Have you, by the way, ever stopped for a moment to think about that coercing people to add pronouns on their profile is just one way to exert Indo-European language imperialism over those who don't even have gendered pronouns in their own language?

Have you ever considered the possibility to getting completely rid of gendered pronouns in your imperialistic Indo-European language, so that no one would have the need to put their pronouns on any profile?

@Stoori could do quite easily in english, but latin languages are so fucked up about these :/ Some people are trying anyway.

@Stoori I've actually thought about this. And let me say, I totally get why people want to put pronouns in, and for the most part I'm in favor of it (as long as you're not forcing people) I put "She/they" (on the basis as long as it's not "he" I probably won't care!) in most of mine, but here, I felt like I had to add FL pronouns. That's where it gets harder.

Do I put Ella? =/ What if you're enby and speak Spanish? This is something I've often wondered. What do you put in your profile: "Please write your toots without inflecting gender. Good luck folx!"


I tried writing a story in Spanish with this premise (for class), and I'm not entirely sure I succeeded grammatically. And not even in the sense of "authors breaking rules". I think there's a way to do it (Sphinx by Anne F. Garréta was written in French!) but I'm not at a point where I can.

@lapis Yes, in some languages it's very hard or nearly impossible to avoid gendered grammatical constructions. And that wasn't my point here.

What I'm worried about is the attitude ”if you're not conforming to MY Anglo-American cultural norms (of announcing gendered pronouns), I'm not communicating with you”. Which most pronoun proponents are not intentionally doing, I know, but the subtext is still there even if the wording is just ”if you don't have pronouns in your bio, I ignore you”.

It's a pretty big jump from Anglo-American to Indo-European, though. :)

I just wish the noun classes had never been referred to as grammatical "gender" at all. It'd have saved so much trouble.

@hollyamory There is a big jump, I agree. But this is linguistically a bit difficult otherwise.

Sure the pressure to announce your pronouns is biggest in Anglo-American culture, but it's not entirely limited there, as many other major European languages and cultures are behind the phenomenon.

But calling them just European is confusing, as not all European (as a continent) languages are European (as a language family), as Uralic, Turkic & some other European languages lack gendered pronouns.

There are plenty of Indo-European languages that aren't gendered in this way too, though. And more spoken by people who were victims of empires then imperialists.

I can see why you'd advocate getting rid of gendered pronouns but it's incredibly difficult to alter those "closed" lexical classes. Also some people really benefit from the ability to indicate their gender via their pronouns and lose out when that is not possible. There's pros and cons on both sides.

But obviously if anyone's saying "I'll ignore you if you don't include your pronouns" that's not good!

I haven't seen that, I've seen people encouraging others to share pronouns if they can but always with acknowledgemt that this isn't possible for some people. And that can be for linguistic reasons as well as safety/trauma-induced reasons.

@hollyamory In many of the comments I've seen the tone has been a bit too coercive to be just encouraging.

One recurring argument is also that everyone should announce their pronouns so that the practice would be normalized. I disagree with that, much better would be to normalize the practice to use 'they' for everyone without exceptions.

But I guess that's a too big jump, as the loudest voices are calling for normalizing the ubiquitous declaration of personally preferred pronouns.

I think the process of normalizing pronouns must always include the option not to share pronouns.

I think that would be better than calling everyone "they." Trans people are proof of how important it is to someone's mental health to have their gender affirmed. I strongly believe that no one should have any pronoun imposed on them that they're not comfortable with.

@hollyamory There are better ways to affirm gender than pronouns.

And generalising for all trans people preferring to use preferred pronouns doesn't work either. I'm myself an example of a trans person wishing to abolish all gendered pronouns.

In the long run the only viable path to avoid overcomplicated communication is to use the same pronoun for everyone.

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