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What should we use as gender-neutral pronouns for non-binary people? Show more Show less

Many have debated about what gender-neutral pronouns should be used. Is it up to personal identity, or should a specific set be officially incorporated into the English language?

It should be up to the individual to decide what their pronouns should be Show more Show less

Everyone has a unique opinion, preference, and identity. People should be allowed to express their identities in a way that feels natural to them, and their personal pronouns should be used and respected.
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Individuals may not agree with any current pronoun options

If a specific set of pronouns is made official, there is no guarantee that everyone will feel that it is natural or relevant to them. It would only end up being another pronoun set forced upon unwilling persons who feel they identify as something else entirely.
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English Gender Identity LGBTQ

Context

The Argument

Adopting an official set of gender-neutral pronouns would only pigeonhole non-binary persons into yet another set of forced pronouns. Not every non-binary individual agrees on the same set of pronouns--some prefer singular they/them while others prefer ze/hir, fae/faer, ve/ver, xe/xem, or something else entirely. People should be allowed to choose the pronouns they identify with individually. It is more politically correct and respectful to individuals to simply ask what their pronouns are, and then use them.

Counter arguments

It would be too difficult to keep up with so many variations. Imagine knowing ten people who identify as non-binary; now imagine that each of them have a different set of pronouns they would like for you to use. What if you accidentally call one of them by another person's pronoun? It would be mind-boggling to try to keep them all straight. On the other hand is the option of picking a universal set of gender-neutral pronouns for all non-binary persons. This doesn't lump every non-binary person into the same category. It is simply one word being used to refer to individuals in a gender-neutral way.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Individuals should be allowed to choose their own pronouns because not everyone agrees on which set of non-binary pronouns is the best.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] A universal set of gender-neutral pronouns would be more effective and less confusing for people to learn and adapt to.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

    This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 11:39 UTC