to a quasi-religious ideology? Is Halifax a religious bank now? What if an employee doesn’t believe in gender identity ideology? What if a customer doesn’t believe in gender identity ideology?”
Now, the Daily Mail is reporting that more than 150 people on Twitter said they would boycott Halifax. But the most difficult controversy for the bank has arisen around the response of Halifax’s social media manager to customers who complained.
When customers accused the bank of ‘virtue-signalling, the social media manager told them: ‘If you disagree with our values, you’re welcome to close your account”, the Daily Mail reports.
The clumsy and arrogant retort fed into a growing perception that transgender activists and their corporate allies are increasingly shrill and increasingly intolerant.
Women, in particular, object to the push to insist that there are more than two sexes, or that men can switch between being women and men because they claim to be ‘gender fluid’. JK Rowling is one of the most high-profile of those women claiming the obsession with pronouns is ‘erasing women’.
Corporates like Halifax are busy spending millions on diversity training, but before they jumped on the latest bandwaggon it might have been better to check what their customers thought of being branded ‘cis women’ and told that people needed to state their pronouns.
Many pointed out that forcing staff to wear these badges was a form of compelled speech, including former Halifax sales ambassador, Howard Brown, who told GB News he would not wear a badge with his pronouns.
'Everybody should be inclusive… I wouldn't want to wear one.'
Former Halifax sales ambassador Howard Brown says he would not wear a badge with his pronouns on.
— GB News (@GBNEWS) July 4, 2022