My Pronouns are ...

Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 02:29 pm
Hi Folks!

OK, here's where I'm going to show my age... Since publishing my book (on old-style karate concepts and philosophies) I receive a lot of e-mail from folks interested in training here on Okinawa (when we reach the Post-Pandemic Era). I fairly often encounter a phrase that seems to be a trend in writing and introducing oneself...

Several young people have written me with very good introductions, using "My pronouns are he/they -- my pronouns are (such and such)". I don't get this in intros by people over 25 or so, so it's a new thing, I guess.

What does that mean, and how many variations are there? Is this a gender or personal orientation thing? He/they, she/their, etc. -- means what exactly?

I think I missed something this decade...

Hoping everyone is well and safe,

Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 02:55 pm
Here's an article for you:

Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 03:57 pm
Oog... Far too confusing for me. I believe for the last 1/3 of my life, I will inadvertently offend a lot of young people...

Using a pronoun for myself such as we/they/them seems so -- I dunno -- sort of like I have a multiple personality.

"Hey Seizan" -- "Uh, which one of us (them?) are you (we? they?) talking to...?"

However, I guess I'll have to get along with that. Them. Er, who - what - ever...

I think after the Post-Pandemic Apocalyptic Space-Alien Invasion and our relocation to a galaxy far far away, all this will seem so silly.

Thanks, Mame...!
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 05:32 pm
Seizan wrote:
Is this a gender or personal orientation thing?

I believe so.

With all these myriad gender identities, you never know whether you are supposed to call someone "he" or "she" or "something else".

I think it's gotten to the point where people tell you which pronouns they want to be called when they introduce themselves.

And it's likely some sort of faux pas if you don't remember what they told you, and you later call them by a pronoun that they don't prefer.
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Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2021 01:39 am
Thousands of transgender people are murdered or bullied into taking their own lives every year.

Trans Rights aren’t silly, and those lives are important.

I can see why you offend so many people.
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2021 08:03 am
No intention to offend. And no, I actually don't offend a lot of people. Though maybe I've offended you... Unintentionally. My apologies.

It would be difficult for me to believe that a simple pronoun choice alone was ever cause for murder or committing suicide. I could be wrong, but I don't feel so; I feel there would have to be other deeper causes or issues involved..

I was curious about this new trend that I can't seem to keep up with. In a meeting or at a party with a few dozen people using such a variety of gender pronoun preferences, it is going to be very difficult to remember how to address someone if I can't remember EVERYONE'S personal choice of pronoun. And that can cost a possible friendship, affect student potential, or lose a business contract.

As a school teacher and karate instructor, I teach all kinds, ages, and I suppose now, genders. I was musing on the difficulties that an older generation person like myself faces today when all my life, males were simply he, females were simply she, and phrases like "those men over there, these women over here, and that mixed group of men and women seated at the table" were never offensive.

Get real. My question had to do with diction choices I don't understand very well. At the end, I was poking fun at myself, not others. I just have to try my best to remember which pronoun to use. It has nothing to do with transgender rights.
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2021 08:27 am
My son is transgender. Transgender people are the victim of bullying and murder.

I’m not interested in your beliefs, just the facts.

You didn’t acquaint yourself with the facts before you started labelling such people as silly.

If you don’t want to offend people don’t dismiss something you are unfamiliar with before finding out the facts.

Below is a link to Stonewall, and LGBT charity, detailing everyday discrimination suffered by LGBT people. It’s a steady drip drip.

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Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2021 08:33 am
It’s only a problem if you are used to calling an individual one thing and it changes.

When you talk to someone you rarely use 3rd person pronouns anyway. You would normally address them by their name.

It’s not a problem if you are genuinely trying to make an effort, most LGBT people appreciate it.

It’s not a new trend trans people have always been with us. What is new for s that they are being acknowledged.

Either you can try to treat people decently or dismiss their concerns as silly, or try to turn yourself into the victim by claiming it’s too complicated, but that is what a bigot would do.
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Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2021 09:44 am
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Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2021 10:17 am
Seizan wrote:

.... I was musing on the difficulties that an older generation person like myself faces today when all my life, males were simply he, females were simply she, and phrases like "those men coworkers (if appropriate) over there, these women students (if appropriate) over here, and that mixed group of men and women people (or folks, if you prefer) seated at the table" were never offensive.

You already have words for this. And they aren't anything you sit down and think about. They're not something that you linguistically parse. Groups of people don't have to be defined or referred to by gender even if they all are the same gender. E. g. students at Mount Holyoke, soldiers of the 5th Division, postal workers, meteorologists, prisoners, couples, teams, customers, New Yorkers, Laker fans, the cast of Hamilton, etc.

Is it something to get used to? Of course it is. Just like you got used to your phone, a new neighbor moving in across the street, or life without a beloved pet when they pass on.

You adapt and grow. You've done that before, and you'll do it a thousand times before next Sunday.

Main thing is to be kind to people. We all make mistakes. You misgender or misname someone, you apologize and move on, and you try to do better. Think of it this way. When I was in high school, there were identical twins in my class, Kevin and Keith. Do you know how many times people got their names wrong? And we all said we were sorry, and we tried to do better. Nobody told Keith that he was supposed to be called Kevin and that he'd better just accept it because the speaker had gotten it wrong. It was Keith's right to be called by his name - just as it's yours or mine. Same with pronouns.

Oh, and trans people are the victims of crimes. A lot. And the police often even misgender them after death -- and that can hamper investigations. See https://www.propublica.org/article/deadnamed-transgender-black-women-murders-jacksonville-police-investigation

This is an example of good reporting, where the victim's family didn't have to face insult on top of injury. Kudos to the reporter. https://abc13.com/woman-shot-iris-santos-chick-fil-a-southwest-houston-crime/10571251/
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2021 02:58 pm
Actually, I look forward to your posts on any subject
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2021 03:02 pm
I enjoy his posts too.
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Reply Sun 20 Jun, 2021 10:36 pm
Yours is probably the most understanding response, well-attuned to the situation, and I thank you for it.

It hits me how my attempt at humor may have seemed flippant (and why it backfired):

"I think after the Post-Pandemic Apocalyptic Space-Alien Invasion and our relocation to a galaxy far far away, all this will seem so silly."

The intention slipped by most readers. Transgender rights were not the "silly" thing/s to which this refers. It refers to me -- my concerns over this will seem all so silly. I was attempting to imply (jokingly) that I'd have rather more dire concerns to consider than which pronoun to use. Like finding other people alive. Or finding edible food. Or not being eaten. Etc. I had no idea at the time that it would come off so lame. Or dangerous.

Sometimes I feel like a cat in a room filled with rocking chairs...
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