Gender traditionally was associated with a person’s sex which was assigned to them at birth. In every societal structure, there are predefined gender-based roles, assigned to their binary genders. Binary genders such as man and woman used pronouns such as he, she. This predefined structure of gender, classified people based on their appearances, attitudes, and restricted expressions. Those who fell outside this pre-determined structure, were often outcast, dehumanized, and suffered greater misfortune in the hands of the public, and were mocked, or humiliated. In such a society, the self-expression of individuals was considered less important. Mostly it depended on how well the person behaved in conforming to these ideals, which the society had dictated.
In a modern societal structure, however, the gender norms are much more complex and are made much more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community. It the important of building a community where everyone is accepted and are inclusive of each other without prejudice and move forward and build a better society. Even in workplaces, employers prefer using gender pronouns as a step to be more inclusive. The civil rights for LGBTQ+ commonly ensure the usage of gender pronouns, the violation of which can be considered workplace harassment. It is very important to ask someone what their preferred pronouns are and this could make them feel less intimidated and feel more comfortable in any stress-prone environment and provide a general sense of acceptance and give the comfort of a community.
The gender-neutral language was introduced to English by feminists Casey Miller and Kate Swift. Their work was written to encourage inclusive language, as an alternative to the existing sexist language which was not inclusive to women.
Neo Pronouns were also introduced which were used differently from the traditional gender pronouns such as he/she/they and incorporated the Spivak pronouns for gender-neutral and non-binary individuals.
For some non-binary individuals with gender dysphoria, being referred to with a gendered title can trigger anxiety and discomfort. They prefer using no pronouns, No pronoun sentences. The sentences are reframed in such a manner that no pronouns have to be used. Examples for such sentences are:
- Every child deserves a happy home
- When someone is watching the TV, it’s better not to disturb.
- If in any case, I lose this book, my friend will replace it for me.
These are the common gender pronouns used
Forms used in order for the pronouns given below:
Nominative/ Accusative/ Pronominal possessive/ Predictive Possessive/ Reflexive
This is the list of the other pronouns used in common and not so commonly used gender pronouns:
- He/ Him/His/Himself/She/Her/Hers/Herself
E, Em, Eir, Eirs, Emself
Ey/ em/ eir/ eirs/ emself: These pronouns were used and created by Christine M Elverson from Illinois.
Fae/ Faer/ Faer/ Faers/Fearself: These pronouns were created by Ciel in 2013.
Some non-binary people prefer the ‘he‘ pronouns. The form used in writing are: He/him/his/his/himself
He or She: This pronoun is used for non-binary individuals, especially for legal documents and other paper works, instructions. There is a problem with using this pronoun. It may give the impression of a nonneutral approach when it comes to pronouns when there are other more appropriate sounding pronouns to use.
These pronouns were used by writer Timothy Leary in his book ‘Prometheus Rising’. It’s a book about spirituality, identity, and a being or a soul beyond gender.
Form used: Sie/hir/hir/hirs/hirself
These pronouns derived from the German language were used for gender-neutral, nonbinary characters for the articles on the Internet.
These pronouns originated in the year 1884. The pronouns were included in chiropractic writings, textbooks. It was also included in Webster’s International Dictionary (1910).
The year in which the language originated and people used the pronouns is unknown. It is roughly estimated to have been created in the year 1970 and was used in an article in a publication called ‘Everywoman’. These pronouns were also used in the mystery novel ‘The Bone People by Keri Hulme in the year 1984.
Xe/ hir/hir/ hirs/hirself
The pronunciation is ‘Zee’. This pronoun was used for the first time in the year 1972.
Xe/ xyr(xem), xyr, xyrs, xyrself(xemself)
The pronoun appeared in the mailing list of autism Network International in the year 2000 about intersex individuals.
Pronounced as ‘Zee’.
Ze/ hir/ hir/ hirs/ hirself
These are part of neo pronouns and were used in books such as Drag King Dreams by Leslie Feinberg. Another book was The Girl must die: A monster girl memoir-Erika Lopez
Up against it by M.J Locke. These neo pronouns were included in books written by Kameson Husley – The mirror empire and the empire ascendant
They started using the pronouns in the year 2000. Brad Bloom used these pronouns in his fantasy book ‘ World Tree’ for characters whose gender identities were not male and female.
The No pronoun pronouns are:
One/One/ Ones/ One’s/ Oneself
Per/ Per/ Per/ Pers/ Per self
Ne/ Nem/ Nir/ Nirs/ Nemself
Neo Pronouns generally used are given below
How can you change the gender pronouns?
If you are gender-neutral, non-binary, and is in the process of change. As a part of your transition, the decision to use which pronoun to use which suits your identity is very crucial. You must let your loved ones and close friends support you, know your choice and make them aware of its importance. You can help them call you the specific pronoun through announcements in social media, personal emails, and by using a proper badge.
They need to communicate, or express themselves, a sense of belonging and thrive with the help of others. If we don’t open up to people who are different from us, we may not advance as a species in the next few years. Give them basic respect and let them integrate into our community. Asking someone about the pronouns they prefer to use will help them feel less alienated and greatly help them feel part of society.