Not using proper gender pronouns is ‘oppressive,’ says one university.
For as long as humans have roamed the earth, humankind has been divided into two primary sexes, male and female.
That is no longer the case, or so we are being led to believe.
Already in New York City, bureaucrats have decreed that there are actually 31 genders and it is, in fact, discriminatory (with fines up to $250,000) to wrongly identify an individual by a gender identity that varies from what the individual desires.
As such, it is safe to assume that bureaucrats at the federal level will adopt these edicts at some point in the near future.
This means that along with ensuring a non-discriminatory environment for the myriad of genders, employers will likely need to change their communication habits.
According to Samuel Merritt University, the need to change pronouns to match the alternative universe of gender identification is already here.
Without the respecting one’s gender choice by proper use of a gender pronoun “is not only disrespectful and hurtful, but also oppressive,” according to SMU.
What are gender pronouns?
A pronoun is a word that refers to either the people talking (I or you) or someone or something that is being talked about (she, it, them, and this). Gender pronouns (he and hers) specifically refer to people that you are talking about.
Why is it important for SMU faculty, staff, and students to respect gender pronouns?
- Asking SMU community members what their preferred pronouns are and consistently using them correctly is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their gender identity. This can determine within the first few minutes if they will feel respected at Samuel Merritt University or not.
- Discussing and correctly using gender pronouns sets a tone of respect and allyship that trans and gender nonconforming people do not take for granted. It can truly make all of the difference, especially for incoming students that may feel particularly vulnerable, friendless, and scared.
- You can’t always know what someone’s gender pronoun is by looking at them. It is a privilege to not have to worry about which pronoun someone is going to use for you based on how they perceive your gender. If you have this privilege, yet fail to respect someone else’s gender identity, it is not only disrespectful and hurtful, but also oppressive. When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated, or dysphoric (or, often, all of the above.).
- Many people may be be learning about gender pronouns for the first time, so this will be a learning opportunity for them that they will keep forever. You will be setting an example for your class and colleagues: If you are consistent about using someone’s preferred pronouns, they will follow your example. [Emphasis in original.]
Below is a list gender pronouns, as provided by SMU.
It should be noted, as indicated by the SMU-provided list, that “there are an infinite number of pronouns as new ones emerge in our language.”
Accordingly, if one does not utilize the proper gender pronoun—of which there are an “infinite number”—one may never know that an “oppression” [read: discrimination] has occurred until after a complaint has been filed.
Of course, there are likely countless plaintiffs’ lawyers, as well as state and federal EEO offices, standing at wait.