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Pronouns at work - where do I stand? Advice

(116 Posts)
Slurpy Thu 24-Sep-20 07:26:16

I was all in tizz yesterday, but I've woken up furious this morning.

A couple of weeks ago, an email came round saying a sub-group was inviting us to add pronouns to our display name (not even signature) but that it was supported by management, but not mandated. A few people did it, fine.

Yesterday I sat through two meeting where we were asked to have a real think about it, that it would be great if we all chose to do it... support trans colleagues, make it easier for people unfamiliar with our names to refer to us properly.

It's being presented as a neutral thing to do, the kind thing to do, a supportive thing to do. There seems to be no recognition that there might be another viewpoint on this.

I don't want to do it. But the strong (but not mandated) position is going to mark me out as pRoBLemAtic and I'm not happy about that either.

The timing was super insensitive, with Self ID on the table and certain hashtags trending.

Has anyone fought this off?

OP’s posts: |
BoobsOnTheMoon Thu 24-Sep-20 07:30:27

I think I would point out the evidence that when women sign off work emails with a name that makes it clear they are female, they get less positive responses than when they use a man's name! I'll try and find the stuff about it. I'd say that I prefer to keep my gender and pronouns off my work emails in order to avoid unconscious bias on the part of recipients.

BoobsOnTheMoon Thu 24-Sep-20 07:31:55

Here - and it's even a man's experience so nobody can deny it's true wink

PurpleHoodie Thu 24-Sep-20 07:32:38

Say no, and shrug it off.

"There are studies to prove that women are discriminated against once their sex is known. I don't wish to have to sue the company for hundreds of thousands of pounds - and win - because I was coerced into revealing my sex. This is covered by the Equalities act. I'm feeling harassed. HR have policies on harassment. Don't they?....sob, sob"

It gets easier as you get older if you're used to being passive/a "yes" woman.

PurpleHoodie Thu 24-Sep-20 07:33:14

Or

What Boobs said grin

GCAcademic Thu 24-Sep-20 07:33:42

If you don’t want to get into a discussion about it, just say that you find this very triggering and that you are not ready to discuss it.

Herja Thu 24-Sep-20 07:33:43

I would also point out that it is actually very insensitive to anyone currently questioning their gender identity as it would force them in to a public decision they may not be happy to yet share publicly.

Kill them with their own 'kindness'. Can't be accused of being a bigot for that either.

Blue5238 Thu 24-Sep-20 07:33:49

Unconscious bias against females is a good place to start.... As it is difficult for them to counter that of course that wouldn't happen in this organisation as the whole point is it is unconscious.

persistentwoman Thu 24-Sep-20 07:33:54

Sympathies OP. I always like: "My pronouns are sex based like my oppression" I'd be strategically ignoring it. This is the best article I know of:

fairplayforwomen.com/pronouns/

MindTheMinotaur Thu 24-Sep-20 07:34:11

I was going to say what Boobsonthemoon said.

ramblingsonthego Thu 24-Sep-20 07:38:03

We had this at work for signatures. I just said "I don't feel comfortable declaring my pronouns". I got some very confused looks from some, and a twinkle in the eye from a feminist colleague.

Whatsnewpussyhat Thu 24-Sep-20 07:40:13

Nope. It's coercive control. Forcing you to go along with another persons ideology.

FindTheTruth Thu 24-Sep-20 07:40:39

we were asked to have a real think about it, that it would be great if we all chose to do it.

@Slurpy I'm about to face this exact situation too. this is the best I can think of...

Answer 1: I support trans people and will happily use colleagues declared pronouns. I've chosen not to add pronouns to my display name and ask that you respect that and not pressure me into using them or treat me differently for not using them.

please FWRs, do you have an example answer?

PurpleHoodie Thu 24-Sep-20 07:40:40

"My pronouns are sexed based like my oppression"

"I'm finding this triggering. I'm not ready to discuss this"

"It's very insensitive to insist on this"

"I am female"

"Pronoun - Dr"

"There is real unconscious bias against females. It's just not on - this coercion."

"I don't wish to be harassed by service users if they find out I am a woman"

Slurpy Thu 24-Sep-20 07:42:06

I've been shrugging it off so far, but the pressure is mounting and it feels like at some point I will need to say something.

Stereotyping, impact on performance, bias could be a good angle that doesn't out me as GC (I'm a psych grad as well, so that fits) - will look up some studies.

Ultimately, I think the organisation is going in a direction that I'm not comfortable with.

OP’s posts: |
PurpleHoodie Thu 24-Sep-20 07:42:58

rambling

"I don't feel comfortable declaring my pronouns"

"It's triggering"

SerenityNowwwww Thu 24-Sep-20 07:44:44

They can’t make you surely?

FindTheTruth Thu 24-Sep-20 07:44:52

@PurpleHoodie nice replies! particularly like "It's very insensitive to insist on this"

RHOBHfan Thu 24-Sep-20 07:44:55

“Being repeatedly asked about this is in contravention if principle 6 of the Yogyakarta Principles and I’d therefore appreciate if you’d desist”

The Yogyakarta Principles is a document about human rights in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity, published as the outcome of an international meeting of human rights groups in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in November 2006.

Principle 6 specifically talks about right to privacy in this regard.

testing987654321 Thu 24-Sep-20 07:46:15

I don't feel comfortable declaring my pronouns

This.

RHOBHfan Thu 24-Sep-20 07:46:48

RHOBHfan

“Being repeatedly asked about this is in contravention if principle 6 of the Yogyakarta Principles and I’d therefore appreciate if you’d desist”

The Yogyakarta Principles is a document about human rights in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity, published as the outcome of an international meeting of human rights groups in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in November 2006.

Principle 6 specifically talks about right to privacy in this regard.

Principle 6F specifically...

PurpleHoodie Thu 24-Sep-20 07:49:30

My pronouns are sexed based like my oppression"

"I'm finding this triggering. I'm not ready to discuss this"

"It's very insensitive to insist on this"

"I am female"

"Pronoun - Dr"

"There is real unconscious bias against females. It's just not on - this coercion."

"I don't wish to be harassed by service users if they find out I am a woman"

"I don't feel comfortable declaring my pronouns"

"It's triggering"

“Being repeatedly asked about this is in contravention if principle 6 of the Yogyakarta Principles and I’d therefore appreciate if you’d desist”

FindTheTruth Just putting everyone else's replies together in a handy list.

ScrapThatThen Thu 24-Sep-20 07:52:01

'I was keen on this voluntary initiative but I am unhappy with the pressure being applied which implies that not adding pronouns will be seen negatively - there are lots of reasons someone might have to not choose to do so and I dislike them feeling compelled or under pressure. Therefore respectfully I am going to decline.'

sanluca Thu 24-Sep-20 07:52:37

I am agender, meaning I am comfortable with both masculine and feminine gender traits. To not makenit hard for people I am fine if people use the pronouns of my sex.

FindTheTruth Thu 24-Sep-20 07:53:32

"I will happily use colleagues declared pronouns. I've chosen not to add pronouns to my display name and ask that you respect that and not pressure me into using them or treat me differently for not using them."

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