Interested to see Abby Slutsky being referred to in the newsletter as 'they', rather than she/her. As a married woman with children, I would wager she would prefer to be a she.
What do you say, Abby? Do you prefer 'she' or 'they'?
We do this in all of our Fresh Faces segments unless the author specifically mentions their gender in the About section of their profile. This is so we do not accidentally offend anyone or misgender them publicly.
Thank you, Samantha. I saw the "she" this week.
Her profile had "she" in it, which is why that pronoun was used. We only use pronouns if they are specified in the bio.
And here I thought our conversation had an impact. Oh well.
That policy makes sense in this day and age. I read a story yesterday about some teacher in the US that was fired for saying "Good job girls" and one of the girls went home and complained to her parents because she claims to be a boy and uses male pronouns. Her parents complained to the school district and the teacher was suspended. (I do not think he was fired, but am not sure.)
I was wondering about that too, and did go to “their” profile to see if a gender was apparent. I guess it is better to be pluralized than misgenderd?
“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to seek permission.“
You know I noticed that too, but being that the write-up was so nice, I did not feel comfortable pointing it out. However, my husband definitely prefers me singular; I would be a lot more expensive as a 'they'. I think my profile and bio justifies 'she'. Thank you, Bev.
Unfortunately, we don't have the time to reach out to each individual author and ask for affirmation. Everyone has different circumstances and we don't feel comfortable making assumptions. We do the same thing when we write author bios for articles that do not have them. As Kenna said, It's better to be safe than sorry.
But apologies if it made you feel uncomfortable!
Actually 'justify'. I feel compelled to correct myself. I waited too long to edit the comment.
What if people are offended by being referred to as "they?"
That's what I was thinking. It automatically assigns a person as an alternative gender, whether they like it or not. It's a simple matter of checking the bio, surely? Staff would have to do that anyway.
Sometimes you are a "they", but you are never a "he". I would guess you would prefer to be called a they than a he. A she would be obvious, but it's not always the case.
In this sense I would believe being called a they is weird to some, I would find it weird, but I would not take offense at it. If someone called me a she I'd find it crazy, not just weird, but again no offense taken, it's just a word after all. I can see other guys taking offense to being called a she, but they are always going to be a they under some context, so offense to it seems weird.
At the end of the day you are being referred to as a singuler from 50% of the population, what's the big deal if you are instead referred to as a singular person from a 100% of the population. Maybe we should all just use names instead when in doubt. No one takes offense then.
I wouldn't take offence - it takes a lot more than that. But yes, interspersing the person's name would make it less obvious. It simply reads 'awkward' or 'I couldn't be bothered to find out'.
Other newsletters are the same. I would think, if HP is going to take the trouble to showcase a hubber, it would only take an email to find out their preferred pronouns. And if that hubber didn't respond, they could have a few more lined up.
And I noticed I used 'their' and 'they'. It's a minefield
Agreed. Depending upon the specific usage, sometimes "they" sounds awkward, sometimes it doesn't. Having said that, there are a number of ways a writer can avoid the awkward use of "they" or appearing they (ha ha) couldn't be bothered to confirm a small, rather obvious detail. In this case, interspersing the featured person's name is one, as you mentioned; a few other options include "this Hubber," "this author," "contributor," "writer," etc.
While it could end up reading just as awkwardly if no pronouns at all are used, the repeated use of "they" and "their" in that short write-up is indeed awkward.
I agree with Bev and SmartAndFun. I checked it out and it does read grammatically awkward. The suggestions given are good: an email to check with the author or use other nouns/pronouns as descriptors of the person. I am 100% for using the pronoun the person wants for their gender preference. It's become the practice on ZOOM calls and in mental health intake forms. Seems it would not take too much time at all to get clarification since it's a once a week feature in the HubWeekly. I'd rather get it right than have it read awkwardly, especially since we're a writing site.
I guess my point is if the writer of Abby's profile was worried Abby might be offended by an honest assumption that Abby is a "she," the writer of the profile should be just as concerned that Abby might be offended by being referred to as "they." "They" is not a magic pass to prevent offense.
I guess I'm also commenting on the tendency of some people to be too easily offended these days.
I get angry when I see people asking me about their pet and they refer to him or her as an "it". Maybe we can start calling people "it" instead of "they". Sounds fair.
I believe that is more about people considering their pets as things, isn't it? I have often heard this. I refer to my catfish as its because I cannot tell their gender, but would never do that for the grown-up guppies, the young fry are all its xD
I hear this all the time from new puppy owners. "My puppy is going potty on the carpet. How do I get it to stop?"
The first step is to look between his or her legs and realize it is not an it!
(I can understand about the newborn fish, kind of like a human baby that has not been born. "How are we going to paint its room?" A new puppy, though. No excuse in my mind.)
Yes, no excuse. But it's not a problem of them not knowing the gender, it's more of them considering their pets as objects and not living things IMO.
I've heard: Why is your cat sitting on the TV, can you get it off. What I mean to say is that this is not a matter of pronoun choice. This is something people have been doing for ages.
Yes, I agree the problem is people considering pets as objects. I really think I get more sad than angry.
I understand. But, then again just as I added to this conversation it's just a word and the pets don't care about it, I'm sure. If they refer to their pet as it and treat it fine, no harm in it is what I would think.
If they are asking for help when they write comments/questions they definitely care enough to do that, so it should not really be a worry. It is kind of sad, but not to the pet.
Have you seen questions on your article that are already answered in the article? The kind of people that call their pet an it are the same people that do not bother to read the answer that is already written to help their pet.
I don't know why "it" offends you when referring to someone's pet when the gender isn't known. Even babies and small children have been referred to as it when their gender isn't obvious. People are very quick to correct the speaker when someone miscalls their baby's gender, especially if a pretty male baby not wearing a masculine color is referred to as a she. People are too touchy nowadays. Someday when all humanity is telepathic, these errors will not be made, but today we have to make do with what we have.
If you consider pets as an object or piece of property, then it is a proper term. I am not referring to people who do not know, I am referring to people who have a new puppy or other pet in the household, know the sex, and still refer to their pet as an it.
If that is being too touchy, so be it.
Although I refer to pets as 'he', 'she' or 'it' if I don't know the gender, I really don't have a problem with them being called 'it'. No matter how much you love animals, they are still purchased, sold and owned, similar to an object, whereas it is illegal to own a person. Some people even return pets that are misbehaved. I have heard former pet owners say, "I returned it because it chewed the furniture." I know in some households pets are elevated to above children status. I hope I did not offend anyone.
I agree that it is reasonable to call a pet an "it" if you do not know the gender. The pet will not be offended, lol (and I doubt the owner wants you looking between its legs).
I think it's unfortunate when people don't give an animal a proper chance—when being introduced to a new home, they may act out or exhibit behaviors that are not common.
My dogs are dogs, not children, but they are certainly not "its". Those humans that are so poorly trained that they are not able to teach a dog and learn that he or she is not an it deserve behavioral modification training.
My dogs are "the people." We are the animals.
I suppose I would be labeled, "they" as a gender mysterious name and avatar.
We are all the 'family', three people, six dogs and two cats. The dogs are only 'its' when they are being revolting. Which they are, often
I try not to get too personal here, but my "family" is just too cute.
P.S. The chunky one is on a diet.
Is this a filter or is the cat on the right a really stunning and unusual colour. It's not the typical brown nor the typical orange.
It's a filter, but she is a nice brown/orange mix. Just exaggerated. Here's one without a filter. (Sorry for spamming you guys with my cats.)
Also, note how hairy that chair is.
Haha, that's expected (the chair). Pretty cats.
Love them! My hubby is on hair patrol every morning at the moment, as the Labs are on the moult. I wouldn't even notice a little cat hair in the general scheme of things.
Your pets are beautiful and adorable, theraggededge. I am a big sucker for scruffy dogs, especially, like your adorable golden pooch!
They are. The big one is Dante he's almost 90lbs. The others (two labs, two shorkies and a dorkie) are all girls so he gets bossed around a lot. And used as a convenient mattress. He's not always this scruffy but we've had to trim him ourselves and we aren't very good at it.
The animals are adorable. I am glad we moved on from my gender to animals.
I guess I'm one of those weirdos who calls a person "they" and an animal "it", if I don't know their genders.
HP/Maven are being reasonable/respectful/astute in my estimation.
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