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(Non)gendered Pronouns

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EspressoPatronum

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Post February 4th, 2016, 12:49 am

(Non)gendered Pronouns

The emerging use of gender-neutral pronouns has been a big topic of discussion among my peers recently. I'm wondering if this is being discussed in other careers, academic fields, and countries - and if so, what are the questions and answers being offered?
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Khaleesi

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Post February 4th, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

I hear about this all the time. One of my old friends is specified as trans gender, and I don't see a problem with it at all. My friend, who is in track, wants to compete in girls' races rather than boys. That's one thing she and the school is currently trying to work out.
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Post February 4th, 2016, 2:54 am

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

Eryniell wrote:I hear about this all the time. One of my old friends is specified as trans gender, and I don't see a problem with it at all. My friend, who is in track, wants to compete in girls' races rather than boys. That's one thing she and the school is currently trying to work out.


Sorry, I don't follow. What exactly is it that you don't see a problem with?
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Post February 4th, 2016, 3:39 am

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

EspressoPatronum wrote:
Eryniell wrote:I hear about this all the time. One of my old friends is specified as trans gender, and I don't see a problem with it at all. My friend, who is in track, wants to compete in girls' races rather than boys. That's one thing she and the school is currently trying to work out.


Sorry, I don't follow. What exactly is it that you don't see a problem with?

Sorry. General neutral pronouns, or using someone's preferred pronouns (he, she, etc.) even if they weren't born that sex.
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Post February 4th, 2016, 4:10 am

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

I'm a big supporter of singular they. I recently read a piece on it where the American Dialect Society chose it as 2015 word of the year.

The use of singular they builds on centuries of usage, appearing in the work of writers such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen. In 2015, singular they was embraced by the Washington Post style guide. Bill Walsh, copy editor for the Post, described it as “the only sensible solution to English’s lack of a gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun.”

While editors have increasingly moved to accepting singular they when used in a generic fashion, voters in the Word of the Year proceedings singled out its newer usage as an identifier for someone who may identify as “non-binary” in gender terms.

“In the past year, new expressions of gender identity have generated a deal of discussion, and singular they has become a particularly significant element of that conversation,” Zimmer said. “While many novel gender-neutral pronouns have been proposed, they has the advantage of already being part of the language.”
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Post February 4th, 2016, 6:51 am

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

Definitely in academics it's being increasingly frowned upon to use non-gender neutral pronouns. You lose credibility if you don't use gender-neutral pronouns, especially when referring to a group of people.
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Post February 4th, 2016, 1:56 pm

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

Eryniell wrote:
EspressoPatronum wrote:
Eryniell wrote:I hear about this all the time. One of my old friends is specified as trans gender, and I don't see a problem with it at all. My friend, who is in track, wants to compete in girls' races rather than boys. That's one thing she and the school is currently trying to work out.


Sorry, I don't follow. What exactly is it that you don't see a problem with?

Sorry. General neutral pronouns, or using someone's preferred pronouns (he, she, etc.) even if they weren't born that sex.


Gotcha. Yeah, I'm all for using whatever a particular person prefers to reference them.

Arabella wrote:I'm a big supporter of singular they. I recently read a piece on it where the American Dialect Society chose it as 2015 word of the year.


I also tend to lean toward singular they, because I feel like made-up pronouns, while noble, are just too distracting. I didn't know that the American Dialect Society had taken a stance on it though.

The only troubling factor that I run into is that it is important in my field to talk about how we experience the world in an embodied way - and embodiment includes a specific gender identity. So while I don't hold to the gender binary, it also seems strange to factor down how we speak about gender while saying that gender particularity influences the way in which we experience the world.

Mirkprince wrote:You lose credibility if you don't use gender-neutral pronouns, especially when referring to a group of people.


Yeah, the plural seems easy enough to deal with (i.e., "humankind" instead of "mankind," etc.) It's more the singular that gives me pause.
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Post February 6th, 2016, 4:58 pm

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

In Sweden, we have a relatively new gender-neutral pronoun called "hen". I think it is very practical, not only for people who identify as neither male or female, but also when you're discussing someone without knowing their gender. The conservatives here were freaking out over that word, when it first emerged, because they thought the government was trying to blur the line between the sexes, but that's not really the entire purpose behind the word "hen".
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Post February 6th, 2016, 6:03 pm

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

I kind of like the gender neutral expressions. Shame we don't have a very good alternative in Dutch.
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Post February 6th, 2016, 7:26 pm

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

Ziggy Stardust wrote:In Sweden, we have a relatively new gender-neutral pronoun called "hen". I think it is very practical, not only for people who identify as neither male or female, but also when you're discussing someone without knowing their gender. The conservatives here were freaking out over that word, when it first emerged, because they thought the government was trying to blur the line between the sexes, but that's not really the entire purpose behind the word "hen".

I imagine they're teaching it to kids in school, but how are the adults adjusting to it? Did they mostly embrace it right away or has it taken awhile to catch on?
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Post February 6th, 2016, 7:36 pm

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

Arabella wrote:
Ziggy Stardust wrote:In Sweden, we have a relatively new gender-neutral pronoun called "hen". I think it is very practical, not only for people who identify as neither male or female, but also when you're discussing someone without knowing their gender. The conservatives here were freaking out over that word, when it first emerged, because they thought the government was trying to blur the line between the sexes, but that's not really the entire purpose behind the word "hen".

I imagine they're teaching it to kids in school, but how are the adults adjusting to it? Did they mostly embrace it right away or has it taken awhile to catch on?



Pretty much everyone has embraced the new word, except the conservatives. I was attending a Christian High School when the word was first announced, and my teacher hated it and all my classmates hated it, basically the whole school hated it because they're traditional people who believe in traditional gender roles. The thing is, they misunderstood the real reason why the word was created in the first place. Yes, it was created for people who do not want to identify as only male or female, but it was also added to the Swedish vocabulary for other reasons too. I personally do not see a problem with the word and am happy that the Swedish language now has its own version of the English words "they" and "their".
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Post February 6th, 2016, 7:48 pm

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

I have a sibling who is gender fluid, I call them 'they' quite often. I have no issue with it, it's been used in other situations too besides towards a person.
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Post February 22nd, 2016, 6:50 am

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

Arabella wrote:I'm a big supporter of singular they. I recently read a piece on it where the American Dialect Society chose it as 2015 word of the year.

The use of singular they builds on centuries of usage, appearing in the work of writers such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen. In 2015, singular they was embraced by the Washington Post style guide. Bill Walsh, copy editor for the Post, described it as “the only sensible solution to English’s lack of a gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun.”

While editors have increasingly moved to accepting singular they when used in a generic fashion, voters in the Word of the Year proceedings singled out its newer usage as an identifier for someone who may identify as “non-binary” in gender terms.

“In the past year, new expressions of gender identity have generated a deal of discussion, and singular they has become a particularly significant element of that conversation,” Zimmer said. “While many novel gender-neutral pronouns have been proposed, they has the advantage of already being part of the language.”


Ziggy Stardust wrote:
In Sweden, we have a relatively new gender-neutral pronoun called "hen". I think it is very practical, not only for people who identify as neither male or female, but also when you're discussing someone without knowing their gender. The conservatives here were freaking out over that word, when it first emerged, because they thought the government was trying to blur the line between the sexes, but that's not really the entire purpose behind the word "hen".


I agree with both posts. I believe that some people are a kind of 'mixed' or alternative gender identity, which is neither 'male' or 'female'- irrespective of their physical biology. Some Native American tribes, such as the Ojibwa, have a much more flexible concept of 'gender' than the binary 'male/ female' view, and for me, this makes more sense.
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FracturedRocket

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Post April 8th, 2017, 4:21 am

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

At the risk of sounding anti-everything-under-the-sun, I'm really not for these "non-binary" or "gender-fluid" pronouns. Call me a crotchety conservative if you must (I make no apologies for it); I'm just putting my opinion out there.
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Post April 8th, 2017, 3:39 pm

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

FracturedRocket wrote:At the risk of sounding anti-everything-under-the-sun, I'm really not for these "non-binary" or "gender-fluid" pronouns. Call me a crotchety conservative if you must (I make no apologies for it); I'm just putting my opinion out there.


Well, I must respectfully disagree.

But I understand it is not easy for everyone to understand those kinds of things. I am still confused what the difference between agender and Non-Binary is. I mean, aren't they technically the same thing?
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Post May 16th, 2017, 8:57 pm

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

Rosey678 wrote: I am still confused what the difference between agender and Non-Binary is. I mean, aren't they technically the same thing?


It's the difference between a rectangle and a square, to my understanding. Non-binary is a larger category which means any gender that is not definitively man or woman. Genderfluid fits into Non-binary, and it means that a person's gender changes, or is fluid. I'm genderfluid, but I could also call myself non-binary. There are other non-binary genders such as Agender, Bigender, two-spirit, etc.
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Post May 17th, 2017, 7:25 pm

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

I like it personally.
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Post November 14th, 2017, 2:31 am

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

Isn't it kind of sexist to say that if you aren't specifying a gender, you put "he" as the pronoun, lol? :)
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Post November 14th, 2017, 4:44 am

Re: (Non)gendered Pronouns

Problems of English .lol

Turkish pronouns doesn't include genders already.

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