'Preferred' pronouns gain traction at US colleges

Nov 29, 2013 Read more: KWWL-TV Waterloo 38

The weekly meetings of Mouthing Off!, a group for students at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, always start the same way.

Read more
First Prev
of 2
Next Last

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#1 Nov 30, 2013
Mills is a beautiful campus.

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

St. Louis, MO

#2 Nov 30, 2013
Oh Lordy, now I have to learn my English pronouns all over again. Education never stops.
Claude

Anonymous Proxy

#4 Nov 30, 2013
This is utterly ridiculous. To even consider this nonsense only goes to show how far gone America is.

“God made in the image of man”

Since: May 07

Sausalito, CA

#5 Nov 30, 2013
It's not so ridiculous, and it's nothing new -- society has always struggled with inadequate pronouns in language.

In America, especially in the South, people found the lack of a plural pronoun "you" burdensome, so they spontaneously invented "y'all."

English used to have two sets of pronouns, "thou, thy, thee" for your equals or those below you, and the more respectful "you" for superiors. But with the immensely complex English class structure, it wasn't always straightforward to tell who was your 'superior', so many people started deferring to "you" -- that way they didn't run the risk of offending anyone. So "thou' fell into disuse.

Now, after centuries of hiding in the shadows, LGBT people are finally allowed to be honest about who and what they are, and for the intersex among them it is awkward to be referred to as 'he' when they feel like a "she," or vice-versa, or to be be classified as either gender at all when they feel like neither. For those heterosexuals who would dismiss this as ridiculous, I would suggest that -- if you are a male -- try going around and having everyone call you "she' all day long and see how it feels!!!

Since: Jan 09

Central NJ

#6 Nov 30, 2013
No Ralph, Just think "She" and "Her" when you see someone wearing a dress or a skirt and not fall back on exactly who or what you think is wearing it. This seems so small to a non trans person but believe me, It's a big dead when we get "sirred". That sends us right into orbit with internal rage. As I said to one A-hole, "I didn't go to all the trouble I went to, getting bathed an d dressed and putting my make up on, just hear you call me sir!" It hurts! Dammit, It really does!
Regards, Terri
RalphB wrote:
Oh Lordy, now I have to learn my English pronouns all over again. Education never stops.
Pierre

Anonymous Proxy

#7 Nov 30, 2013
TerryE wrote:
No Ralph, Just think "She" and "Her" when you see someone wearing a dress or a skirt and not fall back on exactly who or what you think is wearing it. This seems so small to a non trans person but believe me, It's a big dead when we get "sirred". That sends us right into orbit with internal rage. As I said to one A-hole, "I didn't go to all the trouble I went to, getting bathed an d dressed and putting my make up on, just hear you call me sir!" It hurts! Dammit, It really does!
Regards, Terri
<quoted text>
What if you wear pants?

“God made in the image of man”

Since: May 07

Sausalito, CA

#8 Nov 30, 2013
Pierre wrote:
<quoted text>
What if you wear pants?
Exactly -- the form of dress is irrelevant. That time is over. Which underscores the need for a new singular pronoun in English that is gender-neutral -- to be used for all people! For a time publications have wrestled with saying "his/her" etc., but it's clumsy and cannot be used in spoken language. Many mainstream newspapers now routinely use the neutral plural form "they, them, their" to substitute the singular pronoun, which works fine up to a point (till you want to distinguish between one individual person and a group.) But at least we're familiar with that pronoun, so it doesn't sound as weird as something made up. Personally, I'll keep using 'they' in the meantime whenever in doubt, until something else evolves organically in spoken English.

Since: Jan 09

Central NJ

#9 Nov 30, 2013
In my case, people can use "SHE"! There are those who won't, so who needs them, for anything! I simply cut them out of my life. I'm not Gay or a member of a third sex, I am a woman with a horrible birth defect (A male body) And I want my femininity recognized with the correct pronouns. You must be Gay! Gays are the biggest source of problems about this issue. You can't wrap your heads around the fact that we're women in male bodies. You persist in believing some convenient myth that we're really Gay underneath it all.
Regards, Ms. Terri E.
Umninimuzi wrote:
<quoted text>
Exactly -- the form of dress is irrelevant. That time is over. Which underscores the need for a new singular pronoun in English that is gender-neutral -- to be used for all people! For a time publications have wrestled with saying "his/her" etc., but it's clumsy and cannot be used in spoken language. Many mainstream newspapers now routinely use the neutral plural form "they, them, their" to substitute the singular pronoun, which works fine up to a point (till you want to distinguish between one individual person and a group.) But at least we're familiar with that pronoun, so it doesn't sound as weird as something made up. Personally, I'll keep using 'they' in the meantime whenever in doubt, until something else evolves organically in spoken English.

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#10 Nov 30, 2013
Umninimuzi wrote:
It's not so ridiculous, and it's nothing new -- society has always struggled with inadequate pronouns in language.
In America, especially in the South, people found the lack of a plural pronoun "you" burdensome, so they spontaneously invented "y'all."
English used to have two sets of pronouns, "thou, thy, thee" for your equals or those below you, and the more respectful "you" for superiors. But with the immensely complex English class structure, it wasn't always straightforward to tell who was your 'superior', so many people started deferring to "you" -- that way they didn't run the risk of offending anyone. So "thou' fell into disuse.
Now, after centuries of hiding in the shadows, LGBT people are finally allowed to be honest about who and what they are, and for the intersex among them it is awkward to be referred to as 'he' when they feel like a "she," or vice-versa, or to be be classified as either gender at all when they feel like neither. For those heterosexuals who would dismiss this as ridiculous, I would suggest that -- if you are a male -- try going around and having everyone call you "she' all day long and see how it feels!!!
VERY good.

Since: Dec 08

Toronto, ON, Canada

#11 Nov 30, 2013
Can someone explain how "genderqueer" differs from "transgender?" Are "genderqueer" people those who feel they were born with the wrong body or simply those who want to be androgenous, or both?
Dooley

Germany

#12 Nov 30, 2013
JohnInToronto wrote:
Can someone explain how "genderqueer" differs from "transgender?" Are "genderqueer" people those who feel they were born with the wrong body or simply those who want to be androgenous, or both?
Slow down! I'm still trying to figure out what "gay" means!

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#13 Nov 30, 2013
JohnInToronto wrote:
Can someone explain how "genderqueer" differs from "transgender?" Are "genderqueer" people those who feel they were born with the wrong body or simply those who want to be androgenous, or both?
It's really all about how many angels' arses can fit on a pinhead.
Cecil

Sweden

#14 Nov 30, 2013
Dooley wrote:
<quoted text>
Slow down! I'm still trying to figure out what "gay" means!
Bend over and snyper will explain it to you.

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#15 Dec 1, 2013
Cecil wrote:
<quoted text>
Bend over and snyper will explain it to you.
At my age, child, we'd better stick to theory.

Since: Jan 09

Central NJ

#16 Dec 1, 2013
Very Good Question! I've wondered that myself. I suppose it defines one of the stops along the way to full blown Transexual (No pun intended) When you realize that you have this thing, you try to define it in ways that lessen the impact on yourself.(I'm only a little bit queer, not like them, They're really queer!) I don't like it whatever! I'm no queerer than someone with an obvious physical birth defect. I didn't ask for this and it's really f*cked up my life. It cost me the best job I ever had. I was perceived as Gay by a boss who hated Gays, He didn't know or care about the difference between Gay and Trans. So in answer to your question, I think "Genderqueer" is a term with less impact for people who've just come to the realization that they're "Trans". In two years, they'll be saying they're Transgender.
Regards, Terri
JohnInToronto wrote:
Can someone explain how "genderqueer" differs from "transgender?" Are "genderqueer" people those who feel they were born with the wrong body or simply those who want to be androgenous, or both?

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

St. Louis, MO

#17 Dec 1, 2013
TerryE wrote:
No Ralph, Just think "She" and "Her" when you see someone wearing a dress or a skirt and not fall back on exactly who or what you think is wearing it. This seems so small to a non trans person but believe me, It's a big dead when we get "sirred". That sends us right into orbit with internal rage. As I said to one A-hole, "I didn't go to all the trouble I went to, getting bathed an d dressed and putting my make up on, just hear you call me sir!" It hurts! Dammit, It really does!
Regards, Terri
<quoted text>
Oh, is it that simple? Hell, I've been referring to my trans friends as "she" for years. I started with the female impersonators and drag queens in the 60's with that term. I also knew a couple of women who presented themselves as men, and used "He" for them. I guess I learned early. But the article made reference to non-gender specific pronouns, which I don't quite grasp. I don't know anyone who identifies that way.

“God made in the image of man”

Since: May 07

Sausalito, CA

#18 Dec 1, 2013
TerryE wrote:
In my case, people can use "SHE"! There are those who won't, so who needs them, for anything! I simply cut them out of my life. I'm not Gay or a member of a third sex, I am a woman with a horrible birth defect (A male body) And I want my femininity recognized with the correct pronouns. You must be Gay! Gays are the biggest source of problems about this issue. You can't wrap your heads around the fact that we're women in male bodies. You persist in believing some convenient myth that we're really Gay underneath it all.
Regards, Ms. Terri E.
<quoted text>
I don't understand why you're fighting me. I come at this from a purely linguistic perspective. When I see you on a bus, in the absence of any tell-tale signs that you are female, the normal reaction for most well-intentioned people would be to use the male pronoun. Which is why I suggested -- from a linguistic standpoint -- a gender-neutral pronoun that can be applied to all people without the need to stop first and examine them head to toe. Why oh WHY do we always insist on putting everyone in a box with a label on?! I don't get it.

Yes, I'm gay. And if I knew you personally I would have no problem addressing you by the pronoun of your choice. But if I saw you as a stranger on a bus and wanted to speak to you I would have a problem knowing what to say without giving offense, wouldn't I? How would I know whether you're not perhaps a "ze" person?
Obviously

Kansas City, MO

#19 Dec 1, 2013
More Political Correctness. The Speech Police just can't get enough. Jackbooted thugs all.

These days there are way too many people wandering around looking for ways to be offended.
Obviously

Kansas City, MO

#20 Dec 1, 2013
Umninimuzi wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't understand why you're fighting me. I come at this from a purely linguistic perspective. When I see you on a bus, in the absence of any tell-tale signs that you are female, the normal reaction for most well-intentioned people would be to use the male pronoun. Which is why I suggested -- from a linguistic standpoint -- a gender-neutral pronoun that can be applied to all people without the need to stop first and examine them head to toe. Why oh WHY do we always insist on putting everyone in a box with a label on?! I don't get it.
Yes, I'm gay. And if I knew you personally I would have no problem addressing you by the pronoun of your choice. But if I saw you as a stranger on a bus and wanted to speak to you I would have a problem knowing what to say without giving offense, wouldn't I? How would I know whether you're not perhaps a "ze" person?
I won't have any problem referring to them as 'it'or 'that'
Chance

Grove City, PA

#21 Dec 1, 2013
What a load of crap! If people don't like standard pronouns used in reference to them, then they should gladly settle for IT. Stop all this PC garbage. It is causing nothing but headaches for everybody.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 2
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Oakland Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S. Are Mo... (Nov '10) 5 hr Akingu 19,830
News Ventura County family law courts seek public in... (May '06) Thu caliguy 46
News Doctor heads to court after online sex sting (Nov '06) Thu Miggy 17,009
News Half of U.S. now living with anti-smoking laws (Jan '07) Thu Pity the AS Sheeple 34
Thousand Oaks Mayor Proclaims April 25th Parent... Thu Deborah Shreffler 1
News BART track woes get a boost Apr 15 Godfrey Daniel 2
News 5 arrested in massive melee outside Berkeley Hi... Apr 13 Disgusted 1
More from around the web

Oakland People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]