42 votes

"Guy" should be a neutered term. Change my mind.

In light of @Deimos mentioning that we have a lot of "favorite" topics going around, how about something a little meatier?

I've seen it a few times already around threads that someone uses the word "guy" to refer to a poster and the response is "I'm not a guy". I'm not trying to invalidate this stance, but rather make this argument in the same way I argued for a singular "they". Consider the following:

  • the plural form, "you guys" is already neutered. I can walk up to a group of women and ask "How're you guys doing?" and it doesn't draw any ire
  • we've similarly neutered "dude" in both the singular and plural, but it's especially casual and almost familiar
  • "gal" sounds like something out of the forties, "girl" is diminutive, and "person" is clinical / formal
  • we don't have another common, non-gendered, non-specific term that fits the "sounds right" criteria and fits in the environment like the one we have (wherein users are getting to know each other and don't know exactly how to address one another).

I realize that this is probably masculine-normative and therefore problematic, but my main goal here is to stimulate discussion on a meatier topic (gender) without having it be an incredibly serious topic.

[EDIT]

I want to clarify a few things, as this reads a lot more trolly than it did 6 hours ago.

generalizing "guy" is a sexist idea because it attempts to make the masculine the generic (what I called "masculine-normativity" above). However, there isn't a term that adequately replaces "guy" but is neutered (@Algernon_Asimov brought up that "dude" fits, but is as more casual than "guy" than "person" is more formal). [Edit edit: I'm an idiot. They pointed out that "dude" as I had defined it earlier in my post would work just as well, but they did not agree that it has been neutered]

Instead of bringing this up as purely a matter of diction, I set myself up as an antagonist to see what would happen. And for this I apologize.

That said, I feel like there is some good discussion here and do not want to call making the thread a mistake. More that mistakes were made in the manner of its posting.

195 comments

  1. [101]
    ContemplativePanda
    Link
    I think people should just stop being so offended over things that doesn't matter. This is the internet, I can't see your face, and quite a number of people on here (especially in certain...

    I think people should just stop being so offended over things that doesn't matter. This is the internet, I can't see your face, and quite a number of people on here (especially in certain communities) are males. If you get called a guy just nicely correct them or forget about it, it's really nothing that is going to make your life take a downward turn..

    77 votes
    1. [18]
      PUMPatHARDEES
      Link Parent
      sometimes it's easier for people to say "stop being offended by things that don't matter" when they aren't offended. you aren't in control of how other people perceive and feel so pleading for...

      sometimes it's easier for people to say "stop being offended by things that don't matter" when they aren't offended. you aren't in control of how other people perceive and feel so pleading for people to not be offended by things is a lost cause.

      it's like telling people not to be anxious. or telling people "just be confident". it is much easier said than done.

      51 votes
      1. [15]
        ContemplativePanda
        Link Parent
        There are times when being offended and making a rise about it is validated and should absolutely be done. On an online community where everybody is nobody, a simple misname, misgender, or even...

        There are times when being offended and making a rise about it is validated and should absolutely be done. On an online community where everybody is nobody, a simple misname, misgender, or even misunderstanding of ones message due to things like tone is all too common. These things will happen often, and they will happen with and without malice. When it is the latter, there's no reason to be upset - just simply move on. You'll save a lot more time not being upset over trivial things, and then you can spend more time feeling happy instead, or whatever emotions you prefer to feel, lol.

        26 votes
        1. [12]
          PUMPatHARDEES
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          don't know about you but i don't solely "choose" to feel the emotions i feel. the emotions i feel are largely shaped by what is constantly affecting me in my surroundings and the thoughts and...

          don't know about you but i don't solely "choose" to feel the emotions i feel. the emotions i feel are largely shaped by what is constantly affecting me in my surroundings and the thoughts and internal discussions i have due to things that have or are happening in my life.

          i do agree that there is no reason to be upset by mistakes on an internet forum, but i'm sort of playing devil's advocate -- if i read a comment that makes me feel a certain way, then that's the way it is going to make me feel.

          if it were as easy as me choosing to be elated, i bet there would be a whole lot fewer antidepressant prescriptions out there.

          15 votes
          1. [11]
            ContemplativePanda
            Link Parent
            Misunderstandings and mistakes are apart of speech both verbal and text, they just happen more frequently in a quick moving text based medium. So for simple things that don't matter in the grand...

            Misunderstandings and mistakes are apart of speech both verbal and text, they just happen more frequently in a quick moving text based medium. So for simple things that don't matter in the grand scheme of things, it's better to correct them and move on from them quickly in my opinion. Certainly, no one wants to be upset.

            This isn't the mistake for all things though, and there are times when someone is really just being a jerk. Don't confuse those times with what I'm speaking of here.

            7 votes
            1. [10]
              Qis
              Link Parent
              The consensus over what matters in conversation builds strongly in favor of privileged categories and away from people who feel they fall outside those groups. You act on privilege to say...

              The consensus over what matters in conversation builds strongly in favor of privileged categories and away from people who feel they fall outside those groups. You act on privilege to say something doesn't matter over significant identity markers like how someone is referred to in conversation, even casually -- especially! casually. Generally speaking, deciding what things belong in what categories, be it people in genders, or whether something is material to a conversation, involves taking a privilege that could be meted out more equitably.

              9 votes
              1. [9]
                ContemplativePanda
                Link Parent
                This is part of the problem. This is the internet. You don't know who I am, what I look like, or what my background is - yet you call me privileged. I could be, I could also be the furthest thing...

                This is part of the problem. This is the internet. You don't know who I am, what I look like, or what my background is - yet you call me privileged. I could be, I could also be the furthest thing from it. So, you have just contributed to the problem you are attempting to address which is - we don't know the person on the other side. So the best solution is to just assume that its a mistake and that no one is attempting to do anything maliciously.

                12 votes
                1. [8]
                  Qis
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  Yo, I'm not calling you a bad name when I say that the consensus act of deciding what matters in a conversation involves privilege. You're trying to firm up a category of what one should or can be...

                  Yo, I'm not calling you a bad name when I say that the consensus act of deciding what matters in a conversation involves privilege. You're trying to firm up a category of what one should or can be held responsible for in discourse. The fact that you can hold one opinion and argue that aspect of this discussion as yours means that you have a foothold in this domain -- a privilege. You probably know how you feel about being called the word "guy," and you're arguing that even if someone would prefer to be called something else, or if they don't know what they'd like to be called, that you shouldn't be held responsible for getting it wrong sometimes.

                  Attempting to police this category isn't a neutral action. It's not possible to tell people neutrally what they should say or how they should feel or how they should react to what you have said.

                  10 votes
                  1. [7]
                    ContemplativePanda
                    Link Parent
                    My arguments this whole time was this is the internet. The internet is quick moving, widely text based, and anonymous. Thus, things - mistakes and deliberate actions - happen. What really matters...

                    My arguments this whole time was this is the internet. The internet is quick moving, widely text based, and anonymous. Thus, things - mistakes and deliberate actions - happen. What really matters is all of our reactions to these things. On one hand, you could choose to educate ("Hey Im actually a woman and you should say X because Y but it's cool. :) Thanks for your comment, blablabla") and move on, or you could get all high and mighty and defensive.

                    I assure you, one of those will contribute to change very well by using positive emotions to educate but maintain civil discourse. The other will only invoke anger and turn people away from ever wanting to listening to "gender bullshit" or what have you.

                    It's largely in the hands of everyone to help change language, as language is what is widely accepted. So, if you want to change it you have to be apart of the change positively - not fighting it how it currently is.

                    8 votes
                    1. [6]
                      Zeerph
                      Link Parent
                      While you may have a point, I would like to mention politeness. Now, I try to be as polite as possible everywhere, though I know that not everyone does, especially on the internet. Also, I find...

                      While you may have a point, I would like to mention politeness. Now, I try to be as polite as possible everywhere, though I know that not everyone does, especially on the internet.
                      Also, I find the idea of assuming a person fits into a certain category to break that veil of politeness. Such language of norms is also exclusive, why not try and be inclusive of everyone? To me its simply polite and I like being polite.

                      That being said I do catch myself using guy to refer to inanimate objects or things without easily unidentifiable genders, e.g. insects, arachnids and similar things. It's use in that case is a diminutive to refer to a small object or creature. They, of course, aren't bothered by the word that may or may not hold connotations of gender.
                      But some people are.
                      That alone ought to be enough reason to avoid using any language that largely carries one meaning over another in reference to a person, e.g. words more associated with one gender over another.
                      In other words, it doesn't hurt you, but can make someone else feel unwelcome in a community, so why not change your usage? Unless, you don't want to include them, but I suppose that's another discussion entirely.

                      2 votes
                      1. [5]
                        ContemplativePanda
                        Link Parent
                        I don't find I disagree with any of your points, so I am confused what you are rebuttaling? My point has always been it's not right to use the wrong pronoun, but mistakes happen and that can't be...

                        I don't find I disagree with any of your points, so I am confused what you are rebuttaling?

                        My point has always been it's not right to use the wrong pronoun, but mistakes happen and that can't be controlled. What can be controlled is the response to those mistakes, right?

                        5 votes
                        1. [4]
                          Zeerph
                          Link Parent
                          I apologise, then, I misunderstood your point, as I think others may have done. Anyway, I would argue that we control others' reaction to us by how we frame our reply, that is, with our choice of...

                          I apologise, then, I misunderstood your point, as I think others may have done.

                          Anyway, I would argue that we control others' reaction to us by how we frame our reply, that is, with our choice of words. So, if some of us make a concerted effort to make people feel included then such an action can be only positive.
                          Though it is hard to separate folks with malicious intent from those acting only out of ignorance, using words with specific connotations have a specific effect, whether we think that reaction is valid or not, is a matter of opinion, those words do still have an effect.

                          3 votes
                          1. [3]
                            ContemplativePanda
                            Link Parent
                            Certainly, I understand. The internet tends to do that when you (I in this case) don't elaborate. Which actually helps to clarify my point now. All I mean is that, as you said, we can control how...

                            Certainly, I understand. The internet tends to do that when you (I in this case) don't elaborate. Which actually helps to clarify my point now.

                            All I mean is that, as you said, we can control how we frame our responses. And my belief is that, disregarding obvious trolls or malicious attempts, the best thing to do is to frame our responses in a way to help educate and create a positive effect from the situation at hand. My advice to those hurt derives from personal experiences, not to take offense at it as it is likely a mistake and to use it to better both parties involved. I thought I would be helping advising this, as my intentions were to help those who believed everyone doing this was trying to make them feel unwelcome and thus making them upset - which I don't believe to be the case. The effect may be the same, but I would hope the intent wasn't there.

                            1 vote
                            1. [2]
                              Zeerph
                              Link Parent
                              That is much more clear to me now, thanks for the elaboration. I think I can agree that such advice is useful to remember.

                              That is much more clear to me now, thanks for the elaboration. I think I can agree that such advice is useful to remember.

                              1 vote
                              1. ContemplativePanda
                                Link Parent
                                Certainly, and I could have explained it better. Sometimes things make since with the intention of them in mind, but when put into words the essence of it just doesn't always transfer. I'm glad to...

                                Certainly, and I could have explained it better. Sometimes things make since with the intention of them in mind, but when put into words the essence of it just doesn't always transfer. I'm glad to have elaborated better. :)

                                1 vote
        2. [2]
          LibraryLass
          Link Parent
          At the same time, the problem could be avoided entirely by not using implicitly-gendered terms for strangers in the first place.

          At the same time, the problem could be avoided entirely by not using implicitly-gendered terms for strangers in the first place.

          4 votes
          1. ContemplativePanda
            Link Parent
            All of our problems could be solved by everyone simply doing the right thing. And yet, we still have problems.

            All of our problems could be solved by everyone simply doing the right thing. And yet, we still have problems.

            2 votes
      2. [2]
        crius
        Link Parent
        It's really not the same as anxiety unfortunately. On a board I cannot get "if you're a dog or a human" but it's fair that you reply to me specifying "btw I'm a dolphin, not a dog". The point is,...

        It's really not the same as anxiety unfortunately.

        On a board I cannot get "if you're a dog or a human" but it's fair that you reply to me specifying "btw I'm a dolphin, not a dog".

        The point is, do not expect me to remember it in the next topic or comment if we have another exchange because I'm not going to memorize your username.

        It is far more important to me what you have to say that the pronoun I'm using. At least online.

        4 votes
        1. ContemplativePanda
          Link Parent
          I definitely do agree that less weight needs to be on the person and more on what they're saying in the online context. That's why being anonymous is so great.

          I definitely do agree that less weight needs to be on the person and more on what they're saying in the online context. That's why being anonymous is so great.

          1 vote
    2. [60]
      glass_table_girl
      Link Parent
      FWIW I don't think anyone has raised the idea that folks are "offended" by the use of the term. While I've only been here a short while, I don't think I've seen anyone not politely correct someone...

      FWIW I don't think anyone has raised the idea that folks are "offended" by the use of the term. While I've only been here a short while, I don't think I've seen anyone not politely correct someone and then live their lives. As @SaucedButLeaking said

      Saying "I'm not a guy" is just nicely correcting someone

      If we're going to try to have respectful conversations, I think it's worth having a discussion about how we refer to each other. Because just referring to people by male-coded terms and assuming that everyone here is male could end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially if we have a goal to get more different perspectives in the community. For example, the ~lgbt group shows a lot of folks who identify as trans, and it would be cool if we don't add onto a life of misgendering for them.

      20 votes
      1. [14]
        SaucedButLeaking
        Link Parent
        Thank you, this is what I was hoping to get at. There is a significant trans community on tilde and I'd really rather not have this be a hostile environment

        Thank you, this is what I was hoping to get at. There is a significant trans community on tilde and I'd really rather not have this be a hostile environment

        5 votes
        1. [13]
          glass_table_girl
          Link Parent
          For sure, and I think it's good that you've raised this discussion as things start getting off the ground here. From some surveys I've seen, it seems that the gender breakdown sitewide right now...

          For sure, and I think it's good that you've raised this discussion as things start getting off the ground here. From some surveys I've seen, it seems that the gender breakdown sitewide right now of men to women on here may be similar to reddit's at the moment. This is purely anecdotal evidence, but it seems that part of that was because reddit felt like a toxic place for many women, felt like a "boy's club." Obviously, that's not what we want Tildes to be.

          Taking steps to make people feel more welcome to share their point of view, even if it's just changing up some of our terminology, could be really fruitful for the community.

          As someone else in this topic has already said, how language "should be" and "how it is" don't necessarily line up. With the rest of the world and use of language defining how we perceive the word "guy," it might be worth looking into more gender neutral alternatives. (Yet my mind is betraying me, and all I can think about are "pal," "buddy," and "friend," and I'm pretty sure that those last two are just from South Park...) When speaking in the plural, some choices could be: y'all, yinz (for you Pittsburghers), everyone, folks

          8 votes
          1. [10]
            cheese
            Link Parent
            I'm Scottish. I strongly support use of 'youse'.

            I'm Scottish. I strongly support use of 'youse'.

            8 votes
            1. [8]
              vakieh
              Link Parent
              Youse is exclusively used by uneducated bogans where I live, I wouldn't support it. Guys is perfectly fine.

              Youse is exclusively used by uneducated bogans where I live, I wouldn't support it. Guys is perfectly fine.

              2 votes
              1. [7]
                LibraryLass
                Link Parent
                Y'all. You lot. Yinz. There are options, one just has to look into regional vernaculars.

                Y'all. You lot. Yinz. There are options, one just has to look into regional vernaculars.

                2 votes
                1. [6]
                  vakieh
                  Link Parent
                  Guys is still perfectly fine, and is what is currently used. There could be 10,000 options, but until you find a strong enough reason to motivate change, change isn't going to happen.

                  Guys is still perfectly fine, and is what is currently used. There could be 10,000 options, but until you find a strong enough reason to motivate change, change isn't going to happen.

                  2 votes
                  1. [5]
                    Zeerph
                    Link Parent
                    I disagree that "guys" is perfectly fine. As it demotes any regional variety to less than standard status. And, frankly, coming from a region that is constantly shamed for its choice of vocabulary...

                    I disagree that "guys" is perfectly fine. As it demotes any regional variety to less than standard status. And, frankly, coming from a region that is constantly shamed for its choice of vocabulary and nonstandard pronunciation, I try to combat such prestige dialect hegemony when I can.

                    2 votes
                    1. [4]
                      vakieh
                      Link Parent
                      Yes. That is what 'regional dialect' means.

                      As it demotes any regional variety to less than standard status

                      Yes. That is what 'regional dialect' means.

                      1 vote
                      1. [3]
                        Zeerph
                        Link Parent
                        Sorry, I meant "less than" in a pejorative sense, as in regional dialects are viewed negatively (where I come from) when compared to the "standard".

                        Sorry, I meant "less than" in a pejorative sense, as in regional dialects are viewed negatively (where I come from) when compared to the "standard".

                        1. [2]
                          vakieh
                          Link Parent
                          You're going to hit that any time you pick 1 and raise it up as the 'new normal'. And not doing so makes for unclear communication and is to be avoided on a global communications platform (i.e....

                          You're going to hit that any time you pick 1 and raise it up as the 'new normal'. And not doing so makes for unclear communication and is to be avoided on a global communications platform (i.e. the internet).

                          1. Zeerph
                            Link Parent
                            I was mostly talking about the culture of regional speaking communities, where different dialects are viewed differently (some negatively, some positively), not how effective certain words can be...

                            I was mostly talking about the culture of regional speaking communities, where different dialects are viewed differently (some negatively, some positively), not how effective certain words can be when used in an international forum.

                            Although, I do agree that we should measure our speech to be more international (living in a non-Anglophone country I am forced to do that anyway), I would also say we should embrace our regionalisms, but with everything there's a time and a place for it.

            2. glass_table_girl
              Link Parent
              Would def also support this catching on

              Would def also support this catching on

              1 vote
          2. [2]
            Zeerph
            Link Parent
            What about person or mate for the singular neutral forms?

            What about person or mate for the singular neutral forms?

            2 votes
            1. glass_table_girl
              Link Parent
              I don't really use "mate" as I think it might be regional or cultural, but I'm not opposed to it. Not gonna lie: I def do refer to people as "person" sometimes in conversation to their face. Like,...

              I don't really use "mate" as I think it might be regional or cultural, but I'm not opposed to it.

              Not gonna lie: I def do refer to people as "person" sometimes in conversation to their face. Like, "Hello, person!" but that's partially because I think it sounds so interesting and funny.

              1 vote
      2. [45]
        ContemplativePanda
        Link Parent
        I was just bringing up something that happens with these discussions, and contributing to the discussion of why this is sometimes a problem and when it gets dragged too far. I didn't expect anyone...

        I was just bringing up something that happens with these discussions, and contributing to the discussion of why this is sometimes a problem and when it gets dragged too far. I didn't expect anyone here to be offended if I dropped the wrong pronoun on accident, but it appears from the amount of comments I'm getting I was wrong. Lol.

        2 votes
        1. [16]
          Petril
          Link Parent
          I don't think it's offensive, but it is an annoying reality that gets shoved into a woman's face many times when she chooses to comment online. Person 1: "What's your favorite milkshake?" Person...

          I don't think it's offensive, but it is an annoying reality that gets shoved into a woman's face many times when she chooses to comment online.

          Person 1: "What's your favorite milkshake?"
          Person 2: "Strawberry Banana"
          Person 3: "^This guy gets it!!"

          If person 2 is a woman, it's probably not personally offensive to her that #3 called her a guy, but after it happened hundreds of times, it could feel like "Yep. Another man who doesn't even think about the possibility of someone different than himself on the internet."

          Especially when some people assume anyone who comments in favor of feminism, women's rights, or even just not being an asshole to a woman is themselves a woman. Like the only time the assumption is "femme" it's when we're talking about "feminine" things.

          9 votes
          1. [9]
            ContemplativePanda
            Link Parent
            The other problem with this is phrases. "You guys" "This guy gets it!" "Bro.." "Dude.." These are either reddit jokes (this guy gets it) or common sayings with no ill will. If I took more time I...

            The other problem with this is phrases.

            "You guys"
            "This guy gets it!"
            "Bro.."
            "Dude.."

            These are either reddit jokes (this guy gets it) or common sayings with no ill will. If I took more time I could have come up with more. You get what I'm saying? It might not even be an ACCIDENTAL misgender it might just be them pulling an old joke out or using a common phrase.

            1 vote
            1. [8]
              Petril
              Link Parent
              I use some of these things, too. I'm just bringing up a scenario you may not have thought of. Did the point of my comment make sense to you?

              I use some of these things, too. I'm just bringing up a scenario you may not have thought of. Did the point of my comment make sense to you?

              4 votes
              1. [7]
                ContemplativePanda
                Link Parent
                Oh certainly. And look, if it happened to me I certainly would be confused and might be compelled to correct them. If it happened frequently, I would have to ask myself why and figure it out. It...

                Oh certainly. And look, if it happened to me I certainly would be confused and might be compelled to correct them. If it happened frequently, I would have to ask myself why and figure it out. It would definitely unsettle me if I noticed - I'm a guy, right?

                But, stepping back from my emotions I would have to realize that no one can see my face or who I am, so that's obviously why it happened. And my actions from there (simple correction vs getting very upset) are within my control. That's all I meant. But your point was well taken. :)

                1. [6]
                  Qis
                  Link Parent
                  That we don't know each other personally is definitely obvious, agreed -- I don't think the position you've taken on this issue is as simple or natural as you say; I don't think it's an issue of...

                  That we don't know each other personally is definitely obvious, agreed -- I don't think the position you've taken on this issue is as simple or natural as you say; I don't think it's an issue of simply understanding that the person on the other end of the network made a mistake because they didn't know you.

                  You're arguing that a term that uncomplicatedly matches your identity without difficulty can be misapplied with as little difficulty -- if the word guy doesn't apply to me, you are saying that it should be as simple for me to dismiss the term as it is for you to embrace it. It seems as though you are saying that you either are or aren't a guy, and it's a simple matter to decide whether that's the case, and that it's not worth getting bothered about getting called the wrong thing online either way.

                  But actually, whether someone is a guy is still a big gendered question, and parts of speech as essential as one's pronouns are very difficult to remove from their gendered contexts.

                  5 votes
                  1. [5]
                    ContemplativePanda
                    Link Parent
                    I'm saying that it's a fact that it happens. People assume largely that guys are on the other end of the network. I assume this is derived from the internet they're used to being largely...

                    I'm saying that it's a fact that it happens. People assume largely that guys are on the other end of the network. I assume this is derived from the internet they're used to being largely videogames and sports which statistically is a lot more males than females in quite a number of cases. At least, back in the day anyway. So, they take this attitude because they're so used to it and do it by accident elsewhere where it isn't the case.

                    Your response can either help fix it and remind them that what they believe isn't the case. Or, you can react negatively and just cause a myriad of negative emotions actually slowing the progress whether than helping it.

                    1. [4]
                      glass_table_girl
                      Link Parent
                      But this is exactly what we want to challenge: As others have said it in this conversation, if we want a more inclusive community, we should challenge that idea, that male is the default on this...

                      But this is exactly what we want to challenge:

                      People assume largely that guys are on the other end of the network.

                      As others have said it in this conversation, if we want a more inclusive community, we should challenge that idea, that male is the default on this community or on the Internet at large.

                      As @cfabbro said, many people have had to fight for the right to use the pronoun they want.

                      If we challenge and change the language we use, if we don't default to male-coded language and instead use gender neutral terms, that can be a more interesting way of changing culture than just shrugging things off. If we become a community that shows, "Hey, we have a lot of different kinds of people here! And because of that, we have a really respective culture with interesting discussions because people can bring those different perspectives to the table!" that would be more productive.

                      Because the world as it already is today, people already are just politely correcting others on their pronoun. But we're talking challenging the idea that male is the default and just letting it go the same way as reddit. As others have said in other conversations, Tildes isn't meant to be a Reddit replacement—so why should we have the same exact gender makeup as reddit?

                      8 votes
                      1. [3]
                        ContemplativePanda
                        Link Parent
                        Yes, we need to change the idea. This whole time I have been for that. But I was specifically referencing HOW you go about changing it. Because language is fickle, and slow to change. So you have...

                        Yes, we need to change the idea. This whole time I have been for that. But I was specifically referencing HOW you go about changing it. Because language is fickle, and slow to change. So you have to get people onboard positively.

                        And I know Tildes isn't a Reddit replacement, but it certainly is somewhat of a derivative of it. I'm sure most of us are former or current Reddit users. So, I would imagine that the gender makeup is relatively similar - I could absolutely be wrong though. I was just using that to explain the fact there are MUCH more women here than in certain communities (sports, games, etc.) especially in the past. Trying to dispel that "geek guy" gamer idea that everyone is a male is all.

                        1. [2]
                          glass_table_girl
                          Link Parent
                          Word. I wonder if we are on the same page but just disagree slightly on the "how"? Like, I think that from the outset we should try out the gender neutral thing on here (though a difficult task)...

                          Word. I wonder if we are on the same page but just disagree slightly on the "how"? Like, I think that from the outset we should try out the gender neutral thing on here (though a difficult task) rather than putting the onus on misgendered folks to correct others.

                          2 votes
                          1. ContemplativePanda
                            Link Parent
                            I don't believe we disagree on the how. My focus wasn't on the trying to get people to adopt gender neutral terms, but what happens when the mistake is already made.

                            I don't believe we disagree on the how. My focus wasn't on the trying to get people to adopt gender neutral terms, but what happens when the mistake is already made.

                            2 votes
          2. [6]
            jeff
            Link Parent
            The English language lacks sufficient gender-neutral terms. We do the best we can with what we've got and we're not trying to hurt anyone's feelings or "shove it in her face". Once we've broadly...

            The English language lacks sufficient gender-neutral terms. We do the best we can with what we've got and we're not trying to hurt anyone's feelings or "shove it in her face". Once we've broadly adopted some new linguistic conventions that make everyone happy, I'm on board. Until then, I'm going to say "guy" a lot. Pretty much all the girls I talk to do too.

            1 vote
            1. [5]
              Petril
              Link Parent
              I agree that no one is trying to shove anything in anyone's face. Just that it is happening. Language doesn't just change. People have to change it. If you felt like helping out, you could try to...

              I agree that no one is trying to shove anything in anyone's face. Just that it is happening.

              Language doesn't just change. People have to change it. If you felt like helping out, you could try to call people guy less.

              I am currently trying to call people guy less, too.

              5 votes
              1. [4]
                jeff
                Link Parent
                Genuinely interested...what do you call people then? I'm not opposed. I've just failed to observe a broadly adopted alternative that isn't conversationally awkward or fraught with other issues....

                Genuinely interested...what do you call people then?

                I'm not opposed. I've just failed to observe a broadly adopted alternative that isn't conversationally awkward or fraught with other issues.

                I'm conscious enough that I don't tend to say "you guys" when I'm talking to a small group composed entirely of women. I do say "you guys" when I'm talking to a mixed-gender or unknown-gender group and I have no reason to think that any of them will take exception to the term. I can even throw out a "ladies and gentlemen" if I'm in a more formal setting. But that's about as much as I'm going to worry about it.

                Honestly, if I say "you ladies", "you girls", "you women", or "you gals", I'm at just as much risk of having someone say I'm being condescending. It gets to a point that it's kind of a no win situation.

                1 vote
                1. [3]
                  Petril
                  Link Parent
                  It's really hard! And i'm a Minnesotan, so i absolutely say "you guys!" I'm more specifically referring to "assuming someone is a man on the internet," though. So saying "I agree with the person...

                  It's really hard! And i'm a Minnesotan, so i absolutely say "you guys!" I'm more specifically referring to "assuming someone is a man on the internet," though. So saying "I agree with the person above," rather than "I agree with that guy." If you catch my drift.

                  It's an interesting thought experiment, though.
                  I guess some alternatives could be:

                  • Don't call a group anything at all. If you passed a group of women, you could say "Hi!" Instead of "Hi ladies!"
                  • "Ok everyone, I've called this meeting to..."
                  • In an email: "Hi all, please remember to..."

                  But, hand on my heart, I've never personally been offended when someone came up to a group and said "Hi guys." I do it daily. And maybe i should consider changing that.

                  2 votes
                  1. Tetracyclic
                    Link Parent
                    I agree with you. Further, "I agree with you" seems like a much better option to me than "I agree with that guy" regardless of any gender issues. You're replying to the person, so reply to them,...

                    So saying "I agree with the person above," rather than "I agree with that guy." If you catch my drift.

                    I agree with you.

                    Further, "I agree with you" seems like a much better option to me than "I agree with that guy" regardless of any gender issues. You're replying to the person, so reply to them, don't talk about them in the third person. And if you're replying to someone else who is replying to the person you're referring to, "I agree with them" seems just as reasonable and unlikely to be confusing.

                    3 votes
                  2. jeff
                    Link Parent
                    I live in the south and our solution is to just “y’all” everyone...men, women, one person, or many. Y’all have a good day now.

                    I live in the south and our solution is to just “y’all” everyone...men, women, one person, or many.

                    Y’all have a good day now.

                    2 votes
        2. [28]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I personally am not offended when people use the wrong pronoun when they refer to myself, however I totally get why others are... because many people have had to fight for the right to use that...

          I personally am not offended when people use the wrong pronoun when they refer to myself, however I totally get why others are... because many people have had to fight for the right to use that pronoun, have had the opposite pronoun thrown in their face in order to harass, belittle and demean them, and are still constantly being forced to defend their right to use the pronoun they identify with... especially online.

          However, ultimately that is not my real issue with people using pronouns for unknown gender users. IMO the biggest issue with assuming a gender is that it often causes other people to start using the same pronoun in reference to that person, which precipitates multiple corrections, potentially derailing the thread by adding significant noise to it.

          So is it really so much to ask that people use gender-less, neutral descriptors like "they" "them" unless they are sure about a user's gender pronoun in order to avoid that?

          6 votes
          1. [27]
            ContemplativePanda
            Link Parent
            The problem is that so many people are used to using "he" on the internet, it's second nature. I do it without even realizing I'm doing it - "he said this". And because it's the internet and I...

            The problem is that so many people are used to using "he" on the internet, it's second nature. I do it without even realizing I'm doing it - "he said this". And because it's the internet and I can't hear your voice and see your face I don't even think to do differently. Also, this is the way language is at times with "you guys" being a common saying that is accepted as neutral.

            I think it's important to remember that not every time on the internet is it meant to harass or insult, nor is it even done intentionally. It's just an accident that a simply polite correction will fix and everyone can move on.

            2 votes
            1. [6]
              Petril
              Link Parent
              But isn't it also important to challenge yourself? What I hear you saying is "What would be easiest for me is if everyone else changed how they felt about something." We know that it is darn near...

              But isn't it also important to challenge yourself? What I hear you saying is "What would be easiest for me is if everyone else changed how they felt about something." We know that it is darn near impossible to change how someone else feels by commenting on the internet. What you could say is, "I realize it's an issue I've never had to face, and I'll try to remember that I don't know who I'm speaking to. I can do my part by making an effort to use gender neutral terms." It's much easier to change your behavior than others' feelings especially when it doesn't affect you at all.

              P.S. I would like you to think about this. EVERY woman on the anonymous internet at some point or another has just gone along when someone has referred to them as "guy," "dude," or "man." It sounds like you think that it doesn't happen, and I want you to know that it does happen every day. I'm sure it happens to you more often than you think. And if it just kept happening, you would keep thinking, "well there are barely any women on the internet, so I guess I'll just keep assuming everyone is a man."

              9 votes
              1. [5]
                ContemplativePanda
                Link Parent
                I think there must have been a misunderstanding. I believe in one of my comments elsewhere I stated that outside of certain sub communities, women are everywhere. Reddit is a great example, and...

                I think there must have been a misunderstanding. I believe in one of my comments elsewhere I stated that outside of certain sub communities, women are everywhere. Reddit is a great example, and here as well I'd expect. With that territory and the anonymity of the internet comes things like this. It happens everyday, and what ultimately matters is how you and everyone else reacts to it.

                1 vote
                1. [4]
                  Petril
                  Link Parent
                  Remember that "people just shouldn't get so offended" is a tool often used to ensure the status quo never changes, and in more extreme circumstances, it's used for oppression. I would agree that...

                  Remember that "people just shouldn't get so offended" is a tool often used to ensure the status quo never changes, and in more extreme circumstances, it's used for oppression.

                  I would agree that we shouldn't be shitty and mean when someone unintentionally misgenders us once, but that's not the point i'm trying to make. I would love to slowly change things (and they are changing!) so that women feel more at home on the Internet. Part of that would be inclusive language. A much larger part would be reducing rampant sexism, but that's a different topic.

                  So my point remains. Since no one is getting offended and being mean about it, are you willing to push out of your comfort zone and try to use more inclusive language?

                  5 votes
                  1. [3]
                    ContemplativePanda
                    Link Parent
                    I'm glad we have a common ground. I never said that I wasn't willing to try to use inclusive language. I was speaking about the topic on a much higher level than you or I interacting on this site,...

                    I'm glad we have a common ground. I never said that I wasn't willing to try to use inclusive language. I was speaking about the topic on a much higher level than you or I interacting on this site, but discussion and actions on it as a whole.

                    I don't think what I'm saying should be considered devils advocate honestly, but from the feedback I'm getting it seems like it might be. I'm just arguing for a logical and positive approach to changing this, due to all the negativity I've seen in the past. This certainly transcends you or I, or any of the conversations on this topic or even this site.

                    1 vote
                    1. [2]
                      Petril
                      Link Parent
                      I really believe that you have good intentions, but it reminds me of how my mom approaches issues. "If everyone could just learn to let things roll off of their backs, then they would be happier...

                      I really believe that you have good intentions, but it reminds me of how my mom approaches issues. "If everyone could just learn to let things roll off of their backs, then they would be happier people!" And that is true, but when she's saying that in response to gender equality or racial equality, she is wrong. Because if black Americans decided as a whole to just "let it roll off their backs," when someone wouldn't let them into their "white" establishment, we would never have had an end to segregation.

                      That's what the person earlier meant when they were referring to "privilege." My mother, underprivileged in many ways, would have had the privilege to walk into that establishment. You happen to have this one single small-ish privilege of almost always being gendered correctly on the internet. Never having that teeny tiny little voice in the back of your head that says "If this person knew I was a woman, they might think I don't belong here."

                      2 votes
                      1. ContemplativePanda
                        Link Parent
                        To be honest with you, if you want how I feel personally - I don't believe I should let much get to me. I used to be the typical fat kid. Everywhere I went I thought they would make fun of me, or...

                        To be honest with you, if you want how I feel personally - I don't believe I should let much get to me. I used to be the typical fat kid. Everywhere I went I thought they would make fun of me, or if I ate too much I would be judged. I can certainly sympathize in an indirect way with how that could apply to gender. That's why I'm saying for your own emotional benefit its better to ignore it and not get upset so you don't spend your whole life upset. People are cruel. But on the other hand, to inspire change it's better to do it positively. So if you want things to get better you have to work with them.

            2. [20]
              cfabbro
              Link Parent
              Sure, I recognize that, but again... is it really so much to ask that people make an effort to not use "he" until they are sure? And "You guys" is a colloquialism to reference a group regardless...

              Sure, I recognize that, but again... is it really so much to ask that people make an effort to not use "he" until they are sure? And "You guys" is a colloquialism to reference a group regardless of the gender makeup of said group, whereas "he" is not a gender-less colloquialism in the same sense as "dude" or "bro" might be. And once again, regardless, its use still potentially derails threads so why use it when you're unsure?

              Words matter and have the power to effect other people's feelings. Just because you're used to doing something doesn't make it right. E.g. "Well, when I say faggot it's not meant to demean gay people" is not a good enough excuse IMO when "faggot" is historically a derogatory term meant to do just that. Same with the n-word.

              Feelings don't trump everything (especially when it comes to humour) and I recognize that but a certain level of respect and consideration towards other people's feelings isn't that much to ask, IMO, especially when certain words have historically negative connotations to them.

              6 votes
              1. [19]
                ContemplativePanda
                Link Parent
                Is it so much to ask? Of course not. But people will make mistakes still, I know I will. Did I mean to do it? Nope, but mistakes happen. My only point in this thread has been to deal with the...

                Is it so much to ask? Of course not. But people will make mistakes still, I know I will. Did I mean to do it? Nope, but mistakes happen. My only point in this thread has been to deal with the harsh reality and remind everyone that we all can make change by reacting appropriately and choosing to educate and move on rather than be angry or upset.

                1 vote
                1. [18]
                  cfabbro
                  Link Parent
                  I agree. Mistakes happen and often times people read too much into those mistakes and get angry and upset more than they should... especially if they continue to rail on the person even after they...

                  I agree. Mistakes happen and often times people read too much into those mistakes and get angry and upset more than they should... especially if they continue to rail on the person even after they have apologized. But I still think, as a culture, we should push towards and encourage using gender neutral pronouns and descriptors by default since it just makes the most sense from both a practical and considered perspective. Changing culture isn't easy but that's pretty much what ~ is setting out to do with social media, so I think including a push for neutral pronoun and descriptor usage as part of that is appropriate.

                  5 votes
                  1. [17]
                    ContemplativePanda
                    Link Parent
                    I think the best way to accomplish that is changing the language. Changing language isn't a matter of "deciding" what's right but making it so. So, the best way to go about doing that is by...

                    I think the best way to accomplish that is changing the language. Changing language isn't a matter of "deciding" what's right but making it so. So, the best way to go about doing that is by responding with positivity to those situations rather than negatively, and use them to briefly explain yourself and your feelings to the other person. Empathy is the best route, not yelling and getting angry.

                    1. [6]
                      eladnarra
                      Link Parent
                      Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm honestly not really clear on why you're focusing so much on accepting mistakes and reacting appropriately. The original post was to foster discussion about...

                      Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm honestly not really clear on why you're focusing so much on accepting mistakes and reacting appropriately. The original post was to foster discussion about whether or not "guy" works as a gender neutral term, and it's not like anyone here has advocated for yelling and insulting people who accidentally misgender others.

                      Discussing what terms are and aren't gender neutral and encouraging people to use gender neutral pronouns is working to change the language... isn't it?

                      6 votes
                      1. [5]
                        ContemplativePanda
                        Link Parent
                        I disagree with the last point in a sense. Which is why I brought up what I did. Language is changed not by "deciding" anything, but by common acceptance of it altogether. So, while discussing it...

                        I disagree with the last point in a sense. Which is why I brought up what I did. Language is changed not by "deciding" anything, but by common acceptance of it altogether. So, while discussing it helps it is the actual implementation that is tricky.

                        My experience in the past (as a bystander most of the time) has been a largely negative response when certain events like this happen. This only hampers the progress of fixing this and doesn't help it, which is why I brought it up. Some of the comments even here felt off putting as if my opinion that we need to be positive and react better to these things was so horrible. That doesn't inspire much discussion at all, imo, but I am very understand and so wasn't offended.

                        1 vote
                        1. [4]
                          eladnarra
                          Link Parent
                          I agree that language doesn't actually change unless people start using it differently. It's why I switched from "guys" to "folks" and try to use "they/them" in any situation where I don't know...

                          Language is changed not by "deciding" anything, but by common acceptance of it altogether. So, while discussing it helps it is the actual implementation that is tricky.

                          I agree that language doesn't actually change unless people start using it differently. It's why I switched from "guys" to "folks" and try to use "they/them" in any situation where I don't know (and can't easily determine) someone's pronouns.

                          It just seemed that from a lot of what you wrote (especially your original comment), you were sort of scoffing at the idea of having this discussion. You initially said it "didn't matter," after all. (I think that's at least part of what people are reacting to, if they seem a bit negative.)

                          5 votes
                          1. [3]
                            ContemplativePanda
                            Link Parent
                            Here is my original post: "I think people should just stop being so offended over things that doesn't matter. This is the internet, I can't see your face, and quite a number of people on here...

                            Here is my original post:

                            "I think people should just stop being so offended over things that doesn't matter. This is the internet, I can't see your face, and quite a number of people on here (especially in certain communities) are males. If you get called a guy just nicely correct them or forget about it, it's really nothing that is going to make your life take a downward turn.."

                            So I can see how they're upset if they didn't read past the first sentence. But what I was getting at and elaborated at was that it was most likely an accident. And also, it's not like it's the worst thing that could happen. Don't get me wrong, I can sympathize with how it could hurt. But if you take a deep breath and get off the internet for a bit your life is still okay - or in the same state it was when you got on the internet - and so it's not like anything took a super large turn for the worst. So it's important to keep that in perspective and honestly force yourself to not get offended or upset to make YOURSELF feel better. That's what I do anyway if I feel offended or hurt, which is why I say it now

                            1. [2]
                              eladnarra
                              Link Parent
                              Based on your other comments, I gather you're a guy (probably cisgender?). So being misgendered online for you is presumably an uncommon experience, which leads you to approach the topic...

                              Based on your other comments, I gather you're a guy (probably cisgender?). So being misgendered online for you is presumably an uncommon experience, which leads you to approach the topic differently, as a single mistake that can be addressed with a polite correction and isn't a big deal. I also assume it's not something that follows you offline, or something used deliberately by people who think you aren't a "real" guy.

                              As someone who is misgendered more frequently online, I see it as part of a pattern that makes me feel a bit less welcome. I don't respond to individual instances of it, or get angry at the person doing it, because you're right that it's probably just a mistake. But that mistake is often rooted in the assumption that everyone online is a dude, which makes me feel like maybe I don't belong.

                              Putting the responsibility of changing language on people getting misgendered, when this may be the fifth time that week, kinda sucks for us. Which is why, for me, it's more interesting to talk about and encourage people to use gender neutral words and pronouns, rather than say to people getting misgendered "it's the internet, just move on."

                              One reason I'm interested in tildes is the idea that we can challenge certain things that have been dismissed as "just how the internet is." We don't have to accept hate groups springing up unchecked, or ads that track every little click. Maybe we also don't have to accept that most users will be dudes (or assumed to be).

                              5 votes
                              1. ContemplativePanda
                                Link Parent
                                It doesn't matter what or who I am. All that matters are the statements I'm putting forth as a culmination of my background and past experiences. So, individuality aside, the problem remains. You...

                                It doesn't matter what or who I am. All that matters are the statements I'm putting forth as a culmination of my background and past experiences.

                                So, individuality aside, the problem remains. You and I both know we can't control what others say. But does that mean we shouldn't try to make things better? Of course not. Nor does it mean we can't use our response to these issues to help make a small positive difference. And to me that starts by seeing it as a mistake and assuming the best in people in these simple circumstances whether than the worst.

                                1 vote
                    2. [10]
                      cheese
                      Link Parent
                      So, following on from the discussion in this thread, are you likely to make an effort to use neutral pronouns and not assume that all random strangers on the internet are either male or...

                      So, following on from the discussion in this thread, are you likely to make an effort to use neutral pronouns and not assume that all random strangers on the internet are either male or comfortable with the assumption that they're male?

                      3 votes
                      1. [9]
                        ContemplativePanda
                        Link Parent
                        When did this become about me? When did I ever say that I did this intentionally except by mistake? Or do you just assume because my statements weren't so comfortable to read that I am an asshole...

                        When did this become about me? When did I ever say that I did this intentionally except by mistake? Or do you just assume because my statements weren't so comfortable to read that I am an asshole who will intentionally do things to hurt people?

                        1 vote
                        1. [8]
                          Qis
                          Link Parent
                          Wait, be fair. The thread is titled "change my mind," so ostensibly, you have made this about you. Also your OP says nothing about the internet, but you have insisted now that your argument...

                          Wait, be fair. The thread is titled "change my mind," so ostensibly, you have made this about you. Also your OP says nothing about the internet, but you have insisted now that your argument concerns internet conduct solely, and not the broader linguistic question you pitched it as initially. I'm not trying to gotcha you, just -- stay on point, guy.

                          2 votes
                          1. [7]
                            ContemplativePanda
                            Link Parent
                            "I think people should just stop being so offended over things that doesn't matter. This is the internet, I can't see your face, and quite a number of people on here (especially in certain...

                            "I think people should just stop being so offended over things that doesn't matter. This is the internet, I can't see your face, and quite a number of people on here (especially in certain communities) are males. If you get called a guy just nicely correct them or forget about it, it's really nothing that is going to make your life take a downward turn.."

                            My initial point has everything to do about the internet my guy.

                            1 vote
                            1. [6]
                              Qis
                              Link Parent
                              That's not the OP, and I'm not a guy.

                              That's not the OP, and I'm not a guy.

                              1 vote
                              1. [5]
                                ContemplativePanda
                                Link Parent
                                It is my original post, so read it. And you called me guy

                                It is my original post, so read it. And you called me guy

                                1 vote
                                1. [4]
                                  Qis
                                  Link Parent
                                  Jesus, I'm sorry. You were so active in this thread that I forgot that you weren't the OP. Why'd you throw in on this? I wanted to avoid saying so in order to have a conversation where people...

                                  Jesus, I'm sorry. You were so active in this thread that I forgot that you weren't the OP. Why'd you throw in on this? I wanted to avoid saying so in order to have a conversation where people assumed good faith, but this was such a blatantly sexist suggestion...

                                  1 vote
                                  1. [2]
                                    NamelessThirteenth
                                    Link Parent
                                    What's sexist about that? A polite correction? I'm sure all of us here will do our best to not assume anybodies gender but for those who are ignorant there's nothing wrong with hoping people will...

                                    What's sexist about that? A polite correction? I'm sure all of us here will do our best to not assume anybodies gender but for those who are ignorant there's nothing wrong with hoping people will do a polite
                                    "Actually I'm a man/woman"
                                    over something heated and aggressive.

                                    4 votes
                                  2. ContemplativePanda
                                    Link Parent
                                    Ah my apologies for my shortness in my last post then. I don't quite know what is sexist about my suggestion, but now I'm not sure if you're referring to me or OP. Apologies for the confusion.

                                    Ah my apologies for my shortness in my last post then. I don't quite know what is sexist about my suggestion, but now I'm not sure if you're referring to me or OP. Apologies for the confusion.

                                    1 vote
    3. [2]
      SaucedButLeaking
      Link Parent
      Saying "I'm not a guy" is just nicely correcting someone, though

      Saying "I'm not a guy" is just nicely correcting someone, though

      9 votes
      1. ContemplativePanda
        Link Parent
        Oh certainly. Don't misunderstand me - I'm not saying correcting them is bad. I'm just saying after the fact, there's no need to be upset or offended. That just causes more strife for both you and...

        Oh certainly. Don't misunderstand me - I'm not saying correcting them is bad. I'm just saying after the fact, there's no need to be upset or offended. That just causes more strife for both you and the individual involved drawing it out simply to create more unpleasantness over a simple mistake. And people do that, which is sad.

        By all means, a simple "actually I'm a girl haha" or "Nope, I'm a he lol" or whatever fixes it and ends it right there with no worries. Misunderstandings and mistakes are apart of speech both verbal and text, they just happen more frequently in a quick moving text based medium.

    4. [14]
      Petril
      Link Parent
      Unfortunately, ma'am, you don't get to decide what should or should not offend people. It sounds like you're a little offended by the prospect that someone might have a different opinion than you....

      Unfortunately, ma'am, you don't get to decide what should or should not offend people. It sounds like you're a little offended by the prospect that someone might have a different opinion than you. Have you tried not caring as much about what offends other people?

      5 votes
      1. [10]
        NamelessThirteenth
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I think the point is a simple reply of "I'm not a guy" is enough. There's no need for huge rants or follow ups to it from either side.

        I think the point is a simple reply of "I'm not a guy" is enough. There's no need for huge rants or follow ups to it from either side.

        4 votes
        1. [9]
          cheese
          Link Parent
          But why assume male in the first place? Why not just use neutral language - that way, nobody gets upset, nobody has to correct anyone else. Why should the onus be on the woman to explain that...

          But why assume male in the first place? Why not just use neutral language - that way, nobody gets upset, nobody has to correct anyone else.

          Why should the onus be on the woman to explain that she's not a guy in >95% of cases?

          7 votes
          1. [7]
            NamelessThirteenth
            Link Parent
            I don't assume anything. Maybe it's because English isn't my first language but I hardly see (or noticed) anybody using neutral language inside and outside the internet. Unless there's some...

            I don't assume anything. Maybe it's because English isn't my first language but I hardly see (or noticed) anybody using neutral language inside and outside the internet. Unless there's some constant reminder tells everyone to use gender neutral language there will be people who slip up and make mistakes.

            Me for example typing he, man, dude is just automatic. It's not really a conscious thing.

            1 vote
            1. [6]
              cheese
              Link Parent
              But if you know it can upset people, and that there are neutral options available which are easy to use, why not use those? This isn't about "making mistakes", that can still happen fine - but so...

              But if you know it can upset people, and that there are neutral options available which are easy to use, why not use those?

              This isn't about "making mistakes", that can still happen fine - but so many people will always assume male everywhere on the internet. Positive change has to start somewhere.

              6 votes
              1. [5]
                Comment deleted by author
                Link Parent
                1. [4]
                  TreeBone
                  Link Parent
                  Are you a man or a woman? The problem with having to correct someone every time is that, on the internet, your example doesn't exist. Someone could have told you they are a woman, just to get...

                  Are you a man or a woman? The problem with having to correct someone every time is that, on the internet, your example doesn't exist. Someone could have told you they are a woman, just to get called a man again by someone else who doesn't know.

                  Also, why upset anyone at all? Is it really so hard to not say he, him, or guy all the time? It really comes down to what is more important: Sticking steadfast to your rhetoric because you're only offending people some of the time, or using neutral terms so that you don't offend anyone?

                  6 votes
                  1. [4]
                    Comment deleted by author
                    Link Parent
                    1. [2]
                      TreeBone
                      Link Parent
                      I understand your line of reasoning I just think maybe we, as people, SHOULD put in the effort to change the way we talk slightly to be more inclusive and thoughtful of others. You said "The fact...

                      I understand your line of reasoning I just think maybe we, as people, SHOULD put in the effort to change the way we talk slightly to be more inclusive and thoughtful of others. You said "The fact their use of 'he' might offend someone barely if at all registers in their mind when writing a comment." This sort of "its always been that way" attitude is what keeps us from taking the next step and it's a non-argument. It has no logical merit. If we think preemptively about it now that a big group of people have conversed about it, eventually it won't be the norm to call everyone a man and it won't register in their mind to pick the proper pronoun or phrase because it will be second nature to them.

                      See how easily I chose not to distinguish gender in the last part? I didn't say "It won't register in his mind," or "second nature to him," because it was unwarranted and wouldn't make sense. We can all correct ourselves we've just got to try a little at first.

                      5 votes
                      1. [2]
                        Comment deleted by author
                        Link Parent
                        1. TreeBone
                          Link Parent
                          Oh I also get that entirely. Whenever I am faced with a scenario (which seems to be a lot lately) that doing -whatever progressive thing- is going to be a difficult and arduous process, I don't...

                          Oh I also get that entirely. Whenever I am faced with a scenario (which seems to be a lot lately) that doing -whatever progressive thing- is going to be a difficult and arduous process, I don't want to let the idea of something being too difficult, time consuming, or tedious stop progress altogether. It may seem naive or simple that I argue so hard in favor of something as seemingly innocuous as pronouns, but we need someone or several ones to take the first step, and I don't think arguments like "that's going to be difficult," should dissuade us. I'm not taking a dig at you, only saying that I strengthen my resolve when facing these challenges. The whole "change starts with you," mentality. Thanks for the open conversation!

                          4 votes
                    2. Algernon_Asimov
                      Link Parent
                      I have exactly the opposite problem. The singular "they" has been in common use here in Australia for decades, and I have been using it for a very long time. I've used it in training manuals and...

                      Personally I am trying to use the singular they more often, but what pronouns I use when messaging someone is the last thing I think about when doing so - it's ingrained in me as an automatic action to assume male gender of unknown people,

                      I have exactly the opposite problem. The singular "they" has been in common use here in Australia for decades, and I have been using it for a very long time. I've used it in training manuals and user documentation, and other official documents and correspondence. My default go-to when referring to someone on the internet is "they". I actually have to make a conscious effort to use "he" or "she" in those cases where I happen to know someone's gender!

                      3 votes
              2. NamelessThirteenth
                Link Parent
                Well for one most people don't really get that upset and secondly wanting everyone to suddenly switch to using neutral pronouns will require them to be conscious about it in every post. Like I...

                Well for one most people don't really get that upset and secondly wanting everyone to suddenly switch to using neutral pronouns will require them to be conscious about it in every post. Like I said before when I'm writing a post and refer to the user as he, dude, man it's just automatic I'm not really thinking about it.

                Saying everyone should do X just turns this into the toilet seat debate. "Why should I put the seat down? Why don't you put it up when you're using it?". You can't convince an entire website to change the way they type.

          2. booleancat
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I don't think that's always an option, to be honest. I've been involved in the interview process at my job and as a part of that process I have to do written evaluations of the candidates I...

            But why assume male in the first place? Why not just use neutral language

            I don't think that's always an option, to be honest. I've been involved in the interview process at my job and as a part of that process I have to do written evaluations of the candidates I interview. I'm well aware of how unconscious bias can play a part in a hire/no-hire decision, and so for several months I made a strong effort to use non-gendered language when writing up my evaluations.

            In my personal experience, there are cases where using a non-gendered pronoun is SUPER awkward (ie, linguistically you are forced to imply that you are referring to multiple people when it's well established that the 'other' is a singular...). We just don't have good gender neutral replacements for all parts of speech.

            I think a more productive end to this same train of thought is to just start overtly using feminine pronouns in place of male ones online. If both are used indiscriminately then both will lose their gendered-ness, and over a few years one will win out as the gender-neutral favorite.

            1 vote
      2. [3]
        ContemplativePanda
        Link Parent
        Actually I'm a he. :) And I don't care what people get offended about. My advice is to just understand mistakes happen, as you just made, and move on from it. As I said above: Misunderstandings...

        Actually I'm a he. :) And I don't care what people get offended about. My advice is to just understand mistakes happen, as you just made, and move on from it. As I said above: Misunderstandings and mistakes are apart of speech both verbal and text, they just happen more frequently in a quick moving text based medium.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          Petril
          Link Parent
          Oh, I'm sorry. My default is to assume everyone is female, since the majority of the population assumes everyone on the internet is male. *It can be annoying to women for everyone to all the time...

          Oh, I'm sorry. My default is to assume everyone is female, since the majority of the population assumes everyone on the internet is male. *It can be annoying to women for everyone to all the time assume that they are a man. So I'm just evening it out.

          6 votes
          1. ContemplativePanda
            Link Parent
            Oh certainly, that's a pretty funny way to combat it actually. I respect that. I totally get it too. I assume everyone thinks the other is a male after playing lots of video games where,...

            Oh certainly, that's a pretty funny way to combat it actually. I respect that. I totally get it too. I assume everyone thinks the other is a male after playing lots of video games where, demographically, that is likely the case. And then visiting certain communities such as video games, sports, etc. where males again are the largest group there by far. Then, on Reddit it is just second nature to believe the other person is a male. I do it myself. But being that Reddit is so highly visited, there are obviously females on there as well causing issues.

            I'd expect as Tildes is a derivative, in a sense, of some of Reddit's community the same will happen here.

            4 votes
    5. [2]
      ManSlug
      Link Parent
      This guy... But in all seriousness, I agree we should have a good singular, sounds-right, form of they. I am all in favor of using dude. In fact, I already do that.

      This guy...

      But in all seriousness, I agree we should have a good singular, sounds-right, form of they.

      I am all in favor of using dude. In fact, I already do that.

      4 votes
      1. ContemplativePanda
        Link Parent
        Bit confused over "This guy" sorry. What did you mean? No one really decides these terms honestly, they just happen. "You guys", "dude" (in certain contexts), "people" all work. We could just use...

        Bit confused over "This guy" sorry. What did you mean?

        No one really decides these terms honestly, they just happen. "You guys", "dude" (in certain contexts), "people" all work. We could just use "individual"/"person"/"they"/"guy"/"dude" or whatever else. It should work fine.

        3 votes
    6. [2]
      blackbird
      Link Parent
      Context matters though. In isolation, occasionally being misgendered online isn't a big deal. But then consider if you are constantly being misgendered every time you're online. And if your gender...

      Context matters though. In isolation, occasionally being misgendered online isn't a big deal. But then consider if you are constantly being misgendered every time you're online. And if your gender isn't represented in movies or TV or books, except minimally or just as a flat love interest. Consider if much of your experience of the world acts as if your gender doesn't exist (medical studies, business). In cumulation, that would get discouraging and bothersome. And in that context, a simple online misgendering can feel a lot more uninviting and irksome. While maybe one comment shouldn't be a big deal, we don't experience the world as singular isolated instances.

      4 votes
      1. ContemplativePanda
        Link Parent
        Sure, but perspective matters to. My comments of not worrying about it was advice for how to deal with it. Does text on a page hurt? Certainly, it can. But should you let it? For your mental and...

        Sure, but perspective matters to. My comments of not worrying about it was advice for how to deal with it. Does text on a page hurt? Certainly, it can. But should you let it? For your mental and emotional health, I'd say it's better to put into perspective that it was likely an incident. But let's switch up my argument and say it wasn't. You're rightly upset, and at this point you have several options. I'd expect you to say or do something to get back at them. But once that is over, you really shouldn't let it irk you. For your own benefit, there's no point to dwell on things that are negative like this. Though, that was just my opinion and some advice I was offering.

        1 vote
    7. [2]
      merick
      Link Parent
      There's a saying I really like and it goes like this: They themselves are the only ones who can do anything about it.

      There's a saying I really like and it goes like this:

      Offense is taken, not given

      They themselves are the only ones who can do anything about it.

      3 votes
      1. ContemplativePanda
        Link Parent
        I like that saying. It does seem to hold true quite a lot, and we could all be better people to not take it so much.

        I like that saying. It does seem to hold true quite a lot, and we could all be better people to not take it so much.

        1 vote
  2. [17]
    lesalecop
    Link
    I'll believe it's neutered when straight guys start saying they fucked a guy.

    I'll believe it's neutered when straight guys start saying they fucked a guy.

    46 votes
    1. [2]
      evye
      Link Parent
      What I'm getting from this conversation is that "you guys/those guys" are plural neutral, and "a guy/that guy" is singular male. But also that "guys" on its own may be plural male depending on...

      What I'm getting from this conversation is that "you guys/those guys" are plural neutral, and "a guy/that guy" is singular male. But also that "guys" on its own may be plural male depending on context.

      9 votes
    2. [12]
      Dest
      Link Parent
      I could totally see a straight guy going up to two girls and saying "you guys want to have a threesome?", but going back to his buddy and saying "I just asked those guys if they wanted to have a...

      I could totally see a straight guy going up to two girls and saying "you guys want to have a threesome?", but going back to his buddy and saying "I just asked those guys if they wanted to have a threesome" would have a totally different meaning. Language is weird.

      Also, it seems like "you all" or "ya'll" is the non gendered form of "you guys", but that sounds super southern, so most people outside of the south don't use it. I think I'm going to suck it up and switch over to ya'll after reading this discussion.

      6 votes
      1. [10]
        Zeerph
        Link Parent
        I wonder why you would not like to sound southern? I grew up around "y'all" users and am now spreading it around the world. Though, I don't think it'll change the perception in the U.S. anytime...

        I wonder why you would not like to sound southern?

        I grew up around "y'all" users and am now spreading it around the world. Though, I don't think it'll change the perception in the U.S. anytime soon, but it does give them a distinct second person plural to use.

        3 votes
        1. [6]
          Gatonegro
          Link Parent
          Not a southerner nor an American, but I have to say I find "y'all" to be incredibly convenient.

          Not a southerner nor an American, but I have to say I find "y'all" to be incredibly convenient.

          3 votes
          1. [2]
            SaucedButLeaking
            Link Parent
            Agreed. "Y'all" is a great word and I'm a huge proponent of a pluralized "you"

            Agreed. "Y'all" is a great word and I'm a huge proponent of a pluralized "you"

            5 votes
            1. Gatonegro
              Link Parent
              I blame Bill Hicks for my use of "y'all". A pluralized "you" makes sense but I think it can be too ambiguous, especially online since you can't actually see if the person is addressing you...

              I blame Bill Hicks for my use of "y'all".

              A pluralized "you" makes sense but I think it can be too ambiguous, especially online since you can't actually see if the person is addressing you directly, or you as a group.

              1 vote
          2. [3]
            Zeerph
            Link Parent
            One of my friends from Taiwan uses "y'all" all the time. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

            One of my friends from Taiwan uses "y'all" all the time.
            It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              Gatonegro
              Link Parent
              I feel a bit weird using it because it does have a southern connotation to me, but I figure my English is already an odd mix of American and British words/spellings/slang, so why not? :)

              I feel a bit weird using it because it does have a southern connotation to me, but I figure my English is already an odd mix of American and British words/spellings/slang, so why not? :)

              2 votes
              1. Zeerph
                Link Parent
                Definitely, as I spend more time talking with people not from my home region, my English has picked up various things from them, so I call it a more internationalised version of the language....

                Definitely, as I spend more time talking with people not from my home region, my English has picked up various things from them, so I call it a more internationalised version of the language.

                Anyway, each person's idiolect is their own and it is nice to have variety. Where's the fun in only listening to people who all sound the same?

        2. [3]
          Dest
          Link Parent
          I mean, I don't think it's bad to sound southern, it just feels "wrong" somehow. I feel like I'm putting on an accent or faking being southern or something.

          I mean, I don't think it's bad to sound southern, it just feels "wrong" somehow. I feel like I'm putting on an accent or faking being southern or something.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            Zeerph
            Link Parent
            Inauthentic, maybe? That's generally how I feel when I try and put on accents around native speakers of similar accents or the same accent.

            Inauthentic, maybe? That's generally how I feel when I try and put on accents around native speakers of similar accents or the same accent.

            1. Dest
              Link Parent
              Yes! Inauthentic is the perfect word.

              Yes! Inauthentic is the perfect word.

              1 vote
      2. LibraryLass
        Link Parent
        It could also sound like a cowboy if you prefer.

        It could also sound like a cowboy if you prefer.

        1 vote
    3. SleepyGary
      Link Parent
      I love it. I have a group of female friends that constantly use dude and guy in a neutral sense, I'm interested in seeing how they feel about it as well when I talk about fucking my favourite...

      I love it. I have a group of female friends that constantly use dude and guy in a neutral sense, I'm interested in seeing how they feel about it as well when I talk about fucking my favourite dude, getting that guy knocked up. I already know most of my straight male friends would probably have some mixed feelings about it initially, lets see if we can start a thing though.

      3 votes
    4. LibraryLass
      Link Parent
      In the words of a great scientist: Well, there it is.

      In the words of a great scientist: Well, there it is.

  3. [15]
    eladnarra
    Link
    A few thoughts as a cis woman*: I don't think singular "guy" is there yet as a neutral term, if it ever will be. If someone refers to me as a guy it isn't upsetting; misgendering isn't...

    A few thoughts as a cis woman*:

    I don't think singular "guy" is there yet as a neutral term, if it ever will be. If someone refers to me as a guy it isn't upsetting; misgendering isn't particularly hurtful or something I've experienced offline. But it does feel... weird.

    Assuming we haven't yet lost that gendered effect, it also reinforces the idea that any given person online is most likely a guy. And as not-a-guy, that sort of sucks. I'm not going to correct every person who refers to me as "he," and I'm not even annoyed at them specifically, but the way it coalesces into a pattern makes me feel a little tiny bit less welcome or expected. An outsider not accounted for.

    On an online forum, I think a combination of using names and "they" works until you see someone around enough to remember their gender. I feel seen when someone uses my name. "Yes, this person is addressing me." And when someone says "they," it doesn't cause the little brain blip that "he" does, where I have to remind myself that the person is in fact referring to me.

    *I actually have a weird aversion to referring to myself as a woman, but that's kind of a tangent. Is it an age thing? A formality thing? Internalized sexism? Who knows~

    18 votes
    1. [3]
      lesalecop
      Link Parent
      I was starting to wonder if I felt that way because I'm trans but it's reassuring to know others feel the same way.

      *I actually have a weird aversion to referring to myself as a woman, but that's kind of a tangent. Is it an age thing? A formality thing? Internalized sexism? Who knows~

      I was starting to wonder if I felt that way because I'm trans but it's reassuring to know others feel the same way.

      6 votes
      1. Petril
        Link Parent
        Totally not alone! I've heard discussions by people much smarter than me about gender politics and "girls" being more preferable to "women" in terms of sexuality and innocence. But this isn't the...

        Totally not alone! I've heard discussions by people much smarter than me about gender politics and "girls" being more preferable to "women" in terms of sexuality and innocence. But this isn't the place for that discussion!

        I'm trying to make a conscious effort to refer to myself as a woman rather than a girl, because I'm an adult human! But I completely respect the right for others to choose girl. If there were a "guy" word for women (Gal is gross to me) I would totally use that. Sometimes I use "Ladies," which might be similar.

        3 votes
      2. eladnarra
        Link Parent
        When I first realized I didn't like referring to myself as a woman, I did sort of interrogate my feelings to see if there was some small measure of "gender feels" behind it. My conclusion was that...

        When I first realized I didn't like referring to myself as a woman, I did sort of interrogate my feelings to see if there was some small measure of "gender feels" behind it. My conclusion was that on its own it's more of a quirk than a sign.

        I tend to think "age" might be the reason I find it so weird. When I think of myself as a woman, my first reaction is "no, my mum is," which is also the reaction I have when I try to think of myself as an adult :D

        2 votes
    2. [5]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [4]
        glass_table_girl
        Link Parent
        I never realized this, but yeah, I've been adjusting to using the term "woman" rather than "girl" to refer to myself (looks at my username, woops) and I feel like a fucking Britney Spears song......

        I never realized this, but yeah, I've been adjusting to using the term "woman" rather than "girl" to refer to myself (looks at my username, woops) and I feel like a fucking Britney Spears song... except I'm definitely old enough now and (hopefully) adult enough now to use the term "woman."

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. glass_table_girl
            Link Parent
            Agreed on all counts! I am at this weird feeling where I tend to refer to myself as an adult because I would like to perceive myself as dealing with my responsibilities but like... I am def not...

            Agreed on all counts! I am at this weird feeling where I tend to refer to myself as an adult because I would like to perceive myself as dealing with my responsibilities but like... I am def not old yet :T

            2 votes
        2. [2]
          LibraryLass
          Link Parent
          I just noticed in the last few months that I've reached an age where I feel more comfortable describing myself as a woman (edit: rather than as a girl, specifically) most of the time. I'm 27.

          I just noticed in the last few months that I've reached an age where I feel more comfortable describing myself as a woman (edit: rather than as a girl, specifically) most of the time. I'm 27.

          1. glass_table_girl
            Link Parent
            I am the same age, and I realize that I ought to use the word "woman" and am coming into it. But also... it's a weird transition.

            I am the same age, and I realize that I ought to use the word "woman" and am coming into it. But also... it's a weird transition.

    3. [7]
      jeff
      Link Parent
      Ah, and now we can also have a discussion about the necessity (or not) of the term "cis". Should we need to apply an adjective to a noun in order to indicate that the specific object referred to...

      Ah, and now we can also have a discussion about the necessity (or not) of the term "cis". Should we need to apply an adjective to a noun in order to indicate that the specific object referred to by the noun is of the "expected or most common variety"?

      Further testing the ability of Tildes to host only polite and respectful conversations... :-)

      2 votes
      1. lesalecop
        Link Parent
        Necessary? Probably not. A cis woman and a trans woman don't need to specify if they don't want to because they're ultimately both women. Can they though if they want to further clarify how it...

        Necessary? Probably not. A cis woman and a trans woman don't need to specify if they don't want to because they're ultimately both women. Can they though if they want to further clarify how it might shape their experiences? Of course.

        Should the term "cis" exist and be used at all? Absolutely. Words are useful. We don't question whether the word "heterosexual" should exist, whether the word "right-handed" should exist.

        7 votes
      2. eladnarra
        Link Parent
        In this case I was discussing my experiences of misgendering and associated feelings, so as @lesalecop suggested I wanted to provide context for those. In general, when it isn't necessary to be...

        In this case I was discussing my experiences of misgendering and associated feelings, so as @lesalecop suggested I wanted to provide context for those.

        In general, when it isn't necessary to be specific, I use "woman" to refer to both cis and trans women.

        4 votes
      3. [4]
        glass_table_girl
        Link Parent
        Well, "cis" doesn't mean "expected or most common variety." It is a prefix meant to denote "matches," as in, a person's gender they identify as matches their sex. I thought it was useful for...

        Well, "cis" doesn't mean "expected or most common variety." It is a prefix meant to denote "matches," as in, a person's gender they identify as matches their sex.

        I thought it was useful for @eladnarra to provide that context, that she is a cisgender woman, because that is useful in this conversation about what sort of language we use to refer to one another. Also as a cisgender woman, the reason I would specify that in a topic such as this one is because, quoting @cfabbro again, there are people who are gender nonconforming or who are transgender that have had to fight to use and get others to use the pronoun that corresponds with their gender identity.

        I would specify this because I haven't had that experience, so the feeling of being misgendered doesn't carry that same history that it would for a trans person.

        2 votes
        1. [4]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. glass_table_girl
            Link Parent
            Fair. Perhaps I was being uncharitable in my reading but I also just wanted to clear that up since I know that not everyone is familiar with the terminology, and that people do have...

            Fair. Perhaps I was being uncharitable in my reading but I also just wanted to clear that up since I know that not everyone is familiar with the terminology, and that people do have misunderstandings around it. Also wanted to specify just to contextualize why I use it when I do.

            1 vote
          2. [2]
            LibraryLass
            Link Parent
            Well, maybe in your social circle it is!

            Well, maybe in your social circle it is!

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. LibraryLass
                Link Parent
                No, I know. I was just making a somewhat sarcastic observation about the subjectivity of what is normal. As a trans person myself, I would say that in my typical routine, most of the people I...

                No, I know. I was just making a somewhat sarcastic observation about the subjectivity of what is normal. As a trans person myself, I would say that in my typical routine, most of the people I interact with beyond a surface level are too.

                1 vote
  4. [14]
    Social
    Link
    They is used when the gender is unknown. I prefer using they when I don't know someone's gender.

    They is used when the gender is unknown. I prefer using they when I don't know someone's gender.

    16 votes
    1. [13]
      PUMPatHARDEES
      Link Parent
      this also leads to confusing/misleading communication. using 'they' requires a lot more context to understand the message. it's an imperfect method but maybe the best we have.

      this also leads to confusing/misleading communication. using 'they' requires a lot more context to understand the message. it's an imperfect method but maybe the best we have.

      2 votes
      1. [4]
        Social
        Link Parent
        Norwegian has a good solution for this. Norwegian English Han ________ Him Hun ________ Her Hen ________ They De _________ They (as more than one person) It's unambigious - you always know if you...

        Norwegian has a good solution for this.
        Norwegian English
        Han ________ Him
        Hun ________ Her
        Hen ________ They
        De _________ They (as more than one person)

        It's unambigious - you always know if you refer to someone gender neutrally or to a group of people.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          thykka
          Link Parent
          In finnish language, there are no gendered pronouns; Finnish - English Hän They He They (people)

          In finnish language, there are no gendered pronouns;

          Finnish - English
          Hän       They
          He        They (people)
          
          2 votes
        2. code
          Link Parent
          Unofficially - its usage is far from widespread.

          Hen ________ They

          Unofficially - its usage is far from widespread.

      2. [8]
        glass_table_girl
        Link Parent
        Ah, the limits of the English language... In Tagalog, all the pronouns are gender-neutral.

        Ah, the limits of the English language...

        In Tagalog, all the pronouns are gender-neutral.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          sxo
          Link Parent
          Oh wow I just realized that Tagalog is a spoken language. I always thought it was some weird programming language. Fuck I'm dumb :D

          Oh wow I just realized that Tagalog is a spoken language. I always thought it was some weird programming language. Fuck I'm dumb :D

          2 votes
          1. glass_table_girl
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            hahahahahahaha wait, what? Please explain! edit/ I just want everyone to know that I'm still waiting to understand this.

            hahahahahahaha wait, what? Please explain!

            edit/ I just want everyone to know that I'm still waiting to understand this.

        2. [5]
          Petril
          Link Parent
          That sounds amazing! Do you know Tagalog?

          That sounds amazing! Do you know Tagalog?

          1. [4]
            glass_table_girl
            Link Parent
            Haha, yeah! I'm more or less fluent but it's not perfect as I didn't grow up in the Philippines. Another pronoun I find very useful is that there's a word for "we" that includes the person you're...

            Haha, yeah! I'm more or less fluent but it's not perfect as I didn't grow up in the Philippines.

            Another pronoun I find very useful is that there's a word for "we" that includes the person you're speaking to, and a "we" that's like, nah, not you're not part of this

            2 votes
            1. SaucedButLeaking
              Link Parent
              Added to my list of "words I wish English had"

              Added to my list of "words I wish English had"

              1 vote
            2. [2]
              Petril
              Link Parent
              That sounds so useful!

              That sounds so useful!

              1 vote
              1. glass_table_girl
                Link Parent
                It is! Like all languages, it has its ups and downs. I sometimes wonder if the lack of gender specific pronouns had an effect on some of the gender fluidity that I see in the Philippines, though...

                It is! Like all languages, it has its ups and downs. I sometimes wonder if the lack of gender specific pronouns had an effect on some of the gender fluidity that I see in the Philippines, though there are times when it's met with the response of a lot of rigidity and "machismo" and other stuff.

                1 vote
  5. [5]
    elf
    Link
    It's pretty easy to argue for "should be"s when it comes to language. It's pretty hard to go from "should be used this way" to "is actually used this way."

    It's pretty easy to argue for "should be"s when it comes to language.

    It's pretty hard to go from "should be used this way" to "is actually used this way."

    10 votes
    1. [4]
      Paradoxa
      Link Parent
      exactly. "should" doesn't really matter when it comes to language. "does" is all that matters. same with prescrtiptive grammar. you can tell me never to split my infinitives or end on...

      exactly. "should" doesn't really matter when it comes to language. "does" is all that matters. same with prescrtiptive grammar. you can tell me never to split my infinitives or end on prepositions, but its going to keep happening.

      it also is worth noting the problems inherent in making a masculine pronoun become a default for both genders. imagine the outlash if someone said "i think 'chick' should be a gender neutral term!"

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        redikulous
        Link Parent
        Any reason you don't like capital letters?

        Any reason you don't like capital letters?

        1. [2]
          Paradoxa
          Link Parent
          .... I'm on mobile... who cares? in the hierarchy of pointless linguistic qualms people waste time on, capitalization is pretty much the most pointless. I disabled auto capitalization recently due...

          .... I'm on mobile... who cares? in the hierarchy of pointless linguistic qualms people waste time on, capitalization is pretty much the most pointless.

          I disabled auto capitalization recently due to some conflict and I dont want to press the shift button on mobile all the time.

          1 vote
  6. [10]
    up2eleven
    Link
    Guy and dude kind of apply universally. At least, I use them with my female friends and they use it with each other as well, so...

    Guy and dude kind of apply universally. At least, I use them with my female friends and they use it with each other as well, so...

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Shamu
      Link Parent
      I'm going to guess that this is regional. I'm from the "Midwest" (in quotes because north ohio is midwest mixed with east coast) and we use "Dude" and "Guy" as neutral pronouns here. At least most...

      I'm going to guess that this is regional.

      I'm from the "Midwest" (in quotes because north ohio is midwest mixed with east coast) and we use "Dude" and "Guy" as neutral pronouns here. At least most of the people I know do.

      But when I lived in Vegas that was not the case at all. Most women were taken aback when I would say "'sup dudes" or similar. Never offended, just "i'm not a dude"

      3 votes
      1. BuckeyeSundae
        Link Parent
        I feel that, and southern ohio is basically just hill people or people who might as well identify as kentuckians. I know that "you guys" is crazy popular in Minnesota. It's a little more mixed...

        "Midwest" (in quotes because north ohio is midwest mixed with east coast)

        I feel that, and southern ohio is basically just hill people or people who might as well identify as kentuckians.

        I know that "you guys" is crazy popular in Minnesota. It's a little more mixed here in my experience (also northern ohio). So it might just be the crowds we hang around.

        1 vote
    2. [7]
      ContemplativePanda
      Link Parent
      That's a loaded comment to say here, apparently. Lol

      That's a loaded comment to say here, apparently. Lol

      1 vote
      1. [6]
        up2eleven
        Link Parent
        Well, there's one caveat. If a trans person is asserting their gender identity and is really specific and feeling sensitive about it, I can respect that, provided they're not shitty about it.

        Well, there's one caveat. If a trans person is asserting their gender identity and is really specific and feeling sensitive about it, I can respect that, provided they're not shitty about it.

        2 votes
        1. [5]
          ContemplativePanda
          Link Parent
          My opinion on it is that you're very well within your right to correct the mistake. But, to continue the matter and be shitty about it after the correction (assuming the other individual, if they...

          My opinion on it is that you're very well within your right to correct the mistake. But, to continue the matter and be shitty about it after the correction (assuming the other individual, if they even responded, took it well) is just unneeded.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            up2eleven
            Link Parent
            Exactly. Thankfully, the trans friends I have are pretty reasonable and they were patient with me as I adjusted to referring to them with different pronouns. I also saw them being similarly...

            Exactly. Thankfully, the trans friends I have are pretty reasonable and they were patient with me as I adjusted to referring to them with different pronouns. I also saw them being similarly patient with strangers, and this made me respect them even more than I already did.

            1 vote
            1. [3]
              ContemplativePanda
              Link Parent
              And that's how change is made. Respect creates respect. Glad to hear it, thanks for the awesome and civil discourse on this matter. Really refreshing!

              And that's how change is made. Respect creates respect. Glad to hear it, thanks for the awesome and civil discourse on this matter. Really refreshing!

              1 vote
              1. [2]
                Petril
                Link Parent
                I believe you've been dealing with civil discourse in the entirety of this thread. The difference with @up2eleven appears to be that they agreed with you. I don't mean to follow you around...

                I believe you've been dealing with civil discourse in the entirety of this thread. The difference with @up2eleven appears to be that they agreed with you.

                I don't mean to follow you around replying to your comments. I'm going to stop now. I just want you to know that people aren't being uncivil just because they disagree.

                3 votes
                1. ContemplativePanda
                  Link Parent
                  I never said I hadn't received civil discourse on this thread. I certainly have elsewhere. I did consider when I wrote that that this would happen, though I figured no one would find it a big...

                  I never said I hadn't received civil discourse on this thread. I certainly have elsewhere. I did consider when I wrote that that this would happen, though I figured no one would find it a big deal. Also, I do feel at some points the comments leaned more towards attacking me than attacking my argument.

  7. [2]
    LibraryLass
    Link
    I don't agree that we have done either of these, and I don't feel comfortable being referred to as either one.

    the plural form, "you guys" is already neutered. I can walk up to a group of women and ask "How're you guys doing?" and it doesn't draw any ire

    we've similarly neutered "dude" in both the singular and plural, but it's especially casual and almost familiar

    I don't agree that we have done either of these, and I don't feel comfortable being referred to as either one.

    5 votes
    1. SaucedButLeaking
      Link Parent
      My apologies. It might be a regionalism or even more localized to the people I hang around. Thank you for commenting!

      My apologies. It might be a regionalism or even more localized to the people I hang around. Thank you for commenting!

  8. [4]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. SaucedButLeaking
      Link Parent
      Touché on the name, I forgot about that. And I haven't seen "I'm not a dude," but I'll take your word for it.

      Touché on the name, I forgot about that.

      And I haven't seen "I'm not a dude," but I'll take your word for it.

      1 vote
    2. TheForceIsWithUs
      Link Parent
      Depends on where you live. In CA for instance, everybody is called "dude", whether you've got a dick between your legs or not. That being said, I can also see how people might view it as a term...

      Depends on where you live. In CA for instance, everybody is called "dude", whether you've got a dick between your legs or not. That being said, I can also see how people might view it as a term typically reserved for men.

      1 vote
    3. spilk
      Link Parent
      Have you ever heard about the phenomenon of some men's and gender neutral names trending towards being women's names? Leslie, Kelley, Allison, Alex...

      Have you ever heard about the phenomenon of some men's and gender neutral names trending towards being women's names? Leslie, Kelley, Allison, Alex

      https://nameberry.com/blog/unisex-baby-names-names-that-morphed-from-blue-to-pink
      Sorry for the crappy link but it gives a whole list of them.

      I wonder if Guy will ever experience this?

  9. [6]
    NamelessThirteenth
    Link
    Honestly. I don't think it matters at all. This is one of the topics that will never ever have a full consensus. There will always be someone who is offended. I say we just talk normally. If...

    Honestly. I don't think it matters at all. This is one of the topics that will never ever have a full consensus. There will always be someone who is offended. I say we just talk normally. If someone says "I'm not a man" than fine whatever. So long as both sides don't get overly heated like
    Person 1: Thanks man!
    Person 2: I am not man asshole
    Or
    Person 1: Thanks man
    Person 2: I'm not a man but you're welcome!
    Person 1: Wow no need to be a dick about it

    I wrote these on the spot but you get the idea. Just don't get overly heated if someone calls you "dude" and don't get overly heated if someone corrects you.

    4 votes
    1. [5]
      ContemplativePanda
      Link Parent
      In online communication, these things happen so frequently due to the quick moving nature and the fact that we can't see the others face. It does make a lot more sense to just make the correction,...

      In online communication, these things happen so frequently due to the quick moving nature and the fact that we can't see the others face. It does make a lot more sense to just make the correction, accept it, and move on happily.

      1. [4]
        NamelessThirteenth
        Link Parent
        Yeah exactly. There was one sub I visited on Reddit that allowed Reddit to tag themselves as a gender which did help in the context of that sub. Don't know how well it'd work here though.

        Yeah exactly. There was one sub I visited on Reddit that allowed Reddit to tag themselves as a gender which did help in the context of that sub. Don't know how well it'd work here though.

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          ContemplativePanda
          Link Parent
          Might help, might not. I hardly read peoples usernames when I comment on sites like this, I likely wouldn't read their flairs. I just don't care about your names or your tags unless I'm given a...

          Might help, might not. I hardly read peoples usernames when I comment on sites like this, I likely wouldn't read their flairs. I just don't care about your names or your tags unless I'm given a reason to - no offense of course. I just care about the discussion.

          So, I assume it would actually cause more strife as people are "purposefully misgendered" and it's "obvious because there's a tag there".

          1. [2]
            NamelessThirteenth
            Link Parent
            I don't really care either but good point. That's actually happened in the sub I mentioned.

            I don't really care either but good point. That's actually happened in the sub I mentioned.

            1 vote
            1. ContemplativePanda
              Link Parent
              Haha, I could see that doing more harm than good tbh.

              Haha, I could see that doing more harm than good tbh.

              1 vote
  10. Petril
    Link
    Thanks for the discussion, @SaucedButLeaking! Full disclosure, I use "dude" all the time, most often as an exclamation like "Dude, me too!" In a perfect world, there would be a gender-neutral...

    Thanks for the discussion, @SaucedButLeaking! Full disclosure, I use "dude" all the time, most often as an exclamation like "Dude, me too!" In a perfect world, there would be a gender-neutral pronoun so we wouldn't have to worry about this. But we are in this world, and what we have is a mess of confusion.

    I occasionally feel exasperated when people assume I'm a man just because this is the internet. But I also happen to be white, and for most of my life, when someone asked "What does he look like?" and I would say, "Oh, just your average guy." I meant "Oh, just your average white guy." And it took a long time for me to realize that just because I am white, doesn't mean the default is white. So I understand why some men might be confused. They are male, so they assume the default to be male.

    I am not offended by the person who assumed I am male, but I can be disheartened sometimes when I think that the majority of the internet wouldn't even consider the fact that I could be different from them.

    4 votes
  11. meristele
    Link
    Guy and dude have always identified as male based for me. I actually remember being called "dudette" when dude first exploded past Hawai'i and SoCal. (I try to use folks, people, peeps, and...

    Guy and dude have always identified as male based for me. I actually remember being called "dudette" when dude first exploded past Hawai'i and SoCal. (I try to use folks, people, peeps, and y'all.)

    I don't mind being called either...but most people don't use it on me except online. I don't know if it's a generational thing. I prefer to use what people indicate they'd like me to use.

    I WILL note a very, very common conversation that I'm tired of:
    League of legends chat-
    "Hey guys! Give a bro a high five"
    "I'm not a guy, but sure!"
    "Wuuuut? ToGtFO!!!"

    4 votes
  12. [2]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    No I didn't!!! What I said was that you seem to think "dude" already fits the bill of a casual gender-neutral term. I very deliberately said I disagree with that:...

    @Algernon_Asimov brought up that "dude" fits

    No I didn't!!!

    What I said was that you seem to think "dude" already fits the bill of a casual gender-neutral term. I very deliberately said I disagree with that:

    You assert that "dude" is supposedly already gender-neutral (I don't agree, but the point is that you think it's gender-neutral),

    https://tildes.net/~talk/1p4/guy_should_be_a_neutered_term_change_my_mind#comment-hn5

    4 votes
  13. [6]
    Cliftonia
    Link
    "I realize that this is probably masculine-normative and therefore problematic This is sexist, I'll just leave it at that.

    "I realize that this is probably masculine-normative and therefore problematic

    This is sexist, I'll just leave it at that.

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      dstaley
      Link Parent
      I'm curious how you think this statement is sexist?

      I'm curious how you think this statement is sexist?

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        LibraryLass
        Link Parent
        I think they're saying that there's no need to euphemize, "masculine-normative and therefore problematic" is just a diplomatic way of saying "sexist."

        I think they're saying that there's no need to euphemize, "masculine-normative and therefore problematic" is just a diplomatic way of saying "sexist."

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          SaucedButLeaking
          Link Parent
          I was going for a more definitive term, but yeah, I can see sexist

          I was going for a more definitive term, but yeah, I can see sexist

          1. dstaley
            Link Parent
            Personally I think your definition was more specific. "Sexist" is very general, and can be expressed in a lot of ways, whereas "masculine-normative" is very specific: it describes the act of...

            Personally I think your definition was more specific. "Sexist" is very general, and can be expressed in a lot of ways, whereas "masculine-normative" is very specific: it describes the act of assuming everyone is male.

            1 vote
    2. SaucedButLeaking
      Link Parent
      Yeah, it is. That's why I added that part at the end, to acknowledge up front the issues with what I'm proposing and set the stage for discussing it in those terms.

      Yeah, it is. That's why I added that part at the end, to acknowledge up front the issues with what I'm proposing and set the stage for discussing it in those terms.

  14. [9]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    We have? This is news to me. I've seen "dudette" used because "dude" is not gender-neutral. "Folks." "People." "You lot." The Americans have "y'all". We Aussies have "youse", for what it's worth.

    we've similarly neutered "dude"

    We have? This is news to me. I've seen "dudette" used because "dude" is not gender-neutral.

    we don't have another common, non-gendered, non-specific term

    "Folks." "People." "You lot." The Americans have "y'all". We Aussies have "youse", for what it's worth.

    3 votes
    1. [8]
      SaucedButLeaking
      Link Parent
      Those are all plural

      Those are all plural

      1. [7]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Oh. I missed that. You're looking for a singular gender-neutral term? What for? If I'm talking about you in the third person, I can use "them" or "the OP" or even "SaucedButLeaking". If I'm...

        Oh. I missed that. You're looking for a singular gender-neutral term? What for? If I'm talking about you in the third person, I can use "them" or "the OP" or even "SaucedButLeaking". If I'm talking to you directly, I can use "pal" or "mate" or "friend" or "fam" (which seems to be the latest slang for this): "thanks, fam".

        Where do you see a need for a gender-neutral version of "guy"? Give me an example sentence that requires this word, so I can understand your requirements.

        1. [6]
          SaucedButLeaking
          Link Parent
          "The guy above me" "this guy" It's generic, singular, and non-addressive. It's also I don't know of a word that fits the bill and doesn't have the gender attached.

          "The guy above me" "this guy"

          It's generic, singular, and non-addressive. It's also I don't know of a word that fits the bill and doesn't have the gender attached.

          1. [3]
            Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            "The commenter above me." "The person above me," "This person."

            "The guy above me"

            "The commenter above me."

            "The person above me,"

            "this guy"

            "This person."

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              SaucedButLeaking
              Link Parent
              Which is technically valid, but feels clinical if not formal

              Which is technically valid, but feels clinical if not formal

              1 vote
              1. Algernon_Asimov
                Link Parent
                You want a casual non-gendered word. But your OP asserts that "guy" should be this word. Why? Why that word? You assert that "dude" is supposedly already gender-neutral (I don't agree, but the...

                You want a casual non-gendered word.

                But your OP asserts that "guy" should be this word. Why? Why that word? You assert that "dude" is supposedly already gender-neutral (I don't agree, but the point is that you think it's gender-neutral), so why not tell everyone to use "dude" which you already believe is gender-neutral, rather than get people to change their usage of "guy", which your own post concedes is still treated as a gendered word by most people? If you believe "dude" is already gender-neutral, why aren't you advocating for that? Why change "guy"?

                If you want to change a gendered word into a non-gendered word, why not change a formal word into a non-formal word? Why can't "commenter" become informal?

                Why not invent a word? "Peeps" is an informal word for a group of people. Some people are already back-forming the singular "peep" from this.

                3 votes
          2. [2]
            Zeerph
            Link Parent
            "The person above me" works fine. "This person" is fine too, the more I think about it. "Who's a real winner? This person." Seems fine. Then again, I'm not very comfortable with a casual register.

            "The person above me" works fine.
            "This person" is fine too, the more I think about it.
            "Who's a real winner? This person." Seems fine.

            Then again, I'm not very comfortable with a casual register.

            1 vote
            1. SaucedButLeaking
              Link Parent
              The casual register is exactly why I find "person" lacking

              The casual register is exactly why I find "person" lacking

              1 vote
  15. APassenger
    Link
    You're looking for the word, "y'all." It doesn't have an assumed male default, is clearly plural. It's a straightforward word with no ambiguity. It's on the upswing in use in places outside "the...

    we don't have another common, non-gendered, non-specific term that fits the "sounds right" criteria and fits in the environment like the one we have (wherein users are getting to know each other and don't know exactly how to address one another).

    You're looking for the word, "y'all."

    It doesn't have an assumed male default, is clearly plural. It's a straightforward word with no ambiguity. It's on the upswing in use in places outside "the south." I believe it should be commonplace everywhere in the US.

    I'm a well read guy. I'm not a slouch. I use "y'all" without apology regularly - and at work. Again... No assumed male default. Once explained, it's immediately obvious how this is not unprofessional, but actually a positive step forward.

    You all. Drop the "ou," add an apostrophe. If y'all is too far, "you all" works, but it's not as charming.

    2 votes
  16. ZeroGee
    Link
    I for one am super excited for the end of manufactured outrage. We're approaching a critical mass where we're certain to return to the 50's and 60's where the response to 'You hurt my feelings'...

    I for one am super excited for the end of manufactured outrage. We're approaching a critical mass where we're certain to return to the 50's and 60's where the response to 'You hurt my feelings' will be a slap upside the head and a stern "Grow up".

    I mean, imagine for a second a world where these easily offended buttercups are raising their own children, and trying not to offend them by looking at their genitals while they change diapers. It's hilariously dumb.

    So yeah guy. I'm your buddy, your pal, your friend and your guy. I don't care if you identify as an attack helicopter. What's up guys. Lets get over ourselves.

  17. DonQuixote
    Link
    What would that term be? 2 years? 6 months?

    What would that term be? 2 years? 6 months?