The English language has a highly complex set of rules. It has been the universal standard for as long as we can remember. A pronoun is a figure of speech in the English language. It is used to replace a noun in a sentence. To make it simple: he/him for a man while she/her for a woman. It is gendered and no one is complaining about it. Not until the emergence of the woke culture when misgendering a person even unintentionally entails being “canceled.”
Pro-pronouns: The Culture of Having Labels
How important are pronouns?
In today’s society, people put a value on pronouns. Not because that is how petty we are but because too many, pronouns represent gender which entails a lot of prejudices from society. This is a sensitive topic for members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially for trans. They have been fighting for their space in society so pronouns are not just pronouns to them. It entails the feeling of being accepted for who they want themselves to be. After all, transwomen are women and transmen are men.
Misgendering a person
It has been like a crime to misgender a person. To use he/him for a transwoman is a mistake as well as to use she/her for a transman is wrong. However, if the mistake is unintentional, should the person be accountable? I believe that it is no one’s fault when a person misgendered another during their first interaction. He or she does not automatically know the gender of a person.
For naturally-born straight people, pronouns simply go with them easily. Yet, for others who identify differently, it is a bit complex. Asking for a person’s pronoun sits in the grey area between common courtesy and being offensive. However, it always depends upon the situation when to ask about it and when you should keep your trap shut.
Putting labels on a person
Inherently, putting labels on a person is wrong. We are living in a society where a certain behavior dictates the whole person or a certain manner entails prejudices. We were taught that a woman who dates a lot is a slut while in the case of men, it is cool. They made us believe that women should be submissive and demure otherwise they are lesbians.
This bigoted society has been feeding us these labels which instilled a fixed perception of genders in our minds. These kinds of labels must be eradicated because it dehumanizes people into mere labels.
I personally believe that pronouns are just words from the English language. It was made way before the time of women’s suffrage. It was made under a patriarchal society and those who crafted it did not foresee the emergence or at least, recognize other genders.
Today, pronouns are used to identify a person and if it is a big deal for them, then there is no reason for us to deprive them of this little act. Society has been denying them equal rights. So, it is our job to make them feel included even just by making an effort to properly address them. Pronouns are just words until they became a movement.
Angelo has always been interested in photography and writing. He has been participating in various photography-related events since high school. Street photography is his most favorite type as he believes that this is where life is the most candid - where inequality, denigration, love, and hope coexist everyday. One day, he aspires to be an environmental photojournalist that does his part for a better world.