Singular "they".

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Jul 2, 2022.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    This was a discussion among writers long before transphobic bawling demanded we pay attention to pronouns as a gender question. The answer has been consistent throughout: No, we cannot have another word; the singular they is the only reasonable and fair outcome, even if there was no way anyone was going to say or write, "they doesn't".

    Vis à vis transgender, "they" is what we are stuck with.
     
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Most things in life are on a continuum but most things don't have labels that move along that continuum.

    If "they" is what we've come up with for someone born in a body then seems apart from their gender, cool.

    Some people are gay, some are straight, some are bisexual. I assume some are mainly straight and a little gay and others are mainly gay but a little straight at times. Do you need labels for each point along that continuum? Bisexual probably covers all that.

    I know someone from the climbing gym. Her name is Laura but she goes by LB. She has a page boy haircut and usually wears pants but sometimes wears dresses. When I knew her she had a boyfriend who is now her husband.

    She kind of gives off a unisex vibe. Several years ago I had never heard of "they" being used in this way. Another friend from that same gym who is a lesbian mentioned to me once that LP goes by "they". I asked her about that and she explained the usage.

    No problem but this is why I can't help but feel it's a bit self-indulgent to expect others to know this and to care whether they use it or not. LP doesn't seem to be a woman trapped in a man's body. She appears to play the role of a woman, she has a male husband, sometimes she wears dresses but mostly dresses in a unisex manner.

    Is this a "protected class" that has been abused for generations? She just doesn't feel as feminine all the time as society may make her feel that she should be feeling.

    I don't care about the pronoun "they", that's fine. In her case at least, it just seems to be unnecessary to have a label for it or to have society need to adjust to her in some special way when it feels more like Elizabeth Warren identifying as Native American.

    If she really does feel like a man trapped in a woman's body then ignore all of the above.
     
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  5. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Speaking as a human I agree diversity SHOULD NOT be a problem

    Unfortunately in reality it frequently is

    Diversity in religion hasn't worked out well has it

    In the medical field THINKING you are DIFFERENT can be a HAZARD. Tell the person you are seeking help from you are one gender when your biological gender is a mis-match presents problems to the carer if they don't pick up the mis-match

    A whole raft of conditions only apply to one gender and not the other. If your problem is ruled out because your gender mis-match has not been realised further problems lay ahead

    I'll throw in Roe vs Wade here showing just how diversity should NOT work but here it is at it's tyrannical worst

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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Let's not make it worse.


    That door swings both ways.

    I have a friend who is full trans and on meds to keep it that way. Imagine if someone looked at her chart and it said: birth-gender: male and the doctor treated her as a male. She could end up with some very bad and very harmful treatment.

    The simple answer is, of course, that no idiot would treat a patient based on their chart alone, let alone a single field filled out with a ingle letter.

    And the point there is: you treat the patient that you talk to, not the demographics on a chart.



    As above: only an idiot would treat a chart and ignore the person.

    What's written on the demographics chart is not a medical diagnostic tool.
     
  8. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Easy said - doing much much harder

    Agree with all you wrote in that segment

    And the following segment

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  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Baby steps: don't dunk on others when you have no skin in their game.
     
  10. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Agree

    Tell that to the god believers (mostly) who are hearing in their heads "god wants me to sove those humans in some other persons uterus"

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  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Taking your points in order:
    1. Language and usage changes and evolves over time. Arguing that a usage or neologism is bad because you "never heard it" being used that way in your past is not very useful, other than if you're trying to establish conservative, stick-in-the-mud credentials or old-fogeyism.
    2. You may think that people are being "self indulgent" when they ask to be addressed in a particular way. They may think you're being self-indulgent if you think that you know better than them as to how they should be addressed.
    3. Being aware of how other people feel and what they care about is a mark of an empathic person. If you can't understand why anyone would want to respect another person's preferred pronouns, perhaps you have the problem, not them.
    4. You appear to want to put LP into a convenient box based on your perception of them. So you say that, to you, they "appears to play the role of a woman..." etc. etc. The subtext there is that you want to put them in the "woman" box in your head. Have you stopped to consider what they want?
    5. Yes, transgender and non-binary people are a "class" (or two classes, maybe) that have been abused for generations. Do you want to help perpetuate that abuse by refusing to respect their wishes?
    6. You appear to see LP's non-binary orientation as something that society could "fix". The implication is that you regard non-binary people as having a "problem" that needs a fix, which is precisely a perpetuation of the abuse, conscious or unconscious, that non-binary people have suffered for generations.
    Bizarre. What difference would this make to you?
    It sounds like the "they" pronoun disturbs you at some level, just as it disturbs Michael and Yazata. I would venture that the reason you all think this is "stupid" is that you are unwilling to muster a level of respect for non-binary people. Instead, you all want to pigeon-hole them into the conservative, traditional categories that are in your historical comfort zone.

    It's 2022. Maybe you should all consider progressing with the times. Try to have some empathy and a measure of respect for people who aren't exactly like you. If more people could do that, the world would be a happier, safer place for everybody.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2022
  12. Neddy Bate Valued Senior Member

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    Shouldn't your statement read, "In their case at least, it just seems to be unnecessary..." After all, you have already stated that you don't care about the pronoun "they".
     
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Your response is so misguided that I don't have a response.
     
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Take your time. Think it over. It's not an unexpected reaction to feel confused (and possibly offended) when you are confronted with new ideas that raise questions about your moral choices. Some people lash out, like you just did. That's generally a poor response, especially when you haven't given any thought to the issues raised.
     
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    You're an idiot.
     
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry. It's bang-on.

    The fact that you interpret it as misguided is a big red flag.

    It suggests that the concepts of empathy and agency are foreign to you.

    I mean, I don't think they really are foreign to you, which means there has to be a big disconnect somewhere in your understanding of this issue.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I ... is that an evolved response to this issue?

    Do you think this is an issue to be settled on the school playground?
     
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Oh dear.

    Please take some time out to cool down and think things through.
     
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I don't see that you have respect or empathy for anyone. You're generally arrogant and you're sure that there is only one correct viewpoint and that's yours. You have said as much.

    "They" doesn't bother me. Your comment about "Bizarre, what difference would this make to you" is a typical but bizarre comment. I doesn't matter to me. That's not what we were talking about. If someone feels that they are a man in a woman's body, I agree that's different enough to warrant a "they".

    If they were born a woman, look like a woman, are married to a guy and some days feel like wearing lipstick and other days don't...I don't see that as a distinct category but if you do, great.

    Your comments to me, in general, don't seem to reflect what I actually wrote and are just some condescending and arrogant response to a category of people.

    I also said nothing about there being something about LP that society should "fix". You make this stuff up and then lecture about it. That's why I said that you were an idiot. Your posts are just baiting and your responses are category responses and don't even apply to what I actually wrote.
     
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for the lecture. I'm sure your view on this issue is the only correct view and any other needs counseling, right?
     
  21. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    No disturbance here

    Just thinking about my time in the RAAF and the current (been going a while) call for the service's to be woke to the members

    I spent almost a year working at Laverton base Melbourne as Medic

    Had a Medic there (might have been a corporal even) who came to work every day dressed for ward work - plain uniform with gown added

    Nothing unusual there but the face make-up was something else

    Powder, lipstick and eyeshadow screaming look at me. We did but nobody called him out, I never even heard it mentioned. Not the patients, not fellow workers, superior officers, no-one

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  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Seattle:

    I have respect and empathy for LP, which is more than I can say for you, based on your expressed attitude towards them.
    If two viewpoints conflict, then one or both are wrong. They can't both be correct. Logic 101.

    It is interesting that you have chosen to attack my character rather than addressing the points I put to you. It looks a lot like deflection. Also, it seems that you didn't take the time to cool off that I suggested. You might not be thinking clearly.
    You wrote that you thought that LP's preference for its use is self indulgent, and that you think the label is "unnecessary", "needlessly confusing". It sounds like you're bothered.
    You didn't answer the question, I notice. "Bizarre" is just my opinion, but who knows? You might have reasons. It just strikes me as odd why you would make this very specific exception to your general rule.
    Why? And why not for somebody who doesn't feel that way, but who just doesn't like being pigeonholed with a binary gender label? What's the difference?
    Like I said, you don't seem to rate what they want very highly, if at all. What matters to you are your categories, not theirs. And you call them self-indulgent.
    Readers will judge for themselves, of course.
    Let me ask you directly, then, to clarify.

    Is there a problem with a person asserting a non-binary gender identity? Is there are problem with those who do asking other people to respect their preferred pronouns?
    I don't have to make stuff up. I just have to read what you write. It's not like I'm on my own here, either.
    No, it's not. You think I'm an idiot because you believe you're a moral person and I called you out on a behaviour and attitude that conflicts with your belief about yourself. Instead of fixing the problem, your reaction is to blame the messenger. And that raises its own, separate, issue.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2022
  23. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    And in situations where there no right and no wrong the viewpoints are ???? Just viewpoints

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