Should there be a third pronoun?

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By Brad Brinkley

This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 10 of VARSITY News.

 

Yes. In our current society, there are more people feeling safe enough to identify as gender neutral. For those of you who don’t know, Cambridge Dictionary defines gender neutral as, “relating to people and not especially to men or to women”. In short, a gender neutral person does not identify as either male or female. There are people who disagree with this, claiming that gender is assigned from birth and it’s a matter of chromosomes. It should be noted that sex is different to gender in that sex refers to the biological characteristics of a person, whereas gender is a way of classifying yourself to fit into dictated societal norms. For example: blue is for boys and pink is for girls.

 

There are many pronouns which you can use to refer to gender neutral people, the most common being the third person plural pronouns: they, them and their. For additional pronouns, here’s a list:

  • He/she — Zie, Sie, Ey, Ve, Tey, E
  • Him/her — Zim, Sie, Em, Ver, Ter, Em
  • His/her — Zir, Hir, Eir, Vis, Tem, Eir
  • His/hers — Zis, Hirs, Eirs, Vers, Ters, Eirs
  • Himself/Herself — Zieself, Hirself, Eirself, Verself, Terself, Emself

 

If you are to formally address someone who is gender neutral, the correct title is “MX”.

 

 

Living outside the binary world of gender can often be difficult. However, the fact that there is a simple way to refer to gender neutral people augurs well for a more accommodating and progressive future. #pro-pronouns.

 

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