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Author Topic: Other: Gender-neutral pronouns  (Read 7936 times)

PrincessKLS

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Gender-neutral pronouns
« on: December 15, 2014, 04:21:48 pm »
I was noticing on this site that there was 2 or 3 separate boxes for the gender-neutral pronouns. I know some like the their/them/they as a singular/plural pronoun but what's the big difference between the "hirs" and "xirs" categories? As well as "ze's"? Like what's the history behind it. I know my LGB history but when it comes to the trans and genderqueer community, I don't know much. I could some enlightenment.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 03:06:05 pm by RandallS »
PrincessKLS

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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2014, 08:09:58 pm »
Quote from: PrincessKLS;167446
I was noticing on this site that there was 2 or 3 separate boxes for the gender-neutral pronouns. I know some like the their/them/they as a singular/plural pronoun but what's the big difference between the "hirs" and "xirs" categories? As well as "ze's"? Like what's the history behind it. I know my LGB history but when it comes to the trans and genderqueer community, I don't know much. I could some enlightenment.

 
Wikipedia has a pretty good overview
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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2015, 09:02:20 am »
Quote from: PrincessKLS;167446
I was noticing on this site that there was 2 or 3 separate boxes for the gender-neutral pronouns. I know some like the their/them/they as a singular/plural pronoun but what's the big difference between the "hirs" and "xirs" categories? As well as "ze's"? Like what's the history behind it. I know my LGB history but when it comes to the trans and genderqueer community, I don't know much. I could some enlightenment.

 
It really comes down to how a person identifies, and what they are comfortable with. If you were male, you wouldn't very much like being called "Madam, She, Her" just as if you were female (with male pronouns)... The same thing goes with people who identify as both sexes, or neither. As such, a separate set of pronouns are available which allow a person not to be categorised as either male, or female. I think ecauldron did this to show they are open minded, and open hearted, and that everyone is welcome here, and no one should feel ostracised.
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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2015, 06:47:22 pm »
Quote from: PrincessKLS;167446
what's the big difference between the "hirs" and "xirs" categories? As well as "ze's"? Like what's the history behind it.


As far as I know (which is from a linguistic standpoint and not a community one) there is no difference in usage between the different sets of gender-neutral pronouns; it's up to personal preference which ones someone chooses to use.

That is, nobody is trying to say that there is, f'ex, one kind of pronoun for transgendered people and another for genderfluid people, or anything like that. At least, that I have heard of.

I'm curious if one pronoun set will ever settle as the standard. English is weird; there's no central grammar institute like in French or German, historical attempts to impose change on the language have largely failed, and its natural evolution is strange and unpredictable.

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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2015, 10:05:28 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;175801
I'm curious if one pronoun set will ever settle as the standard. English is weird; there's no central grammar institute like in French or German, historical attempts to impose change on the language have largely failed, and its natural evolution is strange and unpredictable.

If I had to guess, I'd bet on "they" becoming the default for everyone, just because it seems to already be happening that way. But there is precedent for neologisms -- "Ms." is well established.
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Faemon

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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2015, 12:10:00 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;175801
As far as I know (which is from a linguistic standpoint and not a community one) there is no difference in usage between the different sets of gender-neutral pronouns; it's up to personal preference which ones someone chooses to use.

That is, nobody is trying to say that there is, f'ex, one kind of pronoun for transgendered people and another for genderfluid people, or anything like that. At least, that I have heard of.

I'm curious if one pronoun set will ever settle as the standard. English is weird; there's no central grammar institute like in French or German, historical attempts to impose change on the language have largely failed, and its natural evolution is strange and unpredictable.

 
This is my understanding of it, too. We wicked pronoun deviants are just generally just dissatisfied with the binary-gendering grammar for people, "it" is rude, and "they" is usually plural and might suggest that a "proper" person is singularly gendered.

So, we communally spitball, or at least we're in the linguistic spitball stage it seems. Borrow from German or something. Deconstruct and reconstruct the Englishness of pronouns. Zie, ze, xi, ee (I think that last one is metagender, or at least coined by one who identifies as metagender.)

Personally, Tagalog and Bahasa doesn't have this problem and I think the pronouns just sound prettier, but I doubt that would gain as much popularity.
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Sefiru

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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2015, 06:30:04 pm »
Quote from: beachglass;175808
If I had to guess, I'd bet on "they" becoming the default for everyone, just because it seems to already be happening that way. But there is precedent for neologisms -- "Ms." is well established.

I also think "they" is the most likely contender, because the same thing has already happened with "you" pushing out "thee" and "thou".

Neologisms, as in new vocabulary, are one thing, but new grammar is another. (And spelling reform has an even worse track record.)

ETA: I'm referring here to people who try to dictate change in language, not change that happens organically.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 06:31:10 pm by Sefiru »

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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2015, 12:03:08 pm »
Quote from: Faemon;175810


Personally, Tagalog and Bahasa doesn't have this problem and I think the pronouns just sound prettier, but I doubt that would gain as much popularity.

 
I had to go look those up...the Tagalog pronouns are lovely!
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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2015, 03:04:40 pm »
Quote from: Faemon;175810
This is my understanding of it, too. We wicked pronoun deviants are just generally just dissatisfied with the binary-gendering grammar for people, "it" is rude, and "they" is usually plural and might suggest that a "proper" person is singularly gendered.

So, we communally spitball, or at least we're in the linguistic spitball stage it seems. Borrow from German or something. Deconstruct and reconstruct the Englishness of pronouns. Zie, ze, xi, ee (I think that last one is metagender, or at least coined by one who identifies as metagender.)

Personally, Tagalog and Bahasa doesn't have this problem and I think the pronouns just sound prettier, but I doubt that would gain as much popularity.

 
metagender's a new word on me - is there a reputable place for a clear definition, or do you have one?  *would google, but always seems to find the "hey let's be a jackass" options, and ick*

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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2015, 05:51:57 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;175853
metagender's a new word on me - is there a reputable place for a clear definition, or do you have one?  *would google, but always seems to find the "hey let's be a jackass" options, and ick*


I did google, and I think I found the person who Faemon mentioned. On the other hand, I also found two other, completely different definitions of "metagender" in the first 2 pages of search results.

HeartShadow

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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2015, 08:07:18 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;175859
I did google, and I think I found the person who Faemon mentioned. On the other hand, I also found two other, completely different definitions of "metagender" in the first 2 pages of search results.

 
Okay.  in other words, /ask the person that uses it/ definition. :)

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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2015, 06:40:55 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;175859
I did google, and I think I found the person who Faemon mentioned. On the other hand, I also found two other, completely different definitions of "metagender" in the first 2 pages of search results.

 
[gender-and-pronoun neepery]
Lupus was who I thought of first, since e is who I most associate with the term 'metagender', but Faemon mentioned it in context of an 'ee' pronoun, which is a different variation on Spivak than what Lupus uses. (No, I don't have all this stuffed in my head; I clicked the Wikipedia link Lupus provides to refresh my memory about a detail, and found that 'ee' is a thing - or rather, seems to have been a misreading of another suggested pronoun, but I can't tell for sure, because the source is behind a paywall. Whether anyone is using it as their preferred personal pronoun, I have no idea, unless Faemon did run across someone who IDs as metagender and favors the 'anti-Carlton' variant of Spivak.)

I tried that search myself (using DuckDuckGo... and figuring that the appearance of this thread was the place to stop looking at results :)), what I found in the way of clearly different definitions didn't really impress me - one appears to take Lupus's mnemonic quip about metagender ('I never met-a-gender I didn't like,' which e is explicit is not a definition) out of context as an orientational definition; others are... well, very Tumblr, and I doubt they'll get much traction outside that environment.

Some of those other usages looked to me like they could derive from someone encountering Lupus's usage but not understanding it well - eir page on eir blog left me feeling hazy about details, too, until I ran across a comment e made on a post at TWH (I can provide a link if anyone really wants it, but my bookmarks are on the other computer), in which e clarifies, 'Metagender is a gender that is not male or female, nor androgynous, nor lacking gender, nor gender-fluid. It's a fixed and stable gender, but one that is not on the spectrum of the binary. Any third-gender, or sixth-gender, or eighty-seventh gender can potentially identify with being metagender.'

I strongly surmise that the implication it contains, of 'metagender' being a single specific such gender, is unintended, an artifact of the casual, conversational, unpolished nature of blog comments; Lupus is an academic, and surely would have intended the etymological implications of 'meta'+'gender' (so, beyond or alongside [conventional binary] gender). So that quote is probably better understood to mean, 'Metagender is/refers to any gender that fits these parameters' - very much what I use 'nth gender' to mean.

Obviously, I strongly favor Lupus's usage, not so much as The One True Meaning, but as the most-solidly-constructed definition; e also has chronological precedence (one of my search results - a GenderTalk Web Radio episode on which e was featured - indicated that e was using and explaining it publicly as early as 2004); I'd generally consider it the default meaning for anything other than someone using the term as their own identity-word.

When someone is using it as a self-descriptor, Shad's 'ask the person' rule applies, of course.

[/neepery]

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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2015, 07:24:02 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;175888
I strongly surmise that the implication it contains, of 'metagender' being a single specific such gender, is unintended, an artifact of the casual, conversational, unpolished nature of blog comments; Lupus is an academic, and surely would have intended the etymological implications of 'meta'+'gender' (so, beyond or alongside [conventional binary] gender). So that quote is probably better understood to mean, 'Metagender is/refers to any gender that fits these parameters' - very much what I use 'nth gender' to mean.

 
Or, to translate it into Cauldron slang, "ubiquitous other". ;)
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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2015, 08:55:42 am »
Quote from: Kylara;175849
I had to go look those up...the Tagalog pronouns are lovely!

 
Aren't they! :D:

Quote from: HeartShadow;175853
metagender's a new word on me - is there a reputable place for a clear definition, or do you have one?

Quote from: Sefiru;175859
I did google, and I think I found the person who Faemon mentioned.  

Quote from: SunflowerP;175888
Obviously, I strongly favor Lupus's usage, not so much as The One True Meaning, but as the most-solidly-constructed definition

...

I'd generally consider it the default meaning for anything other than someone using the term as their own identity-word.

When someone is using it as a self-descriptor, Shad's 'ask the person' rule applies, of course.

 
Yup, that was the one I meant! The Spivak ones.
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victoreia

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Re: Gender-neutral pronouns
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2015, 02:03:24 am »
Quote from: beachglass;175808
If I had to guess, I'd bet on "they" becoming the default for everyone, just because it seems to already be happening that way. But there is precedent for neologisms -- "Ms." is well established.

 
"Well established", but not necessarily in wide-spread use. I routinely get "Mrs." instead of "Ms."; personally I get a tad offended by the assumption that a woman over a (visual perception of a) certain age has to be married.

(End rant.) Okay, I'll stop going off tangent now.
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