Why I Don’t Use “Preferred Pronouns”

The short answer is I use SEX pronouns, not GENDER pronouns.

What activists call mis-gendering is in fact correct-sexing. What “preferred pronouns” demand is mis-sexing, which requires a lot of mental bandwidth.

Like most mammals, I can’t help but identify someone’s sex with +99% accuracy. (A tiny minority of humans intentionally “pass” as the opposite sex, and others are ambiguous. I know a few women who refuse to perform gender entirely, and that confuses some men. Women, I think, are better at identifying sex than men, either due to instinct or conditioning for survival, since males pose threats to us [physical overpowering, rape, impregnation] they don’t pose to other men.)

Pronoun activists are conditioning everyone around them for authoritarianism. That is, they are training everyone to override their own perceptions, and replace them with what they’re told. In order to signal loyalty, friends are required to publicly lie.

That is bad for individual mental health, and the health of the community.

It is crucial to have conscious awareness of our own perceptions. All of the great social catastrophes we are taught about – Naziism, Fascism, the Slave Trade – make us ask, “how could people DO that??” The answer is, BY DENYING THEIR OWN PERCEPTIONS. We lose our ability to resist or think when we deny the reality in front of our very eyes. No matter how well-intentioned, “preferred pronouns” condition exactly that.

Manage your own perceptions; you don’t get to control mine.

P.S. I don’t “correct” anyone for mis-sexing. If a man perceives himself a woman (or animal, or helicopter) I don’t deny him his own perception. If his friends call him “she” I don’t interfere. His friends, however, often aggressively police others, demanding they change their own perceptions. Everyone is free to identify however they wish, but they don’t get to control how others identify them.

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Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

19 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Use “Preferred Pronouns””

  1. Imagine thinking sex differences haven’t mattered throughout millennia of human history. Biology is irrelevant. These people are science-deniers.

  2. If somebody would want to impose on everybody to reject terms like “male” and “female” and always use gender neutral language, that would indeed may cause another catastrophic “-ism”. I agree.

    But if a person asks you to call her by another name (because for example she legally changed it) or another pronoun (for whatever reason), then not doing so is just being an asshole.

    In other words:

    People with gender identity issues are in great minority. Therefore it’s good and safe to assume gender based on our perception. If a person asks you to call her differently, I see no reason not to do so. But if someone wants you to never assume a gender of anybody else, I think that’s wrong.

    And now I think that you Nina and whoever you’re debating with are overreacting. Just calm down everybody, please.

  3. I pretty much agree; I don’t care what someone calls themselves or anyone else calls them, but imposing upon me (at pain of shaming or extreme anger) what language I’m supposed to use feels very wrong, and my contrarian nature kicks in at that point.

    I tend to strike a bit of a balance, however; in the presence of the person or their friends, I use their preferred form of address. Away from them, I use whatever referent *I* prefer.

  4. The use of “preferred pronoun” is the death of language. Language communicates what I SEE and BELIEVE. It has NOTHING to do with what you prefer. If I see you as a man or know that you are a man, I use “he”. If woman, “she”. “They” is for several people. I will not lie with my language.

  5. My pronouns are “I/ me” if I’m talking. If you talk to me, please kindly call me “you”.

  6. “Sex pronouns” do not exist, Nina. Pronouns are a cultural artefact. What you’re doing is simply renaming the content of “gender” as “sex” and then pretending that you’re critical of gender in some way. You’re not.

  7. If they want some gender neutral utopia well that is VERY problematic because that would be erasing part of MY identity as I clearly see myself as male. As is very problematic for many of my trans friends who fought hard to be their true gender/sex. I try use the gender neutral they in most cases when dealing with people I don’t know well but it doesn’t even come up that much because I am not friends generally with people who are easily offended or extremest language police. But the gender neutral fascists are a small minority and so I just don’t run into that often.

  8. But I dont understand one thing. If what you’re saying is hurting them, ie using the pronouns that they asked you not to use, why would you continue? Hurting someone, especially one person, is a big issue in my opinion. Its cruel to not allow them a little respect, which I’m sure not many get, in regards to how they wish to be viewed. With a minority that is so infinitesimal, why would it matter at all if you give them what they wish? Not everyone will, some people are plain cruel, so it’s not like they would, hypothetically, “take over the world”.

  9. Just wondering:

    If the use of gender-sensitive pronouns reflects our wish to respect others’ perceptions and feelings, why stop at pronouns? Why stop at gender? Why stop at references to the individual? Why not refrain from saying anything that those to whom we’re speaking might find distressing? Does everyone deserve such accommodation? If not, how do we decide who does? And who gets to decide?

  10. if anyone asks.. no.. i will not adhere to your pro noun needs. no apologies.. i simply dont play a part in anything like this. i dont care if it hurts anyones feelings. people should simply have more about them than a tribal attention seeking overly left-wing needs. the issue at the moment is that too many people are worried they will have their careers shut down by the ultra left fuckwitts.. me i dont care so i gleefully dont play the game.. i am repulsed by it all. i detest ‘sjw’s’ and i am very well educated in regards to the horrendous end games of the ultra leftists… they dont stop… ever. the best thing to do is just say – ‘no’.. you are a girl or a boy. thats it. if theres . problem thats your fault. develop more about your dumb ass than your gender, this topic is the dullest thing about you.

  11. Imagine this scenario: a friend of yours gets married. She changes her last name to match her husbands’. It’s a simple wedding, but they don’t realize until later there was a problem with the paperwork and they are not officially married yet. Naturally, you’d call this person by her correct last name since she’s almost married. It may be a bit tricky to get used to at first, since you’re used to calling her by her maiden name, but eventually it will come naturally.

    This is similar to using the right pronouns for trans people. They know their gender. They’ve done everything they can to pass as that gender, but sometimes they don’t, because of small mistakes or little details.

    I have many friends of all appearances who are trans. At first, using the correct pronouns was tricky, and I made lots of mistakes. They politely corrected me, and eventually I learned. Now I can hardly think of them with any other pronouns or gender other than what they are. It just comes naturally. It’s really not that hard, if you give it more than ten minutes of thought. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but to them it means a lot, and if something is going to make someone so much happier, more confident, and less dysphoric who are you to refuse just because you think “it’s too hard.”

    Also, side note: you’d probably be surprised how often you are incorrect about sex. What about fully transitioned trans people? On the outside they have absolutely no difference in appearance to cis people, they just happened to look another gender a long time ago. But how would you know that unless they told you? You would call them by their correct pronouns like everyone else.

  12. As a biologist, I used to roll my eyes at all these fake “trans” people. Now they are making me angry because they insist that I alter my language to conform to their fantasy and consider me a Neanderthal throwback when I refuse to do so. The truth is this trans phenomenon is nothing more than a childish fad of an increasingly neurotic society – and one we all know will be forgotten in a few years.

  13. I use whichever pronouns are the most obvious to me. If I get a hint that you’re one of these people who identifies as something quite different, I’ll wait until you kick off, or – more likely – will probably just stop talking to you anyway.

    By the way, I identify as a “Lord”, and you will address me as “Sir”. Is that clear?

  14. Love it. We will keep fighting the good fight until this utter insanity is wiped off the books. When someone calls me “genital obsessed” I ask them why they think we need to pull someone’s pants down to identify sex.

    Absolutely deliberate self-brainwashing and these people will have to wake up at some point.

  15. Thank you for this crystal clear exposition. In fewer than 300 words you’ve said all that needs to be said!

  16. If you want me to call you “they” you must have been diagnosed with multiple personalities disorder. Period, end of story

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