The Pronoun Debate

The Pronoun Debate

Guyon Ainsworth Grant II, Reporter

Oxford Languages defines a pronoun as “a word that can function by itself as a noun phrase and that refers either to the participants in the discourse or to someone or something mentioned elsewhere in the discourse”. Now, for reasons unclear to some, a lot of people are very up in arms about pronouns. What people are arguing about gets lost in translation and it’s a very dividing subject matter. There are extremists on both sides and right and wrong will always be a debate. Whatever your opinion or stance is just know, you have every right to feel how you feel and as long as you are not hateful or inciting violence your opinion is respected.

On June 16, 2004 a biracial baby was born to a white mother and a black father. The child had male genitalia and was assigned to the male gender. When the kid was growing up he seemed to be different from all the other boys. From a very young age he liked to wear pink, to play dress up, and to paint his nails. Though the only time his parents let him paint his nails and wear it out in public was the fourth of July. He grew up with heavily conservative Christian and American values. Between that and constant judgement from his family, self expression as a male was considered taboo. That is unless expressing yourself included being violent, horny, or playing football. While the first two would come up and smack him in the face later in life, everything described is insanely common in society. Whether you call it “toxic masculinity” or “just guys being dudes” self expression should never be silenced. If it wasn’t obvious, the boy described above is me and how I grew up. While not identifying with anything other than he/him pronouns, enjoying feminine things doesn’t take that away.

Self expression is a part of who people are. People’s individuality lies in how they think, feel, and they outwardly express both of those. Some people like to judge other people’s self expression. What this subject and what using someone’s preferred pronouns comes down to is respect. There’s no reason why people should dictate what they call other people. It’s okay to call using the wrong pronouns for people “free speech” but don’t think that you are morally right in the situation. If someone were to overlook or deny someone’s depression, that would be a jerk move right? Just because you can’t empathize doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have compassion. Personally I have no experience identifying with a different gender category than I was assigned at birth but that’s all the more reason to respect others’ pronouns. Some have no idea what it’s like to be called the wrong pronoun for most of their life when they really are something else. So be kind.

If there’s one request that can be made it’s to please think before you speak. Have compassion and don’t take for granted that you were born in the right body. Nobody can tell you what to say or what to think but please give others respect. Don’t spitefully take out political aggressions on people because they are different. Please be kind.