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Pushing They

November 18th, 2014
ling, gender, they, degendering

In the comments on yesterdays post a few people brought up ideas like, paraphrasing:

When a cisgender person says they don't care what pronouns people use for them they trivialize the experiences of people living with the dysphoria that comes from constant misgendering. To a cis person this isn't real, it isn't raw, it doesn't matter. For a cis person to express a pronoun "preference" ignores that for lots of people it's not a preference, it's a core part of their identity.
This is a major reason why we should get gender out of language. Right now, every time you use a pronoun there's the potential to hurt someone; we're hanging core parts of people's identities out for constant affirmation or disaffirmation. As long as pronouns have gender implications this is going to be a problem. We should push English toward having a single pronoun for everyone: no one will feel dysphoric when hearing it used for them because it will have no gender implications a all.

Some ways cis people can use their privilege to help get gender out of language:

And as long as pronouns do still indicate gender, respect people's pronouns and really work at using the correct ones.

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