all 38 comments

[–]worried19[S] 19 insightful - 1 fun19 insightful - 0 fun20 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

I'm fine with using preferred pronouns, but I consider them a courtesy, not a right. I will happily use them for adults as long as they are acting in good faith. However, I don't feel comfortable using them for children.

Gender-neutral pronouns bother me because society has gotten to the point where GNC people are automatically "theyed" by others. Back on the old sub, we had a teacher who posted that she pulled aside a 14 year old GNC girl and asked her for her pronouns. This is harmful and regressive and seems to be happening far more often than not. Feminine women are never assumptively called "they," only masculine ones.

[–]DistantGlimmer 14 insightful - 1 fun14 insightful - 0 fun15 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Gender-neutral pronouns bother me because society has gotten to the point where GNC people are automatically "theyed" by others. Back on the old sub, we had a teacher who posted that she pulled aside a 14 year old GNC girl and asked her for her pronouns. This is harmful and regressive and seems to be happening far more often than not. Feminine women are never assumptively called "they," only masculine ones.

That's a very good point. Assuming people have a different pronoun than their biological sex is harmful especially for kids.

[–]worried19[S] 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I was really upset that the person in question thought it was no big deal. She's an authority figure basically telling a child that there is good reason to believe that she is not of her biological sex.

In an ideal world, I would be fine with "they" for everyone, but I doubt things will ever go in that direction. The English language is gendered and people are too used to "he" and "she" to give them up. Even if we did collectively decide to throw them out, it's not like it would solve the problem of misogyny. It's still clear at a glance which adults are male and which adults are female, even if they're all calling themselves "they."

[–]DistantGlimmer 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Yes. I wasn't thinking of getting rid of biosex pronouns but just having a third one to get people to notice gender less in daily social interactions. (or we can just keep using singular "they" I guess but it is kind of awkward.)

[–]censorshipment 16 insightful - 1 fun16 insightful - 0 fun17 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

People should use whichever pronouns roll off their tongues. If you have to repeatedly remind yourself that a man wants to be called she/them, then you shouldn't call that man she/them.

My ex-girlfriend's daughter (4 now but was 2 when we met) used male pronouns for me because I'm gnc/butch. We tried to convince her that I'm female, too, but she still saw me as a man.

[–]CatbugMods allow rape victim blaming in this sub :) 13 insightful - 2 fun13 insightful - 1 fun14 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

It’s a courtesy and I’ll use them if I am compelled but think the entire notion is silly and juvenile. Neo pronouns like ze or xir I’d probably laugh before I could hide it.

[–]Lapis_Lazuli 10 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 0 fun11 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Courtesy. I've compiled my thoughts on pronoun etiquette into a handy reference guide.

Forms of pronoun-related assholery from the pro-trans camp

  • Asking people to use neo-pronouns

  • Asking people to use pronouns that are obviously incongruent with your sex and getting offended if they slip up

  • Expecting people to magically intuit your sex-incongruous pronouns because you're wearing eyeliner or a bowtie or whatever

  • Testing people for pronoun heresy—e.g., pushing them to use the "right" pronouns instead of talking around pronouns

  • Asking pronouns or using pronouns that aren't sex-based without being asked (GNC women are especially likely to encounter this flavor of jackassery)

  • Forcing employees to state pronouns in their email signatures, wear pronoun badges, etc.

Forms of pronoun-related assholery from the gender critical camp

  • Deliberately using sex-based pronouns to refer to a trans person in front of that trans person for the purpose of hurting their feelings and/or letting them know that you think their gender identity is silly. Being a civil adult means sometimes paying lip service to other people's pet dogma. An analogy: If a religious person says that they believe their deceased mother is watching over them from heaven, even if you're a die-hard atheist, the decent thing to do is to say "yes, I'm sure she is" instead of "your mother is dead and rotting in the ground." Saying "Titus was just telling me about his new foster dog" instead of "This woman who's calling herself, get a load of this, Titus, was just telling me about her new foster dog" is the same sort of thing.

Edited to add that I won't use "preferred pronouns" for children. If you're an adult and you've chosen to pursue transition, I can make reasonable concessions to avoid causing you psychological distress. But I refuse to do anything that sanctions or normalizes childhood transition.

[–]Omina_SentenziosaSarcastic Ovalord 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

the decent thing to do is to say "yes, I'm sure she is"

No, the decent thing to do is say "I am glad this thought makes you feel better". There is no reason why you should pretend to believe something you don't believe in.

That said, the two things are also not comparable unless the person you say it to decides to start a violent movement in order to threaten the ones who refuse to play along with consequent legal, economical and sometimes physical punishment for not paying lip service. Or if that person uses people's kindness against them to destroy their rights.

[–]inneedofspace 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Neither, for me calling a man a woman or vice versa feels like a lie and I'm not going to do it. I don't see pronouns as acknowledging gender/personality/aura, she means female, and he, male. I'm waiting on a gender neutral pronoun to avoid all of this honestly but for now your pronoun is them or your last name if I know it.

[–]DistantGlimmer 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I like using "they". I wish there was an English singular equivalent to this:

I do not use "she" to refer to biological males as these signals in my mind the acceptance they are actually women which I don't agree with. I'd be less against calling a transman "he" although I'd still object to it for similar reasons.

It is a courtesy especially when they are requesting pronouns that directly contradict reality. I wish trans people would push just to have less use of gendered language as a whole (without completely erasing biological sex of course) that I think I could actually get on board with but I hate their constant quest to get others to validate them.

[–][deleted] 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I am unable to wrap my mind around the entire issue. My brain can’t do it. I avoid using any pronouns around anyone that demands that I call a man her/she or a woman he/him.

A friend of the family overnighted from female to male. Since she did not change her name as it is not sex-based, I only refer to her by her name.

I just can’t with the gender insanity.

[–]theblackfleet 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

pronouns denote sex class. I am not willing to use preferred pronouns. I find gender neutral pronouns even more ridiculous.

[–]Omina_SentenziosaSarcastic Ovalord 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

They are a courtesy, and the most i am willing to do is use "they" in place of sex-based pronouns if they are trans.

[–]Spikygrasspod 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I used to think pronouns were a courtesy. Now I think they're an equivocation--a mix up that conceals the truth. Why? Because they carry with them the associations of sex and socialisation. "She" suggests someone who is not likely to dominate or harm. "She" should be allowed to play women's sports. "She" deserves to be treated like a woman. "She" hides the fact that he is male born, male socialised, with a male sexuality and male risk profile. So yeah, definitely not a right. More like a deliberate attempt to reframe reality to make male colonisation and male appropriation of women's things more palatable.

[–]uwubunny 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Transgender activists are authoritarian assholes, so I refuse to use any kind of pronoun to validate the idea that human beings can literally change sex or negate sex out of principle. It might have been okay before this foolishness started, but not any more. Sorry to the Blaire Whites of the world and other sane transgenders, but I can't make an exception for you. I'm not going to use pronouns to validate the "good trans" like some kind of patronizing reward, so it's just a blanket ban from me. If pronouns aren't a courtesy for me, then they aren't for you, either.

That doesn't mean I'm oblivious to the fact that even TRAs can feel real anguish at being called the opposite sex pronoun from the one they want, but most of the time it's possible to remain equivocal on sex and avoid being specific with pronouns.

That said, there's no particular reason to use "he" for males and "she" for females other than custom and common understanding, like all language. English could in theory switch to a sex neutral pronoun and be comprehensible. I don't like "they" because it mixes singular and plural. If a sex nonconforming person prefers to be called a pronoun that the opposite sex uses and isn't doing it because they want me to pretend they've changed sex, I don't think I'd be against it. I'm okay with "he/him lesbians".

[–]pirilampo 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

I'm fine with using pronouns as a courtesy, but I absolutely refuse to use any pronouns other than he/him when talking about TIMs who are sexual offenders.

[–]peakingatthemomentTranssexual (natal male), HSTS 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

TIM/TIF are not allowed in this space.

[–]pirilampo 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Not even when talking about male sex offenders? Anyways, my bad. Won't happen again.

[–]peakingatthemomentTranssexual (natal male), HSTS 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

No stress.

[–]SilverSlippers 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I use the pronouns that people want.

[–]peakingatthemomentTranssexual (natal male), HSTS 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

I feel like it’s a courtesy. That said, I generally give people their preferred pronouns. It’s very much expected in professional settings and I work in HR so I don’t really feel like I have much choice. In personal settings, I’ll do pronouns too, although I’m not perfect and can make mistakes if those aren’t the pronouns I would naturally give someone (based on their sex) or if they are non-binary or unusual pronouns.

My personal opinion about pronouns it that they should be based on sex though (or perception of it). I feel like trans people should earn pronouns through passing rather than expect them or ask other people to use them. Using pronouns that conflict with how you naturally see someone takes effort and I’m not sure if it’s fair to expect people to do that (even though I do it myself). The only time I think sex-based pronouns are silly is when it takes mental effort to use them. Like if someone naturally reads as male, but you know they are female (or vice versa), I don’t believe you should put effort into misgendering them and I feel like people who do that are just being mean.

[–]worried19[S] 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I feel pretty much the same. There are also people for whom I would struggle to call their sex-based pronouns. Buck Angel, for example. "She" doesn't roll off the tongue, even though I recognize that he is biologically female.

[–]peakingatthemomentTranssexual (natal male), HSTS 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Buck Angel, for example. "She" doesn't roll off the tongue, even though I recognize that he is biologically female.

Totally agree.

[–][deleted] 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I guess I'm kind of old school . . . I'll use traditional pronouns as requested by transitioners making a sincere effort to pass, and professionally as requested in email taglines.

I make no effort at all with ze, xyr, or whatever all that is. The day it becomes GPO or OED standardized, I'll make an effort to learn them.

[–]levoyageur718293 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I've had to use transgender pronouns in online spaces in order to hide my GC bonafides, but that's to keep up my cover. I have thus far avoided actually speaking to anyone who demands "they," and I think it's the absolute height of arrogance. I'll use "they" in circumstances where the subject is unknown - "someone left their bike here" - but I've never had to use it as a sex-neutral. As for full-on neopronouns, if you you get to make them up to refer to your neogender, then I get to make one up to show that I'm a higher social class than you.

[–]SnowAssMan 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I think trans people should be able to handle being called different pronouns than the ones they prefer.

However, I think in some ways it can be argued that men shouldn't have the same free speech rights as women, because they tend to weaponise their speech. I can easily see how a far-right radio host consistently "misgendering" & dead-naming trans-women in an aggressive way could insight his male listeners to violence.

There should probably just be a higher threshold for women than men, generally. For instance, a man saying he hates women is dangerous, while a woman saying she hates men is innocuous & if anything a reason for celebration. But people hate these "double-standards" because "equality". I'd argue that applying the same androcentric standard for women is sexist, as well as taking words out of context (the context being: a society with a systemic sexism problem, women hating men is like poor people hating rich ones – perfectly acceptable).

Personally, I always use a person's preferred pronouns.

I think gender-neutral pronouns only make sense if you use them for everyone, regardless.

[–]Porcelain_QuetzalTabby without Ears 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Depends on context. I'm most situations I'd say it's simply respectful to use them and if you don't, then it's fine to deal with that according to the situation.

The one big exception is care. Wether it's somatic, psychiatric or social. If you work with vulnerable people and can't keep politics at the door, then I'm sorry but you have the wrong job. And yes I'm fully expecting the "don't feed into delusion" argument from someone.

I'm not sure how I'd deal with neo pronouns. I'd probably just use their name. I have no issue with they/them instead of neo pronouns.

[–]worried19[S] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I'd avoid using pronouns at all if I met someone into neo-pronouns. It's just not a reasonable expectation.

[–]luckystar 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I use them for people who make efforts. Had a male friend with full beard and 100% male presentation that sometimes wore nail polish and thought that merited a "they". I am no longer friends with him.

[–]Rae 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I consider it a courtesy, not a right... But like, I think it's a dick move to intentionally call someone pronouns they don't prefer to their face.

I use preferred pronouns when I'm talking to the person or people who might be close to them. Especially if someone passes, I'm not about to "out" their trans status to people they might not want to know.

However, in the absence of the person or people close to them, I'll generally refer to the pronouns attributed to his or her sex/how I percieve them.

I think they/them pronouns sound clunky. Also the first thought that comes to mind is, "oh, so this person believes sexist stereotypes and/or spiritual feelings makes someone a man or a woman/not a man not a woman..." But, still, I'll use these pronouns out of etiquette and avoiding confrontation.

[–]Seahorse 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I don't feel any type of way really. Yes I'm happy to use preferred pronouns, I'm not sure about the second part.....I don't think it's a right but it's probably more than a courtesy too.

Gender neutral pronouns are ridiculous and butcher the English language.

[–]emptiedriver 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I had a friend who changed her name - just to a different female name - when we were all in college, and it took some of us a while to adapt and use her new name. I have some old friends from when I was a kid who don't go by their old nicknames anymore but I still sometimes called them their playground name when we got back in touch... I feel like that is in the same zone. Some people don't really mind, other people can get sensitive about it. If they ask you to please not do that, it's rude to not make the effort. If all the new people they meet easily pick up the new words, you might find yourself going along with it at some point, if you're in contact enough.

Pronouns to me are not that big a deal and I'm fine following protocol, but I also wouldn't care if someone called me by the wrong pronouns... I wish it was considered less of a major issue. I don't like the expectation that you have to provide pronouns at conferences or meetings. I'd be fine with neutral ones if there were common but not plural ones, for instance. The Xir/etc just don't seem to have taken off, but I remember stuff like that being tossed around 30 yrs ago so I don't think of it as a trans thing - more like, a follow up to "Ms", since "he" was so often used as the standard or neutral in examples. Instead, "she" has become a common example, and "he or she" (or "you", or "one" or "they" or just avoiding pronouns) is used to refer to a group since there may actually be women in attendance.

But since trans people have become so militant about it, it has started to rub me the wrong way and sometimes I just kind of avoid pronouns altogether and take how people use pronouns as a sign of their views on the issue. So it's become a little weird. I both don't care and think about it too much.

[–]RobertTheDemon 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

It really depends. If you pass then I guess it's somewhat of a right considering that you pass so there's no real reason for strangers to misgender you. If you're prancing around in a dress but however identify as a male, then do not get pissed when you are misgendered.

So I guess it's a right to those who pass well because there's no real reason to gender them otherwise, but for some it may be more of a courtesy.

[–]theachan 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

They're a right. Any decent person should agree.

[–]littlerbear 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Lotta people don't share your opinion here. I certainly don't. I see then as a courtesy or speech compelled at work so I can keep my job. Why are they a right and how should this right be enforced?

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I don't see why it's so hard to use the pronoun someone wants. To me, it's similar to having a nickname. There's rarely any drama over calling someone named Samantha "Sammy". If in doubt or unsure, use "they".

[–]Omina_SentenziosaSarcastic Ovalord 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Do you see why it's so hard for an atheist to say "God exists"?

It's not the same thing as a nickname at all, using a nickname doesn't validate a set of beliefs, using pronouns does (in the specific, the belief that someone' s gender identity exists and that it makes a person a man or a woman).

[–]catoborosnonbinary 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Courtesy. Treating others with respect and courtesy costs nothing and builds our little piece of society, so I respect pronouns. "They/them" is an acceptable fallback. When I say pronouns I mean paleopronouns. I have never used a neopronoun.