herzverstreut_bu: (XKCD - rainbow power!)
[personal profile] herzverstreut_bu
This is just something I was thinking about while browsing the flist, and I realized that I know about most, but not nearly all of you. So for future reference, please tell me:

[Poll #1239184]

For those who are as "awake" as I am right now: This is about how you want people to refer to you, not about the sound of them or anything. Just in case that wasn't clear. And I chose checkboxes in case anyone is comfortable with more than one, but please just check those that you really want people (i.e. me) to use when referring to you.

For clarification regarding myself, I'd really like to try and get people to use ze/hir, but I'm pretty much fine with both male and female pronouns as well. ETA: Just for those who are not familiar with them: There is (or seems to be) a growing desire for at least a third pronoun for those who don't identify as one traditional gender, or for situations where the gender identity of a person is not know. The problem, of course, is that there is no real tradition for such a pronoun in the English language (other than "they", which can be kind of problematic), and creating a new one will inevitably be difficult. I've seen dozens of variations proposed, but the ones that seem to be most prevalent these days are ze/hir or zie/hir (sometimes sie/hir) - the latter is problematic for me personally, because "sie" means "she" and "they" in German. I've never heard any gender-neutral pronoun used in spoken language (that might have to do with not speaking English in everyday life), and certainly not in any "mainstream" context, but it would be awesome if we could get there at some point. Until then I think we all should try to find out which pronoun, be it traditional or new, someone prefers and address them accordingly. END OF PSA.

(P.S. I really wish there was any kind of gender-neutral pronoun in German, but there is none. We don't even have something like "they", we just tend to default to masculine pronouns instead. I personally don't mind, and I've been thinking about getting people to refer to me in the masculine form in general, but it's not even really considered p.c. anymore. DO SOMETHING, GERMANY.)

Wow, I've had one (ONE!) call in 35 minutes. I hope this is a reward for the stressful last week and not the calm before the storm.

Date: 2008-08-12 06:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] keeplistening.livejournal.com
I think I'm confused :/

Date: 2008-08-12 06:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
YAY! No, seriously, sorry to confuse you, but I think that's really necessary when it comes to gender.

This is pretty much because I have so many people on my flist, and I don't know how half of them identify - there are transpeople who don't identify as either male or female, people I (for some reason) thought were female but are actually male (or the other way around), people I got to know as female, but who are transitioning... There are so many different permutations of gender, and I don't want to refer to anyone in a way they're not comfortable with.

Date: 2008-08-13 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] keeplistening.livejournal.com
Aaah okay! Well, I'm pretty easy to remember, at least. :)

Date: 2008-08-12 07:12 am (UTC)
ext_15713: (gen ; hate to love and love to hate ya')
From: [identity profile] sinuous-curve.livejournal.com
When it comes to gender, I'm kind of at the point where fucked if I have any idea what I am, but I'm most used to responding to she/her, so that's what I checked, but I really, really like ze/hir, so I checked that as well.

Really, though, I'm very hard to offend. :)

Date: 2008-08-12 08:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
I'm kind of at the point where fucked if I have any idea what I am, but I'm most used to responding to she/her
Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm at a point where I really don't identify as female anymore, but since there's no applicable pronoun anyway, I'm way too lazy to try and get others to change the way they refer to me. *kinda fails at genderfuck*

Really, though, I'm very hard to offend. :)
That's good to know! :)

Date: 2008-08-12 03:15 pm (UTC)
ext_15713: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sinuous-curve.livejournal.com
I'm way too lazy to try and get others to change the way they refer to me.

Exactly. Plus, if you make that announcement to the world, "I'm not a girl," the inevitable next question is, "Well, then what are you?" And I don't really know at this point. Not anything that really has a good pronoun. :) Plus, like you said, I'm just lazy and don't want to spend twenty minutes having a conversation about gender and sexuality with every person I meet. I can roll with female pronouns, at least for the time being.

Date: 2008-08-12 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
Plus, if you make that announcement to the world, "I'm not a girl," the inevitable next question is, "Well, then what are you?"
Very good point! People don't seem to understand that you don't have to look like or even identify as the "opposite gender" if your identity isn't the same as you biological gender.

Or what I personally get a lot is "*look at boobs* *look at skirt* Yeah, right. *laugh*" I probably shouldn't blame them, but seriously. Just respect a person's identity and trust that I know who I am better than you do, damnit.

I'm just lazy and don't want to spend twenty minutes having a conversation about gender and sexuality with every person I meet.
!!!!!!!

Date: 2008-08-12 04:31 pm (UTC)
ext_15713: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sinuous-curve.livejournal.com
"*look at boobs* *look at skirt* Yeah, right. *laugh*"

Oh yeah, I get that too. I am, shall we say, very much on the curvaceous side and people tend to snort and give me the, "Yeah, okay." There seems to be this weird perception among a lot of people that, to have alternative gender identity, you have to reflect it in your physical appearance. Which is weird to me.

Date: 2008-08-12 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
It IS weird. Understandable, maybe, if you think of how deeply ingrained binary gender is in our everyday life, but still weird. I've said it before, but if you feel like a guy, dressing like a girl is just as gender-bending as cutting your hair and going all butch. Not to mention that if you're curvy, you're pretty much fucked in the androgyny department anyway, and I'd rather look good in a skirt than shitty in, idk, baggy jeans. You know?

Date: 2008-08-12 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moondarri.livejournal.com
lol! it's funny to me thinking about it in a "which is your favourite pronoun? :DDDD" kind of way.

but i ticked she, anyhow. *nodnod*

Date: 2008-08-12 08:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
It kind of is. :D But seriously, I'm so confused sometimes that I might have interpreted it that way. Uh, had I not posted it. You know.

Date: 2008-08-12 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8hrs.livejournal.com
Is the ze/hir thing common(ish), then? I only recently ran into it within some LJ wank and somehow figured it was one person's idea. :/ Then again I didn't really end up thinking about it much.

It's cool though (if irrelevant for me personally), because I can see this kind of thing being problematic.

We don't have personal pronouns based on gender in Finnish. Sometimes there are articles etc suggesting we'd move into that system, sometimes I see English (and a bunch of other languages, I know at least German and Scandinavian languages have gender pronouns) text about the Finnish model being good.

Date: 2008-08-12 08:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
It seems to be common-ish at least on the internet and a significant bit of writing on gender, but maybe it depends on the circles you move in?

And yeah, it really is problematic, because there's such a chaos with all kinds of gender-neutral pronouns and very little (if any) mainstream-recognition of any of them. But well, those things take time.

We don't have personal pronouns based on gender in Finnish.
That is an ideal situation, in my opinion. Gender should not matter in everyday life, and not having gender-based pronouns sounds like a pretty good step towards it. (How do you determine the gender of a person in writing, not in novels but for example in letters or news reports? Does it just not matter as much, or is there some other way of identification that is used, like referring to "the woman" or "the man" a lot?) Gender is so deeply ingrained in our language (both German and English), it would probably be confusing if gender-based pronouns were suddenly abolished, but I really wish that would happen.

Date: 2008-08-12 09:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaoru-is-here.livejournal.com
I had to look up for that "ze/hir"-thingy because I never read or heard it before. And... no. Seriously. Hell no. Apart from the thing that it reads like orwellian Newspeak, I have to say...

...if words like "he" or "his" are used in a sentence because the sex/gender/otherthings are unknown to the writer, then they are indeed meant in a neutral way. This just is the way the language grew. Not the words are important, it's the context they are used in which matters.

I dunno. Maybe I'm the villain in this case here... but I find it almost as OTT as replacing "man könnte ja..." with "frau könnte ja..." in the German language.

Date: 2008-08-12 10:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
*shrugs* I personally am not offended by using gendered pronouns to refer to persons whose gender you don't know, and I'm not going to use those words in German, where they sadly don't fit (the man/frau thing is different, imho, since "man" there does not actually have any male connotations, making the use of "frau" pretty unnecessary). However, as someone who does not feel they fit into either gender, and thus is acutely aware of just how present gender and all prejudices and stereotypes pertaining to it are in everyday life, it bugs me how much meaning just a simple "she" or "he" carries, and what difference it can make in the way you are treated (obviously it's not quite that easy outside of writing, but that's not what I was getting at so much, since this is about adressing people on LJ).

Not the words are important, it's the context they are used in which matters.
In general, I agree. However, with traditions that are so deeply ingrained like binary gender, new and maybe "provocative" words are needed just to throw people off, make them realize that wait, the whole "he" and "she" thing should not be taken for granted. And sure, right now those words are barely known outside circles where they already are accepted, and in an ideal world, this discussion wouldn't even be necessary, but sometimes you need to change the little things in order to bring about the bigger things. Do you know what I'm getting at?

As for "that's just the way language grew" - all language came from somewhere, and neologisms are introduced all the time. Why should we stop trying to find more accurate words, just because some concepts are traditional?

Maybe I'm the villain in this case here
There's no villain here, everyone's entitled to their opinion. I don't share yours, obviously, but as long as you don't, like, start calling me "Mädel" just to spite me, that's fine. ;)

Date: 2008-08-12 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirror-mirror.livejournal.com
but sometimes you need to change the little things in order to bring about the bigger things.

So true.

Why should we stop trying to find more accurate words, just because some concepts are traditional?

Yes! People forget that languages are alive, ever evolving. We can adapt them, instead of always having to adapt to them.

Date: 2008-08-12 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snuffkin.livejournal.com
hmm when writing about people in general (and trying to stay gender neutral) I prefer using they/they're. Even though I really don't have a problem using he/his as a general term (esp. in German)

when talking about me I prefer she/hers lol So I really didn't know which one to tick. :O And this is the first time I came across Ze/Hir, btw. :O how do you even pronounce it?

I'm not nearly awake enough for this :O

Date: 2008-08-12 02:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
So I really didn't know which one to tick. :O
I was asking about how you want people to refer to yourself, so you'd pick "she/hers". ;)

And this is the first time I came across Ze/Hir, btw.
Yeah, gender-neutral pronouns are not very common yet, sadly. I pronounce it "seh" and, well, "hir" - I'm not sure if there's an "official" way, actually.

Date: 2008-08-12 02:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snuffkin.livejournal.com
I was asking about how you want people to refer to yourself, so you'd pick "she/hers". ;)

haha ja, I think I get that now *g* After a large mug of coffee ♥

Yeah, gender-neutral pronouns are not very common yet, sadly. I pronounce it "seh" and, well, "hir" - I'm not sure if there's an "official" way, actually.

That reminds me that I'm probably the only person on earth who remembers the time they invented a German word for having drunk enough to not feel thirsty anymore O_O "sit" IDEK why I remember that *sigh*



Date: 2008-08-12 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
Hah, no, I remember that, too. I'm not surprised that it never stuck, though - you can't invent a word and go "Ok, now everybody use this to refer to something that you've referred to as something else all your life!" Changes like that need to happen gradually.

Date: 2008-08-12 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bitter-crimson.livejournal.com
For my "other", I am good with any truly gender-neutral pronouns. Things like s/he or she/he don't count b/c those are still rooted in the gender binary and thus I don't view them as actual gender-neutral pronouns, though some attempt to pain them that way.

And yeah, I frequently use the sie/hir thing, though it's occurred to me before (and been pointed out to me by others) the issue with confusion with German. IDK, maybe we should all speak Finnish. I forget the pronoun, but someone on my flist who's Finnish told me of a truly GNP native to the Finnish language. I'll have to look it up.

But anywho, I will attempt to remember to associate ze/hir or zie/hir with you. Maybe I will just switch to using zie/hir for myself as well instead of sie/hir, to avoid the German issues. OH PRONOUNS, ALWAYS A GOOD TIME.

Date: 2008-08-12 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
Things like s/he or she/he don't count b/c those are still rooted in the gender binary and thus I don't view them as actual gender-neutral pronouns
Yeah, I agree.

maybe we should all speak Finnish.
We should anyway, it's such a cool language. :D But we'd probably fail miserably. However, I'm so intrigued by languages that have actual GNPs in everyday use - it's so hard to imagine even for me.

But anywho, I will attempt to remember to associate ze/hir or zie/hir with you.
That would be great! I'm always a bit worried about, like, imposing on people, because I've gone by female pronouns for so long and it's not like I'm the posterperson for genderfuck. /o\

Date: 2008-08-12 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bitter-crimson.livejournal.com
You and I both know the futility of trying to be the poster-perfect "ideal" of some thing! :)

Date: 2008-08-12 06:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
Good point! :D

Date: 2008-08-13 04:19 pm (UTC)
morningfine: ([aia - deject])
From: [personal profile] morningfine
a truly GNP native to the Finnish language
Both genders are 'hän' or, just as commonly in informal speech, 'se' (meaning 'it'). It's funny how I'm a native speaker and interested in gender issues, yet I still never remember to be proud of my awesome language there. Mostly I complain how the non-existence of gendered pronouns makes for clunky translations. My priorities, let me show you them. ;)

Date: 2008-08-12 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honeybearbee.livejournal.com
'Das' is neutral, right? But it's not exactly a pronoun. There's 'es', but I guess that's more of an it.

And my German teacher would be so mad that I can't remember all my pronouns.

Date: 2008-08-12 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
Yeah, "das" is "that"/"this", pretty much, and while there is a small, small minority of genderqueer people who are trying to claim the "es", it's really more for referring to animals or objects.

Why? You remembered everything, as far as I can tell!

Date: 2008-08-12 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honeybearbee.livejournal.com
I was trying to think of the others, for examples, and my mind blanked after Sie. /o\

Date: 2008-08-12 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sonicbookmark.livejournal.com
For clarification regarding myself, I'd really like to try and get people to use ze/hir

Sure! But...how do you pronounce them?

Date: 2008-08-15 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
I'm not even sure there is an "official" pronunciation, really. I say "seh" (although I think others use "zee", but that sounds too much like the German "sie" for me) and "hir" like "his" with an r.

Date: 2008-08-13 04:30 pm (UTC)
morningfine: (people - her name is noelle)
From: [personal profile] morningfine
I haven't identified 100% female for ages but I still identify with the feminine pronoun--not a girl, but a she, you know? It's hard to separate which part of that is habit, if not all.

And, I promise to try and remember to adjust my pronouns--please point it out when I inevitably forget? It really shouldn't be the responsibility of the person who wishes an unconventional pronoun used for them, obvs, but I'm a glacially slow learner...

Date: 2008-08-15 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
I think I know what you mean. *nods*

And seriously, it would be cool if people used "ze", but I'm totally fine with "she", too - especially when I know you know about and respect my gender issues, and the "she" is just a word instead of a category I get put in by default, you know?

Date: 2008-08-15 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] turnyourankle.livejournal.com
According to my linguistics prof there will never be an official third gender neutral pronoun in English :( :( :( Sigh. I kinda feel dumb now, for always using she/her, but I'll make sure to remember you prefer ze/hir.

Date: 2008-08-15 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scatterheart.livejournal.com
Yeah, I'm afraid your prof might be right. :( Binary gender is so deeply ingrained in our Western culture, it would take way more than the few genderfucked people to change that.

Also, don't feel dumb! I never officially announced it or anything, and like I told Chi above, I don't care so much if someone uses female pronouns when I know they are aware of my gender issues and use it as a word, and not as a box to put me in. Know what I mean?

Date: 2008-08-16 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] citibyrd.livejournal.com
Ooh, I've been meaning to make a poll like this for a while now. Thanks for the reminder! heh.

I'll do my best to used ze/hir! :D

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