You might have recently seen people putting their personal pronouns in the bio section of their social media accounts or when signing off in an email. But this is not a new thing to both people in and out of the LGBTQ+ community. Although society is (very slowly) becoming more inclusive in terms of gender and sexuality, it is only now that personal pronouns are being talked about more.
There are many people who would argue that specifying your personal pronouns when introducing yourself is not needed because it is ‘obvious’ but this is definitely not true. This excludes non-binary and transgender folk as well as anybody else who does not adhere to ‘stereotypical’ gender binary ideals.
It is not just an LGBTQ+ ‘thing’, it is something that should be widespread throughout society because it’s the 21st century and even if you do identify with the gender assigned to you at birth, that doesn’t then limit you to having to appear as that gender and its ‘exact unchanging look’.
There are so many different fashion styles out there, that for some reason are separated into genders. Let’s say a woman chooses to wear ‘men’s’ clothes; the people around her may not know what gender she identifies with (due to gendered clothing stereotypes), and this would be why introducing yourself with your pronouns would be helpful.
If specifying pronouns is going to help society become more inclusive, we should be doing it
Moreover, even if people don’t believe these types of situations are likely to occur outside of the LGBTQ+ community, surely that shouldn’t matter because if specifying pronouns is going to help society become more inclusive, we should be doing it. It is pretty naïve and perhaps ignorant to think that if personal pronouns aren’t something you personally think or worry about then they don’t matter because there are so many other people out there that do worry about them.
Those of us who do not struggle with gender dysphoria or do not question our gender identity sometimes forget that it is a huge issue people who do, and one of the big things we can do to be accepting and understanding is by making personal pronouns a widespread thing.
Throughout the University of Nottingham, the use of personal pronouns is becoming more prevalent and the Student Union have strongly encouraged this. This is great, but our university as a whole including all staff and students should be doing this too.
There are some members of staff who sign off their emails with their pronouns and this is a fantastic way to get students and other staff to do the same. In addition, people who do not go by society’s assumption of either she/her or he/him pronouns will feel more comfortable and accepted when members of staff are doing so too.
When introducing yourself to someone new, say at a new job, it is common curtesy to say your name, but we should add our personal pronouns as well
It is a very important and positive thing that we are using personal pronouns more within our university, but as said earlier this should be something that is within wider society. When introducing yourself to someone new, say at a new job, it is common curtesy to say your name, but we should add our personal pronouns as well.
When you think about it in the grand scheme of things, it only takes an extra few seconds and automatically confirms to the person how you want to be referred to. The more we do this in general society, the more it encourages others to do the same, meaning it can become a normal, everyday thing, which ultimately is always going to be a positive thing, regardless of if you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community or not.
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