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Pronoun rules at work

(104 Posts)
RatinaMaze Fri 10-Jul-20 13:16:09

My workplace have just announced that “they/their” pronouns will be used for all staff members by default now. Apparently this neutral pronoun removes any unintentional offence and normalises non-binary colleagues. There is a caveat though; staff members who have transitioned may feel upset by not being able to use the pronoun aligned to their gender so, in these cases, the individuals can use he/him or she/her as appropriate.

Let me repeat this. Biological men and women are no longer allowed to use he/she pronouns in the workplace but transpeople are.

You know what would normalise non-binary? Encouraging bio-males to use he/him and bio females to use she/her but doing so while wearing what they want and pursuing whatever hobbies they want. Susan in Accounts might have shaved her head, wears no make-up and enjoys taking cars apart at the weekend while Mike in Marketing might wear eyeliner and/or a dress and spend his evening decorating cupcakes. That is called having a personality and it is already normal. I don’t know anyone who lives every minute of their lives in a way that adheres to the stereotype of the gender norm that society has associated with their biological sex. We are all non-binary, except we don’t call it that because it is a normal state. We don’t need to impose pronouns to normalise this.

I can't speak up. I can't afford to lose my job.

OP’s posts: |
queenofknives Fri 10-Jul-20 13:18:45

This is so illiberal. I really, really hope this doesn't happen in my workplace. I hope people will just ignore it, if at all possible.

Sexnotgender Fri 10-Jul-20 13:19:04

That’s dreadful! So a woman can’t use she/her but a man can?

ImpossibleSoul Fri 10-Jul-20 13:19:27

This can’t be real? Is it a large company or a small one? Which country? What sort of field?

Surely an HR dept would not approve this rule?

ShinyFootball Fri 10-Jul-20 13:20:10

The bit where the only people who won't be they/ them are trans people is very illogical!

BuffaloCauliflower Fri 10-Jul-20 13:22:24

More absolute fuckery. Completely agree OP. Is there any way you can speak up in a careful way. Make it clear your preferred pronouns are she/her?

Pumpkinsarepurple Fri 10-Jul-20 13:22:57

Surely that discriminatory in itself, as this rule would literally out transpeople in the workforce by singling them out for different treatment?

IrenetheQuaint Fri 10-Jul-20 13:23:55

I'd say this is discrimination against trans people as there is a clear intention to treat them differently from non-trans people. Clear breach of Equalities Act.

Mumoblue Fri 10-Jul-20 13:24:06

I don't understand this. I thought we had to be sensitive about pronoun use but "they/them" can be slapped on everyone without their consent?

isabellerossignol Fri 10-Jul-20 13:24:15

Surely an HR dept would not approve this rule?

I could easily believe that an HR department would approve this. There are some crazy rules in my workplace regarding the issues with transwomen and women.

PuppyMonkey Fri 10-Jul-20 13:25:08

So in effect, anyone who still uses “he or she” will be identified for all to see as a trans person - will they want that or wouldn’t they prefer not to stand out like a sore thumb?confused

DrinkFeckArseGirls Fri 10-Jul-20 13:26:47

What Irene said. It’s clearly stigmatising trams people .

Alonelonelyloner Fri 10-Jul-20 13:26:59

This is ludicrous.
Have they a twitter account? I'm happy to just post a 'is this true?!' Tweet

DrinkFeckArseGirls Fri 10-Jul-20 13:27:18

I’d say I’m trans - who can prove otherwise.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Fri 10-Jul-20 13:27:23

Clearly this is the moment where you reveal yourself as a transwoman? Amazing job your surgeon pass completely!

Sexnotgender Fri 10-Jul-20 13:27:59


Surely that discriminatory in itself, as this rule would literally out transpeople in the workforce by singling them out for different treatment?

I was going to say the same thing!

It’s so arse about face.

RatinaMaze Fri 10-Jul-20 13:29:42

It's absolutely real, I promise. We're a particular division of a large UK company so I don't know if this is just us or a nationwide decision. I don't want to say any more than this about my work as don't want to be outed here.

Our Head of Diversity and Inclusion is NB as are at least two other colleagues of which I am aware.

The communication has been worded quite carefully. Neutral pronouns will be the default but anyone can opt out if they want - they've then given the example of trans people who will want to opt out and be proud of their preferred gender based pronouns before waffling on about how it would be really nice if the rest of us use They in order to normalise NB folk. So basically, opt out if you want but if you it will signal your terfdom.

Just a thought though - if we all use They, how will the NBs be able to signal that they are more special than everyone else?

OP’s posts: |
RednaxelasLunch Fri 10-Jul-20 13:31:57

Zhe/zhey for the NB I guess?

Cascade220 Fri 10-Jul-20 13:32:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AntsInPenzance Fri 10-Jul-20 13:36:22

What will the company do if everyone opts out?

DeRigueurMortis Fri 10-Jul-20 13:37:06

So not only are we expected to use the pronouns other people dictate but they can also dictate ours?

I couldn't keep quiet about this but I understand your position OP.

I just hope someone else at work challenges this crap.

SerenityNowwwww Fri 10-Jul-20 13:37:25

So anyone who is offended by being called they/them is supposed to do what?

AntsInPenzance Fri 10-Jul-20 13:38:16


I would ask if they've considered the stigmatising impact of different pronoun rules based on (what's alleged to be) membership of a disadvantaged group.

Not different rules as far as I can see, OP clarified anyone can opt out of using they/them.

custodiandiscount Fri 10-Jul-20 13:40:31

Tell them your gender is fluid and your pronouns may change from one day to the next. By not allowing you to use your preferred pronouns they are committing literal violence toward GenderFluid people such as yourself.

Nandakanda Fri 10-Jul-20 13:48:19

What a load of wank.

This is what you get when you create positions like "Head of Diversity and Inclusion".

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