I try to refer to everybody with gender neutral pronouns because I feel it’s time the world stops seperating the world by sex/gender. Problem is I then realize if these people have requested and pointed out the gendered pronouns they prefer - I need to respect that. After all I would want people respecting my choice, but then I’m just going with the idea that people should be seperated and labeled by their sex/gender.
So I guess my question is, what do you guys think? Continue using gender neutral pronouns even though the person has made it clear which they prefer? Or respect their wishes and take into account that this is how the world is?
Submit your answer, put in my inbox if you want me to respond to it with my opinion as well, or just respond to this post :) Although chances are I might not see it if you do.
I personally do not care much about pronouns. Just about everyone refers to me with female pronouns; a few use “their.” I’d probably be a little taken aback if someone used “he” because I’m not used to it… but to me, it doesn’t change anything and I can’t see it really bothering me. That being said, I will use whatever pronouns someone asks me to. It’s certainly not any sort of hassle or bother to me, and I would never want somebody to be uncomfortable.
I try my best to use gender neutral pronouns for anyone that I do not know the preferred pronouns of. But if it becomes apparent what pronouns someone goes by, I absolutely use those. I think it’s pretty disrespectful not to, especially if they’ve explicitly specified what pronouns they’d like you to use.
I’d say definitely always, always use a person’s preferred pronouns. Willfully refusing to call someone by the pronouns they feel most comfortable with would be a douche move. It’s important to respect a person’s gender (identity andexpression), regardless of whether it’s binary or nonbinary. Gender is an important designation for lots of people—it’s not an entirely useless category or identity marker. What needs to change is the rigidity of the gender binary, biological determinism, gender essentialism, and so on. But gender itself, and the act of identifying with a gender or genders (binary or nonbinary), or not identifying with a gender at all—those aren’t necessarily bad things. What’s bad is when a gender is imposed on a person without their consent (e.g., coercively assigning gender at birth based on genitalia).
Not using the pronouns someone requests can be really, really upsetting, especially if that person is trans - like, if someone has specified that they want to be referred to with he/him/his, not doing that may make it seem as if you don’t respect their gender or don’t think they’re a valid he/him/his person, which, despite good intentions, just reinforces the erasure of their gender they get or have gotten from so many other people.
This. A lot of binary trans people have had to deal with being nonconsensually third-gendered anyway, and adding to that is totally not cool. Don’t be a dick because of your political views on gender.
Reblogging again for the two beautiful comments directly above me.
Wouldn’t it be kind of awkward having to explain to every damn person in the world why you’re calling them “zie” or “they” or something?
Non-binary pronouns are not necessarily gender-neutral, just so y’all know
I’ve only seen people refer to themselves with non-binary pronouns when they themselves are non-binary
So there is a gender, or genders, associated with those pronouns
“They,” I feel, is the only really gender-neutral pronoun because it isn’t nearly as aggressively queerly in your face about the ambiguous genderness
And yes to all of the above of “not using preferred pronouns is a giant dick move”
Yeah, I am not sure how fair this is but I honestly find it pretty uncomfortable when people use my preferred pronoun as gender-neutral, because to me it’s not gender-neutral, it’s non-binary. By using “ze” for myself I am trying to say “actually, I’m neither a woman nor a man and I don’t feel comfortable being referred to by the pronouns commonly associated with either of those genders” and by using “ze” as a gender-neutral pronoun people can make it a LOT harder to actually make that clear and can make me feel as if my gender is somehow the same as someone having an unknown or indeterminable gender (which, you know, NO). And I’d also be pretty unhappy if someone referred to me as “they” or a different nonbinary and/or gender-neutral pronoun knowing which one I prefer.
Also, to the OP - I am a bit confused that you are getting so upset that people are saying you wouldn’t respect people’s pronouns, because I keep reading and rereading your post and what I am seeing is that… you are saying you wouldn’t respect people’s pronouns? I mean, “Continue using gender neutral pronouns even though the person has made it clear which they prefer?”, this is pretty clear and honestly I can’t blame trans* folk who prefer one of the two binary-gender pronouns for getting upset.
Honestly, I cannot see how disrespecting someone’s identity is supposed to lead to progress. The most radical and positive option I can think of in terms of changing people’s ideas about pronouns and gender is asking everyone which pronouns they prefer whenever it’s feasible, whether they’re cis or trans or whether their presentation is gender-conforming or not, and then using those.