State Department Beclowns Itself, Offers Therapy for Employees 'Misgendered' in Email Glitch

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

In a stunning display of hypersensitivity, the State Department graced its employees with an email on Friday that generously offered free therapy to anyone who was apparently “hurt or upset” by a minor system glitch.


Brace yourselves for the therapy-necessitating horror: a random pronoun generator had the audacity to assign incorrect pronouns to staff members. Men were mistakenly labeled as “she,” while women were wrongly dubbed “he.” Oh, the humanity! Send in a truckload of tissues and assign everyone an emotional support animal.

I’m glad the people we have running our State Department are so emotionally fragile. It really gives me a ton of confidence in the department to handle our nation’s foreign relations.

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One distraught employee even had the audacity to claim that the incident was a “distraction” and that “a lot of people here have been triggered today.” Well, clearly this is a national crisis that demands immediate attention!

But fear not, dear employees, for the State Department’s chief information officer, Kelly E. Fletcher, swiftly came to the rescue with a statement that would surely calm the nerves of even the most delicate souls. Fletcher explained, with utmost seriousness, that the purpose of this pronoun-generating feature was to make their systems more “inclusive” and to provide employees with “options,” not to actually make decisions for them. How thoughtful!

Oh, what a time to be alive, when the State Department can offer therapy for such traumatizing encounters with pronouns. I can only imagine what happens when an offensive meme makes the rounds in an email chain.


Fletcher tried to explain the traumatizing incident by explaining that the department is in the process of “testing a new feature that will provide users with the option to include their preferred pronouns in their Global Address List profile. The feature inadvertently went live, and a large number of employees had randomly assigned pronouns added to their profiles.”

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According to Fletcher, “the intent behind this feature is to make our systems more inclusive and provide employees with options. Not to make decisions for them.” Fletcher also expressed her regret, stating, “I recognize that this error had the opposite effect, and again, I am very sorry.”

Cry me a river that identifies as a lake.

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