|November 18th, 2014
|degendering, gender, ling, they
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:
Change your facebook pronouns to "they," which you can do without changing your gender:
Let people know that it's fine to use "they" with you.
Push the envelope on usage of "they" toward specific known gendered referents.
And as long as pronouns do still indicate gender, respect people's pronouns and really work at using the correct ones.