Gender neutral language and dogs - FFS

(50 Posts)
BlackSwan Wed 23-Oct-19 21:03:34

A teacher type person at kids holiday activity saw me/my dog waiting at collection time today & started a friendly chat. I may or may not have already referred to DDog as 'he' but in any event, the person asked me "What's their name?".
I said "His name is DDog" but i'm pretty sure i looked at her like WTF - can't you just say 'What's it's name?" rather than making a point about being conscious of gender neutrality... because 'It' is gender neutral too.. so enough with the faux virtue signalling (because that's what i was thinking).
Didn't phase DDog, who is, ironically, about to become gender neutral, when he undergoes involuntary testicular removal in 2 weeks, poor pup.

OP’s posts: |
Whatwouldbigfatfannydo Wed 23-Oct-19 21:09:20

If this was about a person, I'd be on board. But maybe the person didn't want to call your dog "it" instead of making a marked point about sex neutrality? Calling a loved pet 'it' is pretty rude sounding to me.
Also, I refuse to believe the concept of 'gender' has spread to animals grin

spot102 Wed 23-Oct-19 21:11:11

Not sure it helps, but I have had bitches for the last 11 years and mother insists on refering to them as 'he'. Apparently all dogs are boys. Cats are girls. My Sister has had cats for last 20 years. all boys. Not sure whether mother is confused or just on a different planet. She doesn't do gender neutral tho!

BlackSwan Wed 23-Oct-19 21:11:19

I believe it has spread to pets! It's too much!!

OP’s posts: |
BlackSwan Wed 23-Oct-19 21:12:49

Spot102 - That's funny. As a child I thought lions were boys and tigers were girls. Am slow like that...

OP’s posts: |
DulciUke Wed 23-Oct-19 21:13:41

In casual speech, "they" doesn't have to have anything to do with being gender neutral. I often hear it used for singular objects (people, pets, whatever). However, I'm in the U.S. Maybe it is different in the U.K.

spot102 Wed 23-Oct-19 21:14:20

To be honest, I would prefer not to use it. 'it' is for inanimate objects, in my book at least.

Advertisement

GothMummy Wed 23-Oct-19 21:14:21

@spot102 my Granny, who was born in 1908 and died in 1988 always called all cats "She" and all dogs "He". I have no idea why, mum says she always did this, so perhaps it's a very old-fashioned thing?

BlackSwan Wed 23-Oct-19 21:14:38

Grammatically 'their' sounds clunky to me. He, she or it please.

OP’s posts: |
Babushkacandle Wed 23-Oct-19 21:16:48

I ask ‘what’s their name?’ When I meet another dog owner. Never thought about it being gender neutral tbh it’s just how I speak about animals.

Brittany2019 Wed 23-Oct-19 21:17:46

@spot102 My mother was exactly the same! All dogs are male and all cats are female, apparently. grin

GagaBinks Wed 23-Oct-19 21:17:51

I would say "their" and I promise you it has nothing to do with trying to be sensitive towards a dog's gender...

I just wouldn't want to call the dog "it", as like someone said before, I associate that pronoun with an inanimate object.

spot102 Wed 23-Oct-19 21:18:54

Goth - yes I think your probably right and it's generational, she is old! Not born in 1908 old tho, now that would be oldgrin)

adaline Wed 23-Oct-19 21:19:31

I would also say "their". It tends to be reserved for inanimate objects, no?

randomsabreuse Wed 23-Oct-19 21:19:55

In Devon everything is he - to the point that "that their heifer he's having calving" ...

Lancashire everything is she...

Lost the will to care about animal sex, especially given how many are actually neutered...

BlackSwan Wed 23-Oct-19 21:28:29

I take your point all those saying 'their'... I just had the sense that this was more of a pointed reference to the need not to assume the gender of anything anymore. And, though it sounds ageist... she was young and I associate gender neutrality concerns (rightly or wrongly) with younger people who want to turn the world on its head.

OP’s posts: |
Whatwouldbigfatfannydo Wed 23-Oct-19 22:00:46

I've not long turned 25 and am as gender critical as they come. I'm regularly lamenting the state of the world over on FWR. Don't worry, we're not all woke loons grin

Although, no wonder some young people cling onto any cause they can find to give them purpose. We aren't thought of very highly at all it seems...

FrankenCat Wed 23-Oct-19 22:01:09

My uncle insists on calling his female dog "he" and my two male cats "she" because like other posters have said, dogs are male and cats are female.

🤦🏼‍♀️

PancakeAndKeith Wed 23-Oct-19 22:06:25

Apparently all dogs are boys. Cats are girls.

Yup. I default to calling dogs he and cats she until corrected. I always put this down to us having female cats and male dogs when I was little.

Also wasn’t there a pet food brand that was Good Girl for cats and Good Boy for dogs.

Hippopotas Wed 23-Oct-19 22:13:52

I think the are just trying to be polite. Some people get upset if you call their pet an it.

I think it says more about you that you assumed it was them trying to be gender neutral.

GooseFeather Wed 23-Oct-19 22:16:04

Hmm. I have just corrected a document today which asked for a dog's gender. I amended it to sex. I am awaiting the fall out at work when someone else notices and I have to point out that gender is a social construct that doesn't apply to dogs.

highheelsandwitcheshats Wed 23-Oct-19 22:18:07

I say 'what's their name'. I can't tell by looking at your dog from the top of it is a male or a female, and I'm not about to duck down and have a look. So 'their' seems politer than 'its'. Then I just hope your dog has a name that allows me to determine whether to say he or she is lovely.

moreturkeyforme Wed 23-Oct-19 22:19:12

You're over thinking it.

Making something out of nothing.

I own a dog and when I meet other dog walkers I will ask re their dog 'what's their name? ' if I know it's a bitch I will say her if dog ' him'

ChardonnaysDistantCousin Wed 23-Oct-19 22:22:42

I call dogs 'her' unless I see balls dangling.

pigsDOfly Thu 24-Oct-19 00:02:48

When I meet a new dog I often ask a similar sort of question, although I will usually word it in a way that indicates that I'm not sure whether the animal is a he or she, unless it's obvious.

Looking at my dog, no one would be able to tell her sex from a quick glance because she's got short legs and everything is covered in fluff. Although, for some reason most people seem to assume she's male.

Is it possible the teacher couldn't see what sex your dog is and just went for a neutral their, perhaps feeling that referring to your dog as it might offend you?

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in