Monday, April 3, 2023

Pronouns and We/Us

Meg wrote, “How do your readers feel about offering pronouns?

“I feel (you knew this was coming) like it’s the trans equivalent of “Latinx,” something non-Latinos came up with so they can show they’re supportive but the target group does not like at all.

“I think this is a cis-gender construct to show they're supportive of the non-binary community, but not really. If I’m in a dress, wig and heels, do I really need to say, “Meg, she/her?” Or if I am sans all of those things, should I need to say “he/him?” 

“At work, I leaned more and more towards androgynous/femme and the only reason I did not include pronouns is I felt that turned it into a bathroom issue and I wasn’t full Meg at any time.

“Also, too many ‘funny’ people are using the pronoun construct to just spew hate. I don’t need to give another venue to those sorts of people.

“The last couple of groups I joined, people gave pronouns. Some did prefer they/them or a zie variation, but the newest group is seniors and I’m pretty sure I could fill in the blank on pronouns for all of them.

“Your thoughts?”

Mark Your Calendars Dept.

The Casa Susanna documentary will air on PBS’s American Experience on Tuesday, June 27, 9-10 p.m. ET. (Thank you, Diana, for the heads-up.)

Source: New York & Company
Wearing New York & Company

Jonny Beauchamp
Jonny Beauchamp femulating on television’s Katy Keene.


  1. I think the whole thing is Silly 😜
    Although I do love being addressed as Ma'am.....


  2. Romance languages have genders for almost everything, and ‘latino’ (no L) in Spanish (which we call castellano, again no C) includes males and females, thus ‘Latinx’ is an oxymoron and seen as a slur; it is only used in the USA. Otherwise no one calls the French ‘Frenchx’ or the Italians ‘Italianx’

  3. It is used to “out” people and is so ridiculous. Why spend HR money on surveys and name badges for this nonsense when it should go to training or improved benefits. I think it is only useful at Sephora where Bobby identifies as Her so he may be better to help you with makeup than Sally who is also a Her? Or does Jim (He) who is there with his wife Barbara (She) understands Bobby is different and now may have a bias against him or realizes its Jim Smith’s son who lives down the street. “Honey, please make sure That queer Bobby doesnt’t come around our house to babysit with our kids anymore. Who knows what he is teaching them!”. “ Hey Peter, I need 10 feet of pvc and 3 elbows and a box of clamps please......oh WTF does (They) mean on your name badge? Oh , Hmmmm oh OK but what does your wife think?”. Hugs Brenda. Can be dangerous....

  4. Does one need a pronoun to understand that Phil may not be a civilian when he wins the $100 Amazon Gift card for the Halloween contest 5 years in a row? Hmmmm Phil seems to know a lot about cross dressing. During his acceptance speech never once mentioned thanks to his wife but gushed about how Stana his Avon Lady was so helpful getting his make up perfect and advice to wisely going with a 3 inch block heel and not a 4” Stilleto. HR realized that Arnold in shipping and Alex in the mailroom identify with pronouns and were encouraged to dress up during Pride Week festivities to give Phil some competition. Phil went open toe meaning he had a pedicure done and chose to go all out as Katy Perry for the lip sync contest to win the 6th year in a row. Margaret his/her co-worker tells everyone at the water cooler how Phil asked her for advice and they went to DSW for shoes during lunch one time. Phil is no longer invited to Poker Nights with the guys in Sales and is subject to ongoing riducule and sexist jokes. Phil got a bit of thick skin but happily spent his prize money on some Spanx. So itgoes. Brenda. Can be very dangerous

  5. There was a video on TicTok about them. The person said they used “I, me” for themselves and “you, your” for the person they were talking to. That gendered pronouns never came to be until you spoke in the third person. It was more detailed than what is here but very interesting.

  6. I like to mix it up. When the temps are cooler, I present as full femme in a wig, makeup and heels. On a beautiful breezy and warm day, I like to take advantage of the freedom I get from wearing sundress with a pair of panties underneath and nothing else, presenting as feminine but also male. I have zero expectations when it comes to how I’m addressed when out in public. I respect the fact that some people are going to call me ma’am because I’m wearing feminine clothes and others will see me as sir because I’m obviously male. As long as they are respectful in addressing me, I genuinely don’t care.

  7. Just saw Casa Suzanna this past Saturday at The Cleveland International Film Festival (for whom I work as Kandi). Outstanding! A must see. You will relate to every single word of the movie in one way or another.

  8. I saw at the end of an email from a woman (she/her/hers) and had to ask my wife if this is a new thing? The email came from an employee of a school district. Will my wife or I as senior citizens get a political correction memo if we screw up talking to someone? I prefer addressing someone by the name the person goes by; first, last or combination there of.

  9. Let's hear it for PBS! We're going to see "Casa Susana" in June, and they aired "Ballerina Boys" on American masters about the Trocs in 2021. If anyone out there hasn't seen the latter, maybe it's available on If it's not, go ahead and make a donation to your local PBS station and find it on PBS Passport. PBS is one of the most deserving organizations out there -- I feel good about my donation every time I watch MPT here in Baltimore or WETA from Washington, DC..

    1. BB is not on PBS at all but my local library has the DVD so likely others will, too.

    2. Knowing a preferred pronoun is not a problem for me, but I HATE when plural pronouns are used for the singular. Referring to a single individual as "they" makes no sense and causes confusion, which good language is supposed to avoid. He/Her/She/Him, no problem. They/Them don't understand.

  10. If your presentation is so ambiguous you must include pronouns, you really need to rethink your presentation.

    Announcing preferred pronoun use is widely viewed as either dilettantish virtue signalling or a deliberate invitation to backlash. You are doing a disservice to those who are transitioning, have transitioned, or who simply want to present in a gender role other than that which they were born into, but you are certainly not helping them. Maybe feeding your ego in a selfish way at the expense of others.

  11. I am awaiting the appearance of Ron DeFascist to offer some of his 'weak tea drivel'. No fear, just amusement.

  12. Meg, you may wish to read my essay on the pronoun topic a couple months back over at Kandi’s Land. But, adding a footnote, one of the people in my book club came out to me as non-binary and they prefer “they/them” right now. It is perfectly OK for me in that context—just don’t force someone like me who is largely in the closet to put herself! Lisa P

  13. Largely in agreement with sentiments above, though always with some complications. Performative, outing, misplaced allyship, fodder for misbegotten jokes, etc. There are times I admit it's come in handy in email, for example, when there's a neutral or unfamiliar first name, but mostly it seems like stating the obvious. Or, at times, it's simplifying the complex: I prefer pronouns that match the visual appearance or virtual persona I am presenting at the time, and otherwise I don't really want to broadcast the entire picture in a signature.

    The younger crowd can't seem to do without a volley of declarations as part of any social introduction sometimes; I was working with a group of students who were practically paralyzed and spent several weeks in anxiety over how to refer to me because I didn't give pronouns up front. My feeling: JUST GUESS, and you'll be corrected if necessary. Anyone who takes offense at a well-intentioned guess is too uptight.

    One thing I never see people talking about is the apparent need to supply multiple forms... filled only partially, without ever supplying ALL of them. He/him, she/her/hers, etc. There are at least 5 forms to specify (subjective, objective, possessive, substantive possessive [e.g. hers], reflexive/intensive, not to mention verb number some implicitly lay claim to) to fully define the pronoun, and none can be entirely derived from the others. But for he and she we all know what they are and only need 1 word declared. For (shudder) they, I haven't yet seen anyone take it with a singular verb but many seem to prefer (extra shudder) themself for the reflexive/intensive. But they never put that in their twitter bios. And made-up stuff like xe/xir definitely needs all of it (plus, possibly, a pronunciation guide). You can't possibly extrapolate all uses unless you model it on a single existing pronoun. I've never seen more than the usual 2 or 3 listed. The fact that some people and some website dropdowns put things like he/they and she/they alongside he/him and she/her further illustrates the point: you CAN get by with just the one per gender, most of the time, and saying more is like a weird little ritual. Oh, but some might say, in the interest of being an ally I want to undertake the same burden as those who need to define more than one form... then list ALL of them, and since there is no standard order, say what they all are for, or admit even the zes and thons haven't thought that far ahead.