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Pronouns, right? Super weird little lexical referents.

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Transcript below:

Pronoun Do’s and Don’ts

When someone asks you to use a different pronoun:

Don’t:

What? ‘Zie’ isn’t a real pronoun – don’t you have something more normal that you use?

But it’s not grammatically correct to use ‘they’ as a singular pronoun.

Why?

You are not the being asked to evaluate this person’s gender identity or terminology.

Also, I have not yet witnessed a version of this conversation in which the person arguing is actually correct.

Don’t:

Ooooh….I’ll tryyyyy but I’m warning you I’m going to mess that up so much.

Why:

We know you will. Everyone does, at least at first. But it’s boring to be reminded right up front about how difficult and inconvenient our genders are to you.

Do:

I don’t believe in this whole ‘gender theory’ transgender thing.

Why?

So I can decide immediately not to waste my time with an ignorant asshole like you.

Do:

I’m not familiar with those pronouns. Could you go over them with me so I know I’m using them right?

Do:

Oh, of course. I’ll do my best!

When you accidentally misgender someone:

Don’t

She – I mean he! He. Oh my god

(it’s ok)

I am so SO SO sorry

(don’t worry about it)

I didn’t mean it you know I’m the LAST person who

(it’s FINE)

Why:

Your mistake should not turn into a weird self-flagellation ‘make me feel better’ moment. It’s really not about you.

Do:

She – I mean he, sorry – and I used to…

Do:

(if necessary, probably in private)

Hey man, I know I keep messing up this pronoun thing, I promise I’m doing my best. Thanks for your patience so far.

Do:

Practice!

Greg is my friend, I’ve known him for 7 years. He works in landscaping and he has 3 dogs…

When you deliberately misgender someone:

Don’t.

When someone asks you your preferred pronouns:

Don’t:

Can’t you tell?? What are you trying to imply???

Why:

This person is trying to show you respect and courtesy by not making assumptions about how you identify, don’t be rude in return.

Do:

I use she/her, thanks for asking! Yourself?

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