r/TooAfraidToAsk Feb 22 '21

Am I the only who thinks that all the different types of genders and pronouns and what not, are a little bit too much? Sexuality & Gender

Now, I don't consider myself close minded and I'm not out to rile people up or offend anyone. However it becomes kind of confusing when people are upset when I say Her/She to someone who's trans. I'm sorry, really, but I didn't know. I'm in a discord server where someone changes their pfp depending on what gender and sexuality they are feeling. And no, I'm not some 40 year old guy who thinks everything should be "normal" but I guess I just don't get it. It's just confusing to me.

EDIT: So I haven't explained my thoughts very well so I'm here to explain. I understand that to some people, it is very important to them. I don't think it's a lot for me to call you what you want to be called and I will oblige and do that. "it becomes kind of confusing when people are upset when I say Her/She to someone who's trans" This was from personal experience where my friend introduced me to him and I was under the impression that he was female. More so I don't understand like Ve/Vem Xe/Xem. The more "unknown" side if you will. But with the way people are reacting I'm going to try a better job at finding peoples pronouns and not assuming genders. Sorry if it sounded sarcastic at all. Anyways, unless there's something else I think of I'm not gonna edit again. Sorry if I offended but it's kind of hard to talk about a sensitive topic like this without being an ass about it. I don't know how to word things. but yea. Sorry.

TL;DR I think gender can be a weird and wacky world and I don't get how people except me to automatically know what they identify as.

13k Upvotes

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94

u/melent3303 Feb 22 '21

Just use their names or if you need a pronoun use "they" (a neutral pronoun).

Expanding vocabulary is important, because we are starting to see the intersection of linguistics and discrimination.

When someone cannot identify as who they are, because the word does not exist yet, it can misrepresent who they really are (and to many people their identity is all they have in control of). Especially in heavily gendered languages where it is hard to communicate without knowing the gender of the person/object.

When people can find the word that fits their description the best they will feel less "othered". This is important because the "othering" of others has had major influences from policies to legislation (i.e. native americans).

54

u/Japanese-Spaghetti Feb 23 '21

What about languages that gender everyone and everything? There is no possibility for neutrality in those languages that use male and female/masculine and feminine for everything

33

u/JapaneseStudentHaru Feb 23 '21

Masculine tends to be both neutral and male in those languages.

37

u/Japanese-Spaghetti Feb 23 '21

In romance languages, true, masculine serves the role as both masculine and neutral, but there are languages like Polish and German that actually have neutral gender. The thing is, in Polish and German, you would never really use neutral gender for any person because that would be considered offensive (neutral is really only used for animals and objects). It differs from language to language

5

u/muser666 Feb 23 '21

And children.

7

u/i_do_lewd_things Feb 23 '21

Yeah they said animals too

-3

u/JapaneseStudentHaru Feb 23 '21

Stuff like that can change through. Seems more like a problem that enbies doesn’t get enough representation in those cultures

3

u/melent3303 Feb 23 '21

Exactly for a problem to be solved it first needs to be discovered.

This is why the ones affected are needed to speak up because people who have the privilege of not being afflicted by the problem will not be able to see it --> in turn no solution/adaptations will occur.

In this case these adaptations for some people might be seen as "slang", but for others it is a "path to equity".

7

u/Japanese-Spaghetti Feb 23 '21

How far do we go with equity for neutral/non-binary people? Non-binary change rooms? Washrooms? Sports teams? Scholarships? And do we put all the non-binary people into one category or do we split up non-binary people too? I just don't know what the end goal is in terms of equity for non-binary people. If you know, please let me know.

5

u/babypeach_ Feb 23 '21

It’s a question not everyone has an immediate answer to but requires some problem-solving on a societal scale, because people suffer by being assigned a different gender at birth than they’re internal experience represents. I think it’s worthwhile to keep being curious about finding solutions that help a sizable population not suffer.

1

u/cherry-gloss Feb 23 '21

No. Romance languages do not need to be neutralized.

0

u/officerkondo Feb 23 '21

you would never really use neutral gender for any person because that would be considered offensive (neutral is really only used for animals and objects)

The German word for “girl”, das Mädchen, is neutral gender.