Help me understand the importance of gender neutral language

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IT_Veteran
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Re: Help me understand the importance of gender neutral language

Post by IT_Veteran » 28 Dec 2018, 15:07

SamBee wrote:
27 Dec 2018, 14:47
IT_Veteran wrote:
27 Dec 2018, 09:23
I think you're vastly overstating how often someone changes pronouns. Most people that change at all aren't shifting on a daily basis.
Some gender fluid people do this on a daily basis. I've met them.

Personally, I think offense should be related to intent. I may be annoyed at something someone says, but it should be related to whether someone intends to be rude. In some cases, they may not know, but that's another matter.

In the case of the pronouns, I think a practical solution is used. I just wish that someone would come up with a single use pronoun (better than it or singular they). It lessens social friction which is something which seems to be actively encouraged these days.
I think you'd find most people agree with you. Any of the gender fluid people I've met generally use the pronouns they/them, though I'm sure that exceptions exist. I have no problem trying to use the pronouns that they prefer, as long as people can acknowledge that I'm not perfect and will likely make mistakes in this regard.

They/them seems a pretty reasonable solution as far as pronouns go for someone that doesn't consider themselves male/female.

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SamBee
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Re: Help me understand the importance of gender neutral language

Post by SamBee » 28 Dec 2018, 16:02

As I see it, language has three main functions:
* 1) To convey a basic message.
* 2) To aid social harmony and create good will.
* 3) To disrupt social harmony and wield power.

The last two are contradictory. The last one would be mainly calculated insults etc and the second covers everything from love to just trying to make things run smoothly. But the second one is what we're talking about, and I see this being eroded constantly and turned into the third. Language needs some stability to fulfil 1 & 2. 1 & 2 are harder to accomplish if the frames of reference are unclear or subject to regular change.

FWIW, I think some language has to change, e.g. using "men" as a synonym for "people" in general.

Because of my poor social skills, I have occasionally offended people unintentionally over the years. What I find is that this is happening more and more often, as a result of the continuing toxic & polarizing effect of social media, and a kind of passive aggression which seems to be encouraged. What is happening is that instead of simplifying etiquette and making language more neutral, we are making it far more complex.*

* But I do find it ironic that we talk about erasure of women from history and that we adopt male noun forma as gender neutral in many cases.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
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Re: Help me understand the importance of gender neutral language

Post by Roy » 31 Dec 2018, 11:38

Incidentally, I heard this argument from a pastor in a non-LDS church. Gay marriage is not marriage because the word marriage is hard coded as a union between a man and a woman - husband and wife. A gay union can be called something but not a marriage or else words have no meaning.

I agree that words have power. In this instance some individuals want to defend what they see as the traditional and sanctified meaning of marriage. Others seeing marriage as a respectable and committed way to live seek to expand the definition to be more inclusive. (I imagine that even a phrase such as "life partner," just does not carry the same weight, meaning, and respect as does "spouse".)
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

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Bear
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Help me understand the importance of gender neutral language

Post by Bear » 06 Jan 2019, 14:42

SamBee, I so agree with everything you say. Sometimes, it feels like people are assuming bad things about what words are used, when in reality, it is the intention.
I also think that the people being affected by gender pronounce (gender fluid) are such a minority, that it feels like a complete waste of time to try to adjust language. It feels like a kind of narcissism to me sometimes.
If I knew X person, personally, and he/she/whatever wanted me to call her/him whatever by a specific pronoun, I would gladly do it. But having to police my own words all the time, is nonsense to me.
It really is a matter of intent, and people are forgetting that a lot.
I have been called " the Mormon boy" many times. Did I mind? A bit, I never spoke up, because people can say what they want. I definently grew up as a minority (Mormon in Denmark, only Mormon at my school). I never expected anyone to change their language in general, because of me or any other minority.
I do not see a problem with saying albino instead of person with albino condition. To me, that is the exact same thing as saying that she is phillipino, he is danish, she is black, he is a doctor etc etc. people are assuming that I am somehow putting race, gender, country of origin or professions, higher than the person behind it. I don't. And I would assume that 99% of the people I have ever known, wouldn't do so either.
Again, if my dear friend insisted that I called him the latter, I would. But I would still feel kind of hurt, actually, because he partly assumes that what I would naturally call him, is somehow negative, said by me, on purpose. A case that would never be true.
I never wanted to hurt him.
I get kind of the same feeling when someone says that saying x is racist, and I'm white and therefore I don't get to decided that it wasn't racist.
I want my intention to count. Otherwise you can be offended by XYZ all day long, if you never look into what people actually mean with specific words.
I used to be much more left leaning in matters like this, but have recently changed. I really think, that if we change to much of society (language etc) based on whom ever would be offended, we all lose, because everyone can be offended.
That is not to say that no adjustment should ever be done, but I think the current focus on political correctness and the new more radical left+radical feminism, is hurting everyone and we fail to have true meaningful conversations/stating real opinions, because everyone is walking on eggshells.
Sorry, going a bit off topic here:)


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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Help me understand the importance of gender neutral language

Post by Curt Sunshine » 06 Jan 2019, 15:32

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" includes, for me, using whatever word they want to be used for them - or seeing them as they see themselves. It also means not using words that have been used to belittle, insult, or hurt them and people like them in the past.

All other things aside, that is the bottom line for me: respecting people enough to accept them for who they say they are.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SamBee
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Re: Help me understand the importance of gender neutral language

Post by SamBee » 06 Jan 2019, 18:12

Curt Sunshine wrote:
06 Jan 2019, 15:32
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" includes, for me, using whatever word they want to be used for them - or seeing them as they see themselves. It also means not using words that have been used to belittle, insult, or hurt them and people like them in the past.

All other things aside, that is the bottom line for me: respecting people enough to accept them for who they say they are.
Surely this would include monstrosities such as "mansplaining". It may masquerade as a progressive term but in fact is bigoted. I was thinking about the Golden Rule in this context earlier. Would female users of the term "mansplaining" be happy with a misogynist tern like "womansplaining"? I find it amazing that a couple of generations ago, folk fought for equality and to escape categories and now people are determined to create ever more tiny subsets to fit themselves into, and equality is used to promote a form of elitism.

Do unto others? I wish some people would do just that when criticizing certain groups.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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SamBee
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Re: Help me understand the importance of gender neutral language

Post by SamBee » 06 Jan 2019, 18:41

:
Bear wrote:
06 Jan 2019, 14:42
SamBee, I so agree with everything you say. Sometimes, it feels like people are assuming bad things about what words are used, when in reality, it is the intention.
It feels like communication is littered with such traps nowadays. The odd thing is that I knew a few older people some years ago who used very un-pc language like "darkie" etc yet didn't have an intense hatred of non-white people. They were less conscious in what they said, but there was plenty of genuine bigotry about.

Now we have a situation where it is like walking over a minefield and even apparently neutral language can be flipped.

Intention makes a lot of difference - words like boy, woman, grandfather etc can all take on very different meanings with different intentions.
I also think that the people being affected by gender pronounce (gender fluid) are such a minority, that it feels like a complete waste of time to try to adjust language. It feels like a kind of narcissism to me sometimes.
If I knew X person, personally, and he/she/whatever wanted me to call her/him whatever by a specific pronoun, I would gladly do it. But having to police my own words all the time, is nonsense to me.
Exactly. There is a lot of attention seeking now. If someone wants to change their gender identity then that is nothing to do with me, but we can at least come up with some common ground, because I've no interest in bashing heads with them all the time.

I know someone - a teenager who was assigned female at birth, who wishes to be known as a boy, yet also self-describes as non-binary from time to time. There has been no medical procedures so far. Boy suggests "he" to me, whereas non-binary suggests yet another pronoun. Result? I rarely talk about said person (who is highly sensitive anyway).
I do not see a problem with saying albino instead of person with albino condition. To me, that is the exact same thing as saying that she is phillipino, he is danish, she is black, he is a doctor etc etc. people are assuming that I am somehow putting race, gender, country of origin or professions, higher than the person behind it. I don't. And I would assume that 99% of the people I have ever known, wouldn't do so either.
I had to describe someone to the missionaries today. I mentioned he was black and wore a certain type of sweater. If I had just mentioned the sweater, or said "the man with the short dark hair", then they wouldn't know who I meant. I've never spoken to this man, so I can't tell you what he even sounds like.

I think with albinism, it is so uncommon that there is no organized movement against it like there is for racism (except in south east Africa - it is common there and such people are murdered). I think the main prejudice there is against just looking different. But to me albinism and albino are clearly forms of the same root word. I don't believe albino was ever truly a hate term.
I want my intention to count. Otherwise you can be offended by XYZ all day long, if you never look into what people actually mean with specific words.
I used to be much more left leaning in matters like this, but have recently changed. I really think, that if we change to much of society (language etc) based on whom ever would be offended, we all lose, because everyone can be offended.
That is not to say that no adjustment should ever be done, but I think the current focus on political correctness and the new more radical left+radical feminism, is hurting everyone and we fail to have true meaningful conversations/stating real opinions, because everyone is walking on eggshells.
Sorry, going a bit off topic here:)
I'm beginning to think that a lot of this is not truly leftism. Leftism was supposed to be about equality or at least fair play (which these modern movements are not). It was not meant to be anti-working class or to criticize people purely on how tbey were born.

American "liberalism" often seems to consist of rich, privileged people, many of whom could afford the astronomical tuition fees of US universities, talking down to ordinary people and undermining what they say. That isn't leftism. The real giveaway is how such people rarely talk about class or the rich. Instead they criticize people who work in factories or in trailer parks. Their system says a homeless white man is an oppressor, while a black woman running an exploitative corporation is a liberator.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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dande48
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Re: Help me understand the importance of gender neutral language

Post by dande48 » 06 Jan 2019, 20:02

SamBee wrote:
06 Jan 2019, 18:12
Surely this would include monstrosities such as "mansplaining". It may masquerade as a progressive term but in fact is bigoted. I was thinking about the Golden Rule in this context earlier. Would female users of the term "mansplaining" be happy with a misogynist tern like "womansplaining"? I find it amazing that a couple of generations ago, folk fought for equality and to escape categories and now people are determined to create ever more tiny subsets to fit themselves into, and equality is used to promote a form of elitism.

Do unto others? I wish some people would do just that when criticizing certain groups.
I think you're talking about two different groups: Those who identify as "gender non-binary", and "bad feminists". Sure, there is some overlap. Sure, a lot of loud and aggressive people from both groups will take up the causes of the others as their own. But I think we're dealing with two different groups here.

When it comes to gender-neutral pronouns, I already use "they" and "them", when I don't know a person's gender or am speaking generically. For example, "When a customer comes into Walmart, they...", "Can I have a friend over?" "Tell me about them. What's their name?". I think it's already commonly used in our language, and I have no problem using them when referring to a particular person who doesn't identify as a "him" or a "her".

But I don't like people who are *****. That goes for any **** of any race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or socio-economic background. I discriminate against all ***** equally. You want to be heard and treated nice? Don't be a ****.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

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Arrakeen
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Re: Help me understand the importance of gender neutral language

Post by Arrakeen » 06 Jan 2019, 20:16

I grew up in a very politically liberal area and used to agree with most of the leftist/liberal stuff, but recently all the race/gender/identity politics has been driving me towards a more simple "don't hurt people and don't take their stuff" kind of philosophy. I'm still all for equality and treating people kindly, but it seems the pc culture involves a lot of hate, shaming, and outrage these days. I think instead of focusing so much on language we should just focus on treating everyone as fellow human beings and recognize that we all have differences and will inevitably be offended at one point or another, that's just part of living in a diverse and free society.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Help me understand the importance of gender neutral language

Post by Curt Sunshine » 06 Jan 2019, 22:32

We can dismiss extremes without dismissing entire concepts. All concepts get sketchy at the extremes.

The post was about helping someone understand gender neutral language. Let's keep it focused on that request.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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