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Old 05.11.2016, 17:41
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He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

I was susprised to find this wasn't the US being crazy this time, but Canada.

"A Canadian university professor ignited controversy by refusing to use gender-neutral pronouns. Is he a villain or a victim?

University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson had enough of what he saw as a campus culture where "social justice warrior, left-wing radical political activists" ran rampant.

In September he released a video lecture series taking aim at political correctness.

He zeroed in on Canadian human rights legislation that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

Dr Peterson was especially frustrated with being asked to use alternative pronouns as requested by trans students or staff, like the singular 'they' or 'ze' and 'zir', used by some as alternatives to 'she' or 'he'.

In his opposition, he set off a political and cultural firestorm that shows no signs of abating."

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37875695

Honestly if you can't sort out which you want to be then don't transgender in the first place.
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Old 05.11.2016, 17:53
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

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Honestly if you can't sort out which you want to be then don't transgender in the first place.
Oh!

Being transgender is feeling a certain sense of self, of what it means to be "me", which does not feel congruent with the gender assigned to one at birth.

We all have our own sense of "me", and cannot just desist from feeling as we do, as you suggest.

Just as in any other aspect of our being, of our living out our sense of potential and self, we sometimes know things crystal clearly and at other times have to struggle to sort out who we are and what we want. Some transgender people know for sure that they do not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth, and they have no doubt. Even for those who are sure, the many steps to doing something about that can leave them, at least for a while, in an interim stage. Others work hard on sorting out their sense of identity. In all cases, they cannot merely "don't transgender".
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Old 05.11.2016, 18:01
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

I think the transgender people are perfectly correct, if anything they don't go far enough. The professor should also be forced to use pronouns which stupid, lazy, hungover, distracted, tired, confused, worried, in love, out of love, thin, fat, left handed, right handed, rich and poor, and any other state of mind or identification some potential student might happen to be or not be, could not possibly find offensive, or an objection - however tenuous - to.
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Old 05.11.2016, 18:17
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

Hate labels.

I'm a Ms. That doesn't mean I'm gay (as it used to in the 70's), to me, it means I was a Mrs for a long time and am now a Ms, most definitely not a Miss. That felt like wiping out a huge part of my life. I kind of like the Swiss use of Frau, but it's a shame to see Fraulein fall out of usage. I've also been informed by my OH's Greek niece that she will retain her maiden surname when she marries because "Greek girls don't surrender their identity anymore."

Must admit, 'ze' and 'zir' are new ones on me, and it does smack me that the 'zirs' have the upperhand in this as it sounds like sir.
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Old 05.11.2016, 18:17
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hen_(pronoun)
Swedish pronoun
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Old 05.11.2016, 18:25
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

As far as nouns go:

English already has an advantage, in that, for example, "doctor" and "pharmacist" are gender-neutral.

They cannot be so in German, and the packaging on medication may read: "Zu Risiken und Nebenwirkungen lesen Sie die Packungsbeilage und fragen Sie Ihren Arzt oder Ärztin, Apotheker oder Apothekerin." Some nouns in German have made a definite shift, so that apprentices are no longer referred to as "Lehrlinge und Lehrtöchter" but instead "Lernende" oder "Auszubildende".

French has gone the other way, with both sexes and all genders using the form of the noun that was formerly only male, so that a woman may say: "Je suis médecin".

Pronouns don't always follow their nouns nicely.

If I phone a shop to enquire what time they close, and then someone asks me what was said, the question is usually: "What did they say?" even though we all know I spoke to one person only. I wish it were not considered rude or depersonalising to say "it".
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Old 05.11.2016, 18:30
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

I would totally be on board with ridding ourselves of gender specific anything.

Fluidity all the way! It would be like a Le Guin utopia. I love it.
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Old 05.11.2016, 19:14
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

Sweden introduced this a year ago. You now no longer say han (he) and hon (she) but instead hen. And of course, sjuksyster (Krankenschwester) is applicable to both genders since years.

Let's see when IKEA starts with ser or maybe sir...
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Old 06.11.2016, 00:25
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

I think a gender neutral pronoun would be bloody useful, personally. I like the Swedish approach: use it if you wish, use it if you know someone prefers it, don't use it if you know someone prefers a gender specific pronoun.

Particularly for the new kid, there's always one, with a gender unspecific first name and you just aren't sure and really don't want to kick off a new term by upsetting the applecart... and you zoned out of the relevant bit of the staff meeting...

It would also solve the issue of referring to an unborn child as it (horrid), bump (ridiculous), baby (oddly patronising and I can't put my finger on why) or they (sounds like you're trying too hard not to give the gender away).
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Old 06.11.2016, 01:02
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

If you have a d*** then you are a he.
If you dont, you are a she.

This gender neutral crap is starting to get annoying.
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Old 06.11.2016, 03:03
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

Just think of all the classic song lyrics and literature that would have to be changed. How the hell would you explain Portia's character in 'The Merchant Of Venice'!

I'm inclined to think it's one thing to change yourself, but another to change the World around you. Is changing the whole of society a fair and responsible way to respect a very small minority?
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Old 06.11.2016, 03:35
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

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If you have a d*** then you are a he.
If you dont, you are a she.

This gender neutral crap is starting to get annoying.
Apparently it's not that simple at all. I can't relate but I can and do accept that claim as fact.

With that said, it is one thing for any person or group to define something for themselves. But to think that a tiny minority has the right to demand for the clear majority to adjust to what the former see fit, including but not limited to overhauling a core means of expression, is a concept I neither understand nor accept, let alone follow. It is a demand I reject outright.

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I think a gender neutral pronoun would be bloody useful, personally. I like the Swedish approach: use it if you wish, use it if you know someone prefers it, don't use it if you know someone prefers a gender specific pronoun.
This gender-neutral pronoun exists already. Oddly enough it's the one you call horrid, it's "it".
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Old 06.11.2016, 08:11
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

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...I've also been informed by my OH's Greek niece that she will retain her maiden surname when she marries because "Greek girls don't surrender their identity anymore."
I find your niece's attitude rather patronising to married women who did adopt their husband's surname. My wife doesn't feel she lost her identity. In any case, if surname defines identity, then your niece still doesn't have her own - she has her parents'.

On the topic of gender:
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Old 06.11.2016, 09:17
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

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Apparently it's not that simple at all. I can't relate but I can and do accept that claim as fact.

With that said, it is one thing for any person or group to define something for themselves. But to think that a tiny minority has the right to demand for the clear majority to adjust to what the former see fit, including but not limited to overhauling a core means of expression, is a concept I neither understand nor accept, let alone follow. It is a demand I reject outright.


This gender-neutral pronoun exists already. Oddly enough it's the one you call horrid, it's "it".
I know, but it sounds wrong when applied to an unborn child, which is the specific point I made. Should I add "in my opinion"?
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Old 06.11.2016, 09:37
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

Why should it sound wrong when applied to an unborn child? If the parents haven't found out the sex, then it is perfectly fine.
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Old 06.11.2016, 09:40
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

I propose 'sheit' he, she, it all rolled into one!

Tom
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Old 06.11.2016, 09:57
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

I am failing to understand if it's sexism being debated here or something else.
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Old 06.11.2016, 10:45
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

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Why should it sound wrong when applied to an unborn child? If the parents haven't found out the sex, then it is perfectly fine.
Technically it is fine. I personally think it sounds impersonal and distant in this circumstance. I think I'll give up now! Referring to a person as it just sounds wrong to me. If it doesn't sound wrong to you, then all good.

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I am failing to understand if it's sexism being debated here or something else.
Same here.
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Old 06.11.2016, 12:16
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

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Old 06.11.2016, 15:29
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Re: He, She ... or Perhaps simply It

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I find your niece's attitude rather patronising to married women who did adopt their husband's surname. My wife doesn't feel she lost her identity. In any case, if surname defines identity, then your niece still doesn't have her own - she has her parents'.
Greece is a diferent type of society. It's more matriarchial than many other European countries and the daughter (in this case at least) inherits the lion's share. It isn't my niece's attitude, it's the cultural change she is exposed to and the generation she belongs to. If you see this as demeaning, then that's your opinion and your feeling.

I like that women have the choice and don't feel they should be judged by their choice. In many ways, I wish I hadn't taken my ex husband's name, because it was one that could cause 'problems' in certain parts of the US, as my late ex mother-in-law encountered first hand in Chicago. Having said that, if I marry my current partner, I will gladly and happily take his name even though I'm not legally required to.
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