Some folks (folx) at Syracuse University are feeling unrecognized, or “unseen.” The College Fix reported that the school has a classmate portal called MySlice. According to a student-run Daily Orange article, the system is far too cisgender.
The writer recalls that as an incoming freshman, the best part of college was the use of these new environments to fully express gender identity, using they/he/she pronouns. “Throughout my college application process, SU was the school that consistently positioned itself as a safe place for LGBTQIA+ students. It boasted its many resources and emphasis on inclusion.”
“In two days,” however, the author became “disillusioned.”
“This semester I was in six classes, five of which were seminar-sized. Only one professor asked me to introduce myself with my pronouns.” Despite this, there was still hope. “My disappointment was cured when my first-year seminar professor told us about MySlice's setting that allowed students to indicate the[ir] preferred pronouns. Finally, I found a way to ensure that my pronouns were known and respected.”
The enrollee “found the Pronoun Tool” and expanded its menu. It was pitiful that the list was not complete. It allowed only for “he/him”, “she/her,” and “they/them,” as well as “ze/hir.” There were no other options than “Use My Name”, “Ask Me,” and “Send Me.”
“A brief moment ago, I thought the menu might allow me to choose more than one option. But, this quickly proved false.” Holy Grail, wherefore art Thou? “I was unable to find the space that would allow me to be who I wanted to be in my classes and beyond.”
Syracuse University is obviously slow. Although mixed pronouns are not new, they are common. Mixed pronouns are used by a lot of students at SU. Some of them have had similar experiences and felt the same lack of awareness.
One attendee stated that he/she now feels “a little less seen.” He/they stated that they were surprised by the number of options available. One student even questioned her/his validity. “I feel very invalidated…. Sometimes, I feel like I won't be able present and be perceived as genderqueer. It reinforces my belief that I must be sure of my gender or that gender expansion is not professional.”
It's all topped off by: Few professors asked them for their pronouns. One student in the class of 2022, who used they/he/ze pronouns, said that only one professor had asked them to share their pronouns. This was the same as the experience of most of the other students.
It is a more sophisticated age. This gender rejuvenation is the first time that post-segregation America has seen people intentionally make interaction more complicated.
How can we keep up with all the extra names of everyone, i.e., their chosen pronouns. This is a completely different set of data to store. The options are endless. It wasn't long ago that “she/her”, “he/him”, and “he/her” had a little company. Now: co, co, cos, cos, coself…en, en, ens, ens, enself…ey, em, eir, eirs, emself…xie: hir,hir,hirs,hirself…yo, yo, yos, yos, yoself…ze, zir, zir, zirs, zirself…ve, vis,ver, ver!
Then there are “noun-self pronouns,” such as “bun/bunself,” “kitten/kittenself,” “prin/cess/princesself,” and “innit/innits/innitself.”
LGBTQ+ Wiki now allows us to accept “emojiself pronouns.” These pronouns are only used online and can be translated into everyday words for real-life use. For example, ?/?self pronouns might become shroom/shroomself or mushroom/mushroomself pronouns.
For advanced users: modifying pronouns. One example of a possible form of neopronoun that is continuously changing from pronoun to pronoun is: “When she goes into the market, he will grab the milk and eggs, then some tomatoes, and ve will pay for all the groceries.”
In the past, sex was all we had that separated us. There was no “identity” in the past. People did not walk around thinking, “I am a girl.” They didn't dwell on thinking they were a girl nor wander around thinking about it. They also didn't wander around thinking, “I am just a girl.” They just…walked around.
The idea of being “seen” is a bit internet-lathered. Anyone looking for confirmation from their screen shouldn’t find it so hard to believe that they exist. Put away your smartphone, and turn off the computer. Take off your Apple Watch. Enter the woods. This is as “webwide” as anyone could possibly be. Or perhaps this is a massive mistake. Syracuse must compete and impress if it wants to be competitive and impressive.