Appropriately using gender pronouns requires a bit of thought; refusing to make the effort might cost one a job (or, in New York anyway, also a $250,000 fine). Doing this grammar assignment isn’t so optional! Remember that one identifying as Gender Fluid periodically changes gender identities; using name-tags that includes gender identity, and periodically asking the one your speaking with what their preferred pronouns are, is prudent and polite.
I. Define each term, below.
II. Fill out the Pronouns Table below, for each term.
III. Write each pronoun term in a sentence. (In the interest of time, you may use the same sentence throughout.)
Study your answers to prepare for the test; it follows these same directions.
These sites helps get you started:
https://www.vanderbilt.edu/elc/resources/pronoun-guide/ (download the file)
This table helps, from West Virginia University:
He/She Him/Her His/Her His/Hers Himself/Herself
zie zim zir zis zieself
sie sie hir hirs hirself
ey em eir eirs eirself
ve ver vis vers verself
tey ter tem ters terself
e em eir eirs emself
The pronouns used for some of these genders overlap, making our task a little less arduous.
Female to Male
Male to Female
Singular Subject 1st, 2nd, 3rd: I, you, he/she/it
Singular Object 1st, 2nd, 3rd: me, you, him/her/it
Singular Possessive 1st, 2nd, 3rd: mine, yours, his/hers
Plural Subject 1st, 2nd, 3rd: we, you, they
Plural Object 1st, 2nd, 3rd: us, you, them
Plural Possessive 1st, 2nd, 3rd: ours, yours, theirs
Singular and Plural Reflexive:
1st myself ourselves
2nd yourself yourselves
3rd him/her/itself themselves
This site, EnglishClub.com, reviews pronoun use well:
For a YouTube playlist delving into this topic from various viewpoints:
Here are questions my playlist inspires:
How many pronouns must one learn to use–31, 50, infinite?
If genders fluctuate from day to day, or more often, how often is one expected to ask for another’s preferred pronoun?
Is one able to avoid pronoun difficulties by simply using personal names?
With misgendering carrying very serious consequences, should managers and teachers require everyone under them to wear pronoun badges?
Does everyone have the legal right to feel respected and comfortable in another’s company?
Is saying something another finds offensive a violent act–criminal?
Does the state have the right not just to prohibit language but to require it?
Must one speak according to the ideology of another, even if one doesn’t believe that ideology?
What other identities might make similar demands on others, even to the point of state fines or job loss?
If one’s gender identity is purely subjective, what other subjective self-identities must be accepted? Famously, a 52 year old man claims to be a 6 year old girl; a man claims to be a female dragon; a Caucasian women claims to be African-American.
People identify to various degrees regarding race, age, and religion. Might we require others to ask us our preferred fabricated pronouns reflecting these shades of identity, also? Why not? Why do this only for gender identity, without being arbitrary?
Is a transgender woman a biological woman? If the pronoun “she” historically has always referred to a biological female, should one be compelled to use it regarding a tranz-woman? What of the Orthodox Jew or Christian who believes it’s incorrect and against their religion to call, in their eyes, a man a woman? How to negotiate freedom of religion with LGBTQ+ rights? Are traditionalists haters and bigots? Are Progressives anti-religion haters and bigots?
Are we practicing “live and let live,” or legal coercion?
Will parents have an opt-out option regarding their children being taught gender inclusion in elementary school?
A male saying he’s always been a female but with the wrong parts assumes mind/body dualism? Can one’s identity be completely independent of one’s body, legitimately?
With surgery, is a male feminizing his body or changing sexes? Is it better to change one’s body or learn to become comfortable in one’s body?
Is sex simply assigned at birth or recognized at birth?
Can science identify the 50 identity groups or are these groups purely subjective and ever splintering? or is identity socially constructed?
Is giving a 10 year old boy puberty blockers or a 16 year old girl testosterone healthy?
Is the LGBTQ+ movement’s identifying with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s legitimate, since the latter is biologically based while the former is (?) subjectively or sociologically based?
Is it fair to have transgender women (or a biological woman receiving testosterone) compete with biological women on sports teams? How does this impact feminism? How to speak of the wage gap or the glass ceiling, without assuming the binary?
There are far more women who’ve been sexually violated than there are transgenders. Do their feelings count in the shower room and the hotel room (at away college sporting events)?
Is the one refusing to date a tranz-woman a bigot? Is genital preference bigotry?
So much to learn and to think about! As long as everyone can openly, thoughtfully, civilly discuss this topic, violence, intolerance, and bullying is avoided and everyone knows they have a seat at the table. Easier said than done, but worth the effort!
Here’s a carefully researched and argued audio book, from the other side of the tracks: When Harry Became Sally