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Quora Answer : Why do people put gender pronouns in their bio?

May 25, 2020

I'm a straight, white, cis, male. With a very obviously male body and a beard.

I have the fortune and the privilege of not having to worry about being misgendered. Or having people criticise me (or violently assault me) for the gender I want to present.

Like all privileges, it's basically invisible to me. I don't have to think about it. I don't have any need whatsoever to point out to people that they should think of me as male. Or use "he" and "his" in relation to me. The world just works, the way I would like it to work in this respect.

BUT not everyone is so lucky.

I can't do much to fix that.

But the very least I can do, is help to normalize the practice of people explicitly announcing their preferred pronouns. So the next time that someone needs to point out their preferred pronouns, the whole conversation is less awkward and goes more smoothly, because the recipient is now used to this.

Someone won't have to justify why it's important they're doing this because it's so normal for people to just do it.

The way I see it, announcing pronouns is a bit like when women wanted to use the word "ms" instead of "miss" and "mrs" because they didn't see why language should be used to announce their marital status.

Reactionary old buffers complained, but within a fairly short time, most people and institutions adapted, and few people think it necessary for a woman to have to publish her marital status today.

I hope that within a similarly short time, people will stop whining about how it's an affront against their freedom of speech to be asked to use someone's preferred pronouns; and accept that it's just like any other politeness we give to each other without a second thought, in a civilized society.

I don't deliberately collide with people when walking down the street. Or slam the door in the face of the person walking behind me into a classroom. Just to prove how free and independent of social policing I am. One day people will just accept the gender that other people want to be known as, as a completely obvious and necessary way for us to all get along together. Let's do what we can to hasten that day.

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