Warning: this post may come off as insensitive. It is merely meant to air frustrations. I am open to hearing your opinions on every part of my position if you are offended”
It has recently come to my attention that as a result of the controversy of pronouns, my professor* always refers to each individual as “they.” Now it is all fine and logical to me to refer to a group as they, but eh hem, it is damn obvious that that girl over there is a she, and that guy in the back.. yeah.. umm I’m pretty sure he is a he. I get it, we have people who don’t identify as a he or a she. Though, I believe if one prefers to be referred to as a he, a she, a star, an other, a they, they’ll let you know if you are addressing them in an offensive manner in relation to their preferences.
Let me give you an example of how my professor* uses the word they though… My professor* will ask a question to the class, get a response that may be too quiet for the class to hear, and as the professor* looks at this girl with make up on and long hair, the professor* says “if you didn’t all hear, they said ‘blah blah blah'” In a way, it removes the credit given to the person who has commented. It also distances this professor from us as a class, but also as individuals. I realize that we must respect other’s pronoun sensitivities, but the road goes both ways. What about those who identify to the standard pronouns? Do they have room to be offended that you aren’t addressing them how they would like to be addressed? Oh but you’re making it so that everyone is included in the pronoun you have generalized and chosen to use to address every single one of us in the room. Well to inform you, I identify as she, not they. I am not a group of people, I am one individual who would appreciate that at the very least, you address me by the gender I identify with, to show me you are giving me a small bit of acknowledgement as an individual.
Perhaps at this point in my rant, you all are saying to yourselves “you are all offended as a person who conforms to a gender many ignorantly will assume you are. You are primarily accepted by the pronoun you associate with. So don’t you see how those who prefer to be addressed by a different pronoun feel when addressed incorrectly?”
I get it, it is frustrating. It is also frustrating that we have gone from including one demographic’s opinions into consideration. Then completely shifting over to a new demographic’s opinions in order to be less ignorant towards the issue. When we have just forgotten the previous demographic all together.
I nearly feel compelled to request that this professor call me she. I feel as though those who identify with non-conforming pronouns should feel the same freedom. So then I must ask, if we are so concerned about being socially correct that we generalize an entire group and address every individual and they, why can’t we simply ask EVERY SINGLE PERSON what they damn well desire to be addressed as. Well that would take too much time… So it is really in an effort to save time? What about the effort to respect the wishes of those sensitive to how you address them? Or are you not concerned with that? Is it simply because remembering what everyone prefers to be addressed by, or remembering the names is too time consuming? Or in a way, do you also feel like it is not important. You are the main star of the show, we listen to you for a great portion of the class, so why is it important to know who we are.
Through all of this sarcasm and frustration, I am merely trying to allow those who address EVERYONE by ‘they’, to see that ‘they’ are still offending and frustrating those who don’t identify as a ‘they.’ If you really want to be socially correct, remember a name or two…
Quote in reference to being addressed as ‘they’: “yeah, it wasn’t me who said it, it was a group of us: me, myself, and I”
*pronoun omitted and replaced by professor in order to respect the professor’s possible unstated pronoun preference