National Public Radio will continue for now to refer to Private Manning as “he,” according to a spokeswoman, Anna Bross. “Until Bradley Manning’s desire to have his gender changed actually physically happens, we will be using male-related pronouns to identify him,” she said.
What the fuck, NPR? This is some draconian bullshit, right here. Gender is not just physical. And anyway, the content of Chelsea Manning's underwear is none of NPR's business. Is an editorial board going to demand photographs of her crotch before they agree to switch pronouns? I can understand some news organizations having some difficulty yesterday as they transitioned from using "he" to "she" with Chelsea Manning. An announcement of this scale has never happened before, and I don't think it's happened to these kinds of reporters—the ones covering breaking national and international news (thanks to Chaz Bono, entertainment and gossip reporters are actually ahead of the curve on this issue). But for a whole organization to demand proof of a physical change in gender before they respect someone's wishes is more than just institutional ignorance; it's outright aggression.
UPDATE 5 PM: Scott Simon on Twitter says NPR will refer to Chelsea Manning by her name. No word about the pronouns yet:
To those who have asked: NPR will now say #ChelseaManning, believing everyone has the right to be called by name they want.
— Scott Simon (@nprscottsimon) August 23, 2013
UPDATE 7:30 PM: Now NPR says their thinking has "evolved" on the issue, and they will use the proper pronouns when referring to Manning. Good for them for finally coming around to decency.