The current FAQ on pronouns says the following:
8. What if someone wants to be referred to as "the Great and Mighty One" or by an obscenity or something?
If something is obviously unreasonable and seems to be requested unkindly, please feel free to flag for moderator attention. Pronouns are a fairly well defined thing in language and styles/nouns/titles (“Your Majesty”) are generally poor substitutes for them. Note that “it sounds silly to me” is not sufficient grounds to think something is obviously unreasonable. If you and they can't agree, ask a moderator (or, if a moderator is one of the parties to the dispute, the Community Team) as you would in other cases of dispute. The Community Team is also available to help guide moderators upon request. Offensive/trolling “pronouns” (e.g.“attack helicopter”) should be flagged.
Per a moderator, this means:
whether someone's requested pronouns are legitimate is now something that moderators are supposed to determine.
If these moderators and staff have not had diversity training, but are now supposed to police gender (i.e., determine whether someone's gender expression is appropriate or not). This is highly problematic.
This post describes the experience of a user (whose pronouns happen to be similar to mine). The pronouns were a derivative of the user name.
To summarize the post, pronouns were removed from this user's profile and an about me from one Stack Exchange site was copied over to all Stack Exchange sites, including those sites where the user had an anonymized profile.
A moderator responded to the post explaining that a staff member had done this, speculating that it was because the pronouns were not considered legitimate. I can see why a person who is not familiar with nonnormative gender expression could think this. It happens to be a manner of gender expression that is used by others (though this is a highly problematic standard, equating a valid gender expression with one that conforms to norms). It is also similar to my gender expression on this site (though, again, I hate to have to use myself as a norm against which other gender expressions should be measured). Regardless, it does not use offensive content. It was believed to be inappropriate merely because it was unique. That is the wrong standard.
I do not know this user personally, but by post history, the user does not appear to be a troll at all. In fact, this user appears to be an ally who, by identifying with nonstandard pronouns, is expressing a de facto non-binary gender identity and being punished and mocked for this.
Why not just report this as a CoC violation?
I have written this as a post rather than using the Contact Me mechanism because I believe, now that we have seen a clear example of CoC enforcement being used to restrict nonnormative gender expression, the issue of unfamiliar moderators policing gender needs to be discussed by the community and addressed in that context. For that matter, I empathize with the moderator and staff member in question. I believe they are trying their best and should not have been asked to do this.
Is this question a duplicate?
This is not a duplicate of the suggested post. It is relevant to discuss the manner in which current actual enforcement is being used to punish and mock non-normative gender expression, which is counter to the intention of the CoC changes.
We've had several posts discussing concerns about a hypothetical troll, offering statistics about how normal or abnormal individual neopronouns might be. This post is about the actual effect of requiring untrained and unfamiliar people to use their judgement to determine whether a user’s gender expression is appropriate. It is in the context of actual, not hypothetical, actions taken by staff and moderators, and whether we should reconsider the methods this site now uses to regulate the gender expression of its users.
How can we avoid the problems created by policing users' gender expression?