Why Should We Use Gender Pronouns Correctly and What Are Gender Pronouns?


Why Should We Use Gender Pronouns Correctly and What Are Gender Pronouns?


The days of teaching gender in binary terms with the associated pronouns "he" and "she" are long gone. Variations in a person's gender identification and expression are becoming more visible than ever before in today's society. Many common linguistic conventions must be unlearned and relearned as a result of this.

Gender identity is distinct from and unconnected in any way to the sex a person is assigned at birth. Pronouns can be used in this situation. Although a person may have specific sex organs when they are born, their gender identity dictates their pronouns.

Typically, people have a propensity to assume that a person's appearance dictates their pronouns or their gender identity. For instance, someone who dresses androgynously can come off as a queer person. People who identify as intersex or transgender are referred to as "third gender" and accepted. But it is incorrect to infer from someone's appearance what pronouns they use.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, in India incorrectly lumps intersex, transgender, and genderqueer individuals together. The passage of such a law may be hailed as a step in the right direction toward inclusivity, but its objectives are again defeated by its clauses that require persons to identify as male, female, or transgender.

It is a prevalent misperception that transgender people belong to the "third gender," which denotes that they are not male or female. While some people who were born as females may identify as males and prefer the pronouns "he/him," others who were born as females may identify as males and prefer the pronouns "she/her."

People who identify as genderqueer or gender non-conforming use gender-neutral pronouns because they don't want to be constrained by the choices offered by a binary, heteronormative system. They typically prefer to use the pronoun "they" when speaking. Even though "they" were typically used in the plural in English classes, gender non-conforming people have long used the solitary version of the pronoun.

The singular "they" was chosen as the word of the year in 2015 by the 200 linguists who make up the American Dialect Society. The Oxford and Merriam-Webster dictionaries now include the singular form of "they." Pronoun usage may not always be consistent for some people, such as gender-fluid individuals who go through a variety of shifts in their gender identity or gender expression. They might favor one pronoun over another or use the word "they" as a pronoun.

The usage of gender-neutral pronouns necessitates a non-gendered revaluation of language. "Male" and "female" should be used according to the situation, with flexible connotations, rather than attaching a certain attribute as the only determinant of sex. For instance, using the term "man chromosomes" instead of "Y chromosomes" assigns the quality of maleness to a particular chromosome whereas, in fact, a number of factors determine a person's gender.

He/they or she/they may also be mixed up by some people. This indicates that switching between the two pronouns is acceptable. Some people don't mind when those pronouns are used in place of them. And for some other persons, depending on their comfort or safety may use one specific set of pronouns in one situation and a different set in another, according to Alex Schmider, associate director of transgender representation at GLAAD.

The pronouns someone chooses to use can reveal more about who they are as a person. Therefore, it is essential to use pronouns correctly in order to show them the utmost respect and provide a safe environment. The incorrect use of pronouns can make a person feel disregarded, invalidated, or even dysphoric.

It is not only careless, but it may also be downright oppressive for a cis-gender person to disregard the pronouns that other people use for them because they do not have to worry about them all the time.

So how do we go about improving pronoun usage? Inquiring about someone's pronouns when you first meet them is the first step. It's important to approach a person with an open mind, even though it could feel awkward at first. Since young people are still learning about their bodies and their language, classrooms are the best place to teach proper pronoun usage.

It is essential to cover these subjects in biology and sex education classrooms since there aren't many places where kids can have these dialogues in a secure environment. Students are taught about people with intersex features and those who are born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that differs from the stereotypical male or female anatomy by Illinois science instructor Bill Farmer. Early on in his lessons, he also conveys the notion that gender is a social construct rather than a biological reality.

According to Sam Long, a transgender man who teaches biology at Denver South High School, "LGBTQIA+ identities are a naturally occurring facet of human variation and that is why we need to learn about them in the context of biology and human anatomy." Gender identity must be covered and discussed in class.

In addition, the terminology used to teach about gender, sex, and sexuality should be specific to the organ, function, or pattern being studied rather than immediately attributing it to a particular gender. For instance, one may argue that ovaries generate eggs rather than those women make eggs.

The discourse surrounding gender is still based on binary gender beliefs even today, when science has demonstrated that there are sexes and genders other than male and female. This ignorance has had a significant impact on how we view and treat those who don't conform to gender norms.

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