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University Students Tell Us Why Pronouns Matter

California State University, Northridge, would like its students to be aware of the importance of pronouns.

So, through its USU's Pride Center The university has created a page dedicated to “Why Pronouns Matter for Everyone.”

“Jump-start the learning curve,” it reads, “by educating yourself.”

CSUN warns cisgender students to force their peers to do tasks that are theirs to do:

Don't let your Transgender and nonbinary peers take on all the work for you in the area of the field of pronoun education. You can accelerate the overall learning curve by learning by yourself and increasing our connections with other people in the vicinity.

The key is awareness:

In our ignorance, we employ pronouns all too often. Pronouns are used in writing and speech to replace names of people and different proper words. A good example is self-references when you use “my” or “mine”, you're using an adjective!

When speaking of somebody using the 3rd person, the pronouns are gender-specific (think he/she). This is the reason why our language could be infuriating or even divisive to those whose gender expression does not match their gender persona. Making sure that someone's pronouns are correct is among the most effective ways to show appreciation for their uniqueness.

In terms of gender identity and gender expression being in conflict, I know what you mean, it refers to, for example a biological male wearing a dress, but not identifying as a woman.

Maybe that person thinks of themselves as not — “noun-self” pronouns such as “bunself” or “kittenself” could be used.

The school warns about “how divisive pronoun assumptions can be for many individuals.”

Let's examine the ways this could be dangerous.

You won't be able to tell the meaning of someone's pronouns simply by looking them up. We often make assumptions regarding the gender and pronouns of someone else from their appearance or their name. This isn't always the case.

The act of thinking (even if it is true) could send a harmful message that individuals must dress in a certain way in order to show the gender they belong to or don’t.

If someone is addressed by the wrong name, it could cause the person to feel disregarded, unimportant, disengaged, or even injured. This will determine in only a couple of minutes whether they feel valued in CSUN as well.

The sharing of our pronouns and correctly using pronouns from other people establishes a tone of inclusivity. It could be the most important thing particularly for new community members who might be particularly at risk in a new setting.

Many students may be talking pronouns at the beginning, and this is a great learning experience for members of the CSUN community. You'll be setting examples for colleagues.

Pronouns are listed in the list included, along with the warning that “there are no ‘male/female,' ‘man/woman' or ‘feminine/masculine' pronouns. All pronouns can be used for any gender.”

Students can choose “Ey,” “He,” “Per,” “She,” “TheyThem,” “Ve,” “Xe” and “Ze” for consideration.

Examples of sentences:

Ey loves emself.

He is very fond of himself.

Per loves perself.

She is a lover of herself.

They believe in themselves.

Ve loves verself.

Xe is in love with xemself.

Ze is self-confident.

Ze trusts zirself.

Certain folx do not allow the use of pronouns to describe them:

Taylor believes in Taylor's self.

To be clear, don't worry about it:

Don't be worried about pronunciation! There are a few most commonly used pronunciations for these pronouns, there are a variety of variations, so it's recommended to inquire about which way the individual pronounces them.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the instructions is that, as pronouns are usually used to hide the persons who they are referring to and the person who is using them will never be able to tell what you've said.

However, the FAQs section addresses the issue “What if I make a mistake?”

It occurs. Everyone makes a mistake! We suggest making use of R.A.M. (Relax, Apologize, Move on). Trans people often carry the burden of relieving the pain and embarrassment of transgender people. Do not overly apologize or focus on you or how difficult it is to master new pronouns. Make a simple apology, make improvements, and use the correct pronoun next time.

When everyone uses their unique pronoun combination and communication styles we're set to become the most complicated society on earth -Check out my example of the new normal we're recommending here.

But so goes progress.

If you're planning to attend CSUN make sure you set aside some time to learn for yourself — there's a lot to be done.

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