As best I can tell, there's a lot of fear around the pronoun requirements in the new CoC. The rules are vague, and open to interpretation. How can you be sure you're doing the right thing without knowing exactly where the line is drawn?
Well, I would say we have been doing exactly that since the beginning of SE; the rule used to be "Be Nice", without much to elaborate on this. There were some vague examples of how one could be "not nice", but nothing was spelled out mathematically. There was no test that was even close to objective that would determine whether you were nice or not.
Ultimately, the enforcement of the rules were left to the judgement of the moderators. Essentially, if the moderators deemed your behaviour problematic, then you would get a series of warnings, short bans, eventually culminating in longer/wider bans if your behaviour failed to improve after many warnings. While I'm sure the system did not work in every case, it seemed fine.
The pronouns stuff is simply clarifying how to "Be Nice" to a certain group of people, whose reception on the SE network has traditionally been... rocky. At the heart of the CoC, you are required to address people in the way they want to be addressed. For a majority of people, this has never been an issue in their lives, but for this particular minority, this is a big deal.
You don't have to sympathise with them or their issues at all; just address them as they want to be addressed. The onus of being mindful of others' problems is not limited to problems you share (for example, I'm not a parent or a child, but I still try not to endanger children, for both their and their parents' sakes).
Like the rest of the "Be Nice" policy, I expect the moderators to enforce the pronoun policy in the same way: through warnings, short bans, then long bans. Anyone who is earnestly not trying to antagonise the queer community should have many, many opportunities to rectify their behaviour if it's deemed problematic, before any serious punishment comes in.
But, what about Monica? Didn't she get fired, almost instantly, without trying to antagonise the queer community?
Monica's ham-fisted dismissal couldn't have come at a worse time. It is a clear example of the worst fears about pronouns policy come to life.
However, I think it should be treated as a separate issue. Remember, it is not the SE company staff who will be enforcing the pronouns policy; it will be the various moderators. I can see why, in the lead up to releasing the new CoC, they would want to ensure that their senior, paid moderation staff will enforce their CoC properly. After all, these are the people who the moderators will turn to when trying to figure out how to enforce the CoC.
As I've said before, Monica's dismissal was poorly handled, and based on all available information, totally unfair; I'm not trying to excuse SE's behaviour on this point. However, I just don't think it's an indication about how the CoC will be practically enforced over the SE network.