Why Pronouns Are Important: A Guide to Understanding Them?


pronoun

Pronouns are words used to refer to people who are speaking (like I or you) or people/things that are being talked about (such as she, it, them, and this). Pronouns like he, she, and they specifically refer to the gender of the people being discussed.

It’s important to respect people’s pronouns because you can’t always tell what pronouns someone uses just by looking at them. Asking for and using someone’s correct pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show respect for their gender identity.

GENDERED PRONOUNS

She and he = gendered pronouns.

Typically, female-identifying people use she while male-identifying people use he.

However, sometimes both pronouns are used by people who don’t identify as male or female.

GENDER NEUTRAL PRONOUNS

They, them, and theirs are common gender-neutral pronouns that don’t imply a specific gender.

Gender-neutral pronouns: typically used by gender-diverse and non-binary-identifying people, although there are many other gender-neutral pronouns.

Using the right ones is important, even though it might take some time to get used to them.

If you’re not sure, it’s okay to politely ask.

PERSONAL PRONOUNS

Most people have personal pronouns that depend on their gender identity. For example, gender-diverse people may prefer they or other gender-neutral pronouns, while male-identifying people may prefer he and female-identifying people may prefer she. It’s important to use the pronouns that a person prefers to make them feel respected and valued.

WHY PRONOUNS ARE IMPORTANT

Using someone’s correct pronouns can make them feel respected and valued while using the wrong ones can be hurtful and disrespectful. If someone uses pronouns that are different from what you expect, it’s likely because they’ve put a lot of thought into which ones they prefer. Misgendering someone by using incorrect pronouns, whether accidentally or intentionally, is hurtful and disrespectful.

GENITALS ≠ GENDER

It’s important to understand people’s gender identity is not determined by their genitals or physical appearance. It’s disrespectful to argue with someone about their gender identity or to assume someone’s gender based on their body.

SLIPPING UP

It’s okay if you accidentally use the wrong pronoun for someone – it happens. The important thing is to apologize and try to do better in the future. Don’t make a big deal out of it or snap at the person you’re talking to/about.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Practice using the correct pronouns for people and always ask what pronouns they prefer. Be supportive and understanding of your friends who may be figuring out their gender identity. And remember, using someone’s correct pronouns is a simple but important way to show respect for their identity.

 

Read some news relating to pronouns:

Jesus Christ does not have pronouns according to GOP candidate

Demi Lovato changes pronouns, is feeling ‘more feminine’

Jennifer Lopez introduces child Emme with gender-neutral pronouns

Kurt Coleman ‘I don’t have pronouns’

Govt appeals ruling on pronouns for transgender women inmates

 

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