This is what a feminist looks like


Like the president of the United States of America.

As you might guess, some are losing it over such a simple, rational statement.

Comments

  1. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Somebody secure enough to be a feminist, and not try to wear something questionable on his head out of vanity. Unlike other folks….

  2. redwood says

    I like Obama a lot, but as with all pols who talk the talk, I want to see them walk the walk. And why didn’t he say this years ago?

  3. ck, the Irate Lump says

    I’ve got to say, I like the new Barack “I don’t give a fuck” Obama over the older Barack “Bipartisanship is important” Obama. He’s saying what needs to be said, and using his veto power more (like H.J.Res.88 which would’ve redefined “fiduciary” from meaning acting solely in the best interests of the beneficiary of an investment plan to also including the best interest of the investment plan providers).

  4. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Sorry, I got that resolution description completely wrong. The Department of Labor wanted to expand which types of investment advisors have a fiduciary obligation to pension and retirement plan providers. Republicans tried to strike the rule expansion, and Obama vetoed that.

  5. mailliw says

    As former Hamburger SV and Germany soccer player Uwe Seeler put it:

    “In our marriage my wife makes all the unimportant decisions and I make all the important decisions. My wife decides which decisions are important and which ones are unimportant.”

  6. dianne says

    Wow. Some of those statements…could the connection between sexism and homophobia be any clearer?

  7. wzrd1 says

    @dianne, this happily married man of 34+ years admits to some homophobia, but knowing that, has well dealt with many peers of same sexual preference persuasion.
    I’ve long been of the opinion that, many boats, each rower has to figure out how to work those oaers.
    As in, what works for me, may not work for you, vive la differenace!
    In a military context, as such was a major component in my half decade and spare change of life, one considers end strength and needless loss of critical personnel. As i ignore DADT and retain end strength.
    As in, I don’t give a tinkerer’s damn if he’s admiring my ass as long as he’s covering my ass in combat.

    I’ve received many a “pass” in my life, both from male and female. Honestly, it built upon m ego. That said, my wife had to advise me on quite a few passes.
    I have enough trouble handling my wife of over 34 years, I don’t desire complications that I’d be incapable of servicing, after all, I’m aging and multiple injuries have accelerated some aspects of aging.
    But, that aging reminds me of combat moralities, some, quite close to me.
    Hence, my legendary drinking quantities.
    Typically, I go through three liters of whiskey per week,in part, due to physical pain and avoidance of opiates by US physicians, in part due to insomnia due to non-opiate pain medications, in part, to not dream and recall some very, very unfortunate experiences.

    BTW, I have one significant firearms collection, they’re historic weapons, target firearms or game earning firearms.
    Oddly, no harmful memories are revived from gutting wild game, thankfully.
    After all, in a familial line well known for high cholesterol and triglycerides, that’s a *really big deal*.
    The majority of the time, I enjoy firing in a slow rate, precision fire competition.
    Although, I’ll admit to hunting with an unloaded firearm. I got there so late in the season, the deer figured out that they were being hunted and moved farther from roads. Deer aren’t bright, but they’re not stupid. They also have one hell of a sense of smell. By the time that high power rifle season opens, it’s past archery season, past black powder season and finally meets opening day for modern firearms.
    Hence, I’m infamous for not even loading the damned thing.
    And in buck season, walking up to touching distance to a doe with a fawn.
    Nearing my mid- 50’s, I have yet to approach appropriate game, in season.
    But, I’ve earned a quite the fair amount of money in competition shooting.
    Against round targets, rather than human shaped targets.
    I had my fill of the latter in war. My preference is to never harm another human again.
    That said, I assume equal desire on the meeting individual.
    My firearms exist only to vansihingly rarely provide meat. The rest, provide prize money.
    Intruders would be greeted with a knife and tomahawk.
    Save, if they threatened my wife. Then, all bets are off.
    I do have this thing about threatening family and I’m *really* good at directing indirect fire and air support.
    Frankly, I prefer peace and quiet. As does my wife, once she learned of my former occupation.

  8. says

    “Of course, in my house, I have no choice”.

    Yeah, in my house as well. ;)

    Hahahahaha! Ball and chain style jokes! But I guess it’s okay because according to one man (PZ) that’s what feminist men (like Obama!) do!

    Because casual misogyny.

  9. says

    Nate Carr: You don’t seem to get it. The point isn’t to say that feminists must look like older men, but that feminism is an inclusive category that includes a diverse people. Feminists don’t look one way, but like all different ways.

    I don’t make “ball and chain” jokes because my marriage is and always has been a partnership between two people.

  10. says

    You didn’t. He did. But he looks like a feminist (according to you). But feel free to mansplain that to me too.

    Wev. Typical “ally” bullshit.

  11. says

    I’m pretty sure it’s not a man or masc-enby’s place to say. I really don’t think it’s a man’s place to nominate another man as a feminist, especially when the man so nominated is making a fucking casually misogynist joke while introducing two women.

    FFS it’s gross enough that you presume the label for yourself.

  12. says

    Nate Carr:

    Not really sure it’s either of ya’ll’s place to say what a feminist looks like > .>

    They aren’t allowed to say what they look like? They are both speaking out as feminists, making the point that there is no cookie cutter ideal of what any given feminist might look like. And before you have yourself another outrage flutter, there have always been feminist men. And throughout the ages, a lot of feminists, regardless of gender, have managed to think and say some stupid shit. That’s a human thing. That’s why we try and learn, and do better.

    Anyroad, I suspect we won’t make peace on this issue, as you’re exclusionary and I’m inclusionary.

  13. says

    Nate Carr:

    or masc-enby’s place to say.

    Interesting that you decided [masculine] non-binary people don’t have a say in this at all. I apologize ahead of time if I’m wrong, but it seems to me there’s a strong scent of bigot wafting about you.

  14. says

    Caine

    Anyroad, I suspect we won’t make peace on this issue, as you’re exclusionary and I’m inclusionary.

    Yeah. I’m pretty exclusionary of “allies” patting themselves on the back for their allyship while making transgressive jokes.

    Such allies. Very wow.

  15. says

    If you think that it’s bigoted to feel that men and male-identified people (like me) don’t have any business assuming the mantle of feminist for themselves then you do you.

  16. dianne says

    I’m pretty sure it’s not a man or masc-enby’s place to say.

    Then can I say that Obama and PZ both look like feminists, if imperfect feminists* who sometimes say and do dumb stuff, to me?

    *Much like every other feminist, regardless of gender or genitalia and every non-feminist human being.

  17. says

    No, it’s OK. By Nate Carr’s criteria, Obama is not a feminist, and I’m not a feminist, and men in general don’t get to decide that they’re feminist, and that’s one fair interpretation of the world that I can accept. From their perspective it’s how we are, and I can’t change it by denying it, or arguing with them. So let it be.

  18. says

    Nate Carr:

    I’m pretty sure it’s not a man or masc-enby’s place to say.

    So you’ve said. We can read, you know. How about you stop repeating yourself, and answer the fucking question? I’ll put it in simple term for you:

    Nate Carr, what do you think a feminist looks like?

    If you cannot actually answer that question, without repeating your little parrot line, perhaps you should shut up.

  19. dianne says

    Is it just me or do we have a person who identifies as male mansplaining the importance of women taking the lead in feminism?

  20. says

    I don’t feel it’s PZ’s place to say who does or does not “look” like a feminist. I specifically called out PZ for that. I did not call out any women or femme enbies for doing so. If my wording in that matter was unclear, then please cite it and I will do my best to fix it here and in the future.

  21. Hj Hornbeck says

    Nate Carr @27:

    I don’t feel it’s PZ’s place to say who does or does not “look” like a feminist.

    Does this mean that you think feminists have a specific appearance? If so, what does it look like? I’m looking to add to my wardrobe.

    Anyway, I think a certain world leader is feeling a little jelly. I would like to call him out on something, though.

    Six themes are on the agenda: economic empowerment; educational opportunity; violence against women; entrepreneurship and innovation; leadership and civic engagement; and health and wellness—”looking at health coverage, preventative care, pregnancy and more.” Speakers will discuss a number of topics to “inspire all of us to take action on June 14th and well after.” The audience is to be made up of advocates and leaders hand-selected by the White House.

    Prenatal care is highlighted in the programming descriptions. Contraceptive coverage is mentioned as part of the Affordable Care Act. Maternal mortality and HIV prevention is discussed as an issue of global health, although these issues remain urgent within the United States as well, with women of color experiencing unconscionable disparities in care. Yet the word “abortion” is nowhere to be found.

    It’s very weird to have him identify as feminist, yet turn a blind eye to one of the biggest issue that feminism deals with.

  22. rietpluim says

    @Nate Carr

    I think I spelled it out pretty clearly?

    No you didn’t. I’m a man, and a feminist, and I do make sexist jokes every now and then. Even my female feminist friends laugh about them, because they know they’re just jokes, not a cover-up for genuine sexism. If Obama says he’s a feminist, I believe he is. You have to come up with something more substantial than that.

  23. says

    I think one thing is clear: feminists don’t make ‘ball and chain’ jokes. That’s also a fair criterion. Although I’d also argue that demanding perfection is self-defeating, but really, there have to be limits to what degree of error you’ll accept. Was Hugo Schwyzer a feminist? He said he was, but he was also doing great harm to women. There’s a continuum of failure, and everyone gets to draw the line where they say, “No, I do not accept you as an ally.”

  24. Vivec says

    I don’t know, I agree that men can be feminists, but I do think it’s ultimately up to women to determine who is or isn’t one. Personally, I don’t identify as one because I have some very big problems with feminism irt my trans-ness, but that’s kind of beside the point.

  25. says

    At no point did I say that PZ or Obama were not feminists. I said it was gross that he assumes the title for himself. I said it was wrong for him to appoint Obama as a feminist, especially using a clip that Obama ends with a ball-and-chain style joke (“Of course, in my household, there is no choice”).

    @Hj Hornbeck

    Does this mean that you think feminists have a specific appearance?

    Do you plan on asking PZ and Obama the same thing?

  26. Saad says

    I thought “this is what a feminist looks like” was supposed to be a reply to the dudebro attitude that 1) men can’t be feminist, 2) feminists men are losers who are trying to get laid, or 3) feminists are “ugly” lesbians.

  27. rietpluim says

    @PZ

    There’s a continuum of failure, and everyone gets to draw the line where they say, “No, I do not accept you as an ally.”

    Fair enough, but I have the impression that Nate is trying to draw the line for you.

    @Vivec

    I do think it’s ultimately up to women to determine who is or isn’t one.

    Which women? Not Mrs. Erdogan I reckon. In the end, there is no authority to appoint the title, and it’s up to feminists to determine who is one, or as PZ puts it: who is your ally. (I do wish more feminists were your ally by the way.)

  28. rietpluim says

    @Nate Carr

    Do you plan on asking PZ and Obama the same thing?

    And what do you think the answer will be? “Like a 54 years old brown man in a suit”?

  29. says

    And what do you think the answer will be? “Like a 54 years old brown man in a suit”?

    Their answers are irrelevant to why I posed that question to Hj Hornbeck.

  30. Vivec says

    I mean, whatever. Like I said, I don’t really have any irons in the fire about feminist identity politics and am not in general a fan of mainstream feminism.

    I do think that, if the term is going to have any real use, any person can’t just declare themselves a feminist and have it be legitimate – otherwise you end up with people that are otherwise misogynists calling themselves feminists for the good PR.

  31. dianne says

    Seriously, it’s weird that this thread has come down to some men arguing about whether or not men should have a say in who is called feminist.

  32. dianne says

    My apologies for misgendering you. I thought by your comments you identified as male.

  33. Vivec says

    Seriously, it’s weird that this thread has come down to some men arguing about whether or not men should have a say in who is called feminist.

    Yeah, adding onto that, I’m also not a man.

  34. dianne says

    Likewise, my apologies for misgendering you, vivec. Do you mind saying how you identify?

  35. gmacs says

    Wait, do I have to assume myself to not have any tendencies toward sexism to identify as a feminist now? Shit. I thought I had to recognize them and try to correct them.

    Well, I’m fucked. I actually caught myself mansplaining the concept of mansplaining a couple weeks ago.

  36. Hj Hornbeck says

    Nate Carr@32:

    Do you plan on asking PZ and Obama the same thing?

    That depends: would their answer change yours? If no, then no.

    PZ Myers @30:

    I think one thing is clear: feminists don’t make ‘ball and chain’ jokes. That’s also a fair criterion.

    I disagree, it’s too much into “true feminists don’t wear lipstick” territory for my taste. One of my feminist professors mentioned they shared sexist jokes ironically with one another. Should we disclaim the entire women’s studies department at my university, based on that criteria? Or should we let a sexist joke slide when the person in question is using their influence to hold the first-ever multi-day summit on feminism at the White House?

  37. says

    Pronoun choices lead to interesting dilemmas. I’ve been finding myself defaulting more and more to “they/them”, because they’re usually safe and make no assumptions. And then when I actually say “he” or “she”, I feel like suddenly I’m making a strong announcement about their sexual identity. “He, a person who has sex in the male role, took out the garbage this morning.” “She, a sexual being with an interest in fucking, fed the cat before going to work.”

    Gendered pronouns are actually kind of intrusive when you think about it.

  38. Saad says

    PZ, #48

    … when I actually say “he” or “she”, I feel like suddenly I’m making a strong announcement about their sexual identity. “He, a person who has sex in the male role, took out the garbage this morning.” “She, a sexual being with an interest in fucking, fed the cat before going to work.”

    Great. Now I feel the same way about it too all of a sudden.

    Things are about to get real awkward.

  39. says

    #47: That’s Nate Carr’s criterion, not mine, obviously not yours. But as I’ve said a few times here, different people can use different metrics, and they can put the boundary line where they want.

    I am not in a contest to make the most people vote that I, or Obama, are feminist enough. It’s reasonable to decide that no one, especially not us older generation steeped in a lot of default sexism, is feminist enough.

  40. dianne says

    I could have done without Obama’s little “in my house I have to be” line, myself, but given that I can’t even imagine Dubya or Bill or certainly not Bush I or Reagan ever calling themselves a feminist*, I’m inclined to give him partial credit.

    *Trump I can imagine saying, “I’m a feminist. I’ve got all the best feminism.” But I’d rather not do so. It’s a gross thought.

  41. says

    PZ:

    Gendered pronouns are actually kind of intrusive when you think about it.

    They are, and they carry a lot of baggage. I always think of White’s Sector General novels, and everyone going with it as the default, because of the deep complexities of many species ideas of gender, sex, and more than half of them basically saying what? to human concepts of the same. Most people aren’t okay with that though, so I stick with they/them, especially as half the time, I have no clue as to a person’s gender, even if I’ve been talking with them for years online – that’s certainly the case with a lot of people here at Pharyngula.

  42. dianne says

    Gendered pronouns are actually kind of intrusive when you think about it.

    Most forms that ask for demographic information make information on race optional but demand an answer for gender, often demanding a binary response with no way option for all of the above, other, or none of the above. Which I expect is extremely awkward for non-binary people and an immediate stereotype threat situation for female identified types. Good for cismen, I suppose.

  43. dianne says

    half the time, I have no clue as to a person’s gender, even if I’ve been talking with them for years online

    I’ve noticed that if I use a nym that is not obviously gendered, people immediately and persistently assume that I’m male. Also notable is that when they think I’m male they respond to me more often and more respectfully. Yes, including men and male identified people who consider themselves feminist.

  44. says

    Dianne: I know! I’ve started looking askance at those forms. Why are they asking me what role I play in the bedroom? Are future forms going to include questions about top, bottom, preferred sexual position? Why is this an essential piece of information for an institutional bureaucracy, are they planning to have sex with me?

  45. Hj Hornbeck says

    PZ Myers @50:

    #47: That’s Nate Carr’s criterion, not mine, obviously not yours. But as I’ve said a few times here, different people can use different metrics, and they can put the boundary line where they want.

    I don’t have a problem with fuzzy definitions, but we do need some level of shared commonality otherwise we’re left to shrug our shoulders and accept that Christina Hoff Sommers is a feminist because she calls herself a feminist. This is why I’m dialouging with Nate Carr; we disagree on where to draw the bounds, and I’d like to see our respective arguments so that we (and any lurkers in the thread) can potentially reach more of a shared consensus.

  46. dianne says

    @55: They probably just want to know whether you’re going to need a mammogram or a rectal exam.

  47. dianne says

    I kid, of course. What they really want to know is if you’re a ruler or an underling. Whether they should see you as a potential rival for dominance or someone to screw. But don’t bother listing your favorite position. They could care less about your actual desires, only about what you’re supposed to want/be.

  48. drken says

    The problem with us Straight/Cis/Male types (SCMs? can we make that a thing? We can ironically call ourselves SCuM) calling ourselves feminists is that it’s usually said by somebody using it as a shield against any and all criticism of whatever incredibly sexist thing he’s said this time. I mean, Richard Dawkins considers himself a feminist, but has tweeted out some incredibly sexist things. Bill Simmons says he’s a feminist now that he has a daughter (OK fine, it’s a start, I just smile politely when people tell me this) and to his credit, doesn’t say nearly as many openly hostile things about women as he used to. But I don’t think NOW will be giving him an award any time soon. Is he a feminist? I for one reject the feminist binary and view “no real feminist” stuff as just gatekeeping.

    As for the topic at hand. Calling yourself a feminist is pretty cool thing for a President to say, but using “ball and chain” jokes because they imply you view your wife as a far superior person by virtue of her femininity, is a type of feminism I can do without.

  49. F.O. says

    @Nate Carr: I accept your argument, I think it makes sense.
    However, languages serve a practical purpose.
    If I understand you correctly, you don’t even accept self-description as “feminist ally”.
    What word should we use for someone who is very sympathetic to feminist causes and is putting a genuine effort towards changing themselves?
    Maybe it’s a dumb comparison, but can I call myself “pacifist” if I am not a victim of war?

  50. says

    48. PZ Myers

    Pronoun choices lead to interesting dilemmas.

    I use “he/she” and “her/him”, i.e. alphabetical order.
    I do have a problem with them/they because of the implicit suggestion that there are more than one individuals, and I have trouble enough to such constructions as “a bacteria is” or “bear are omnivores”. It is an important issue for me.

  51. Vivec says

    @62
    As long as you can get over problem long enough not to misgender people like me that do use they/them pronouns, that’s not an issue.

  52. says

    63. Vivec

    As long as you can get over problem long enough not to misgender people like me that do use they/them pronouns, that’s not an issue.

    It is not that simple. I don’t think you’d want to receive inappropriate medical treatment as the result of erroneous information. How we like to self-identify is one thing. How we are from a biological/medical viewpoint is another, and if those conflict, medical treatment may be inappropriate. Enough mistakes are being made by – usually – administrative personnel. Adding other levels of complexity is not of a nature to reduce those mistakes.
    At this very moment, I am confronted with such a thing, not a gender thing, but a race thing. Ignoring/adjusting certain things to personal preference can lead to confusion, and errors, and that is not good.

  53. Vivec says

    Right, but I was referring to your grammatical hangup in regards to they/them pronouns (which is silly, they’ve been used as singular pronouns since Early Modern English at the very least, and colloquially have been used in modern English for centuries)

  54. says

    Bart @ 62:

    I do have a problem with them/they because of the implicit suggestion that there are more than one individuals, and I have trouble enough to such constructions as “a bacteria is” or “bear are omnivores”. It is an important issue for me.

    It might be nice if you could pull your head our of your ass just enough to consider what are important issues to other people. Singular they has been in use since the 14th century.

    Studies have been done:

    A study of whether “singular they” is more “difficult” to understand than gendered pronouns (“In Search of Gender Neutrality: Is Singular They a Cognitively Efficient Substitute for Generic He?” by Foertsch and Gernsbacher) found that “singular they is a cognitively efficient substitute for generic he or she, particularly when the antecedent is nonreferential” (e.g. anybody, a nurse, or a truck driver) rather than referring to a specific person (e.g. a runner I knew or my nurse). Clauses with singular they were read “just as quickly as clauses containing a gendered pronoun that matched the stereotype of the antecedent” (e.g. she for a nurse and he for a truck driver) and “much more quickly than clauses containing a gendered pronoun that went against the gender stereotype of the antecedent”. On the other hand, when the pronoun they was used to refer to known individuals (“referential antecedents, for which the gender was presumably known”, e.g my nurse, that truck driver, a runner I knew), reading was slowed when compared with use of a gendered pronoun consistent with the “stereotypic gender” (e.g. he for a specific truck driver). The study concluded that “… the increased use of singular they is not problematic for the majority of readers”.

    It’s interesting to note that people such as yourself don’t have a problem using the word “you”, even though the original usage was plural only. Language, it’s a living thing, moves along with us humans. You could try to learn something, rather than just settling on it being an issue for you.

  55. rq says

    Bart

    It is an important issue for me.

    Suck it up. Please respect people’s preferences for how they would like to be addressed in an informal, social setting. Nobody’s talking medical care here, and even if they were, it would be 100% between them and their healthcare provider, and none of your beeswax.
    If the word ‘they’ bothers you because of its implied plurality, and the issue is so important to you, then you should also consider using ‘thou’ and ‘thee’ in your every day communications, for consistency and clarity.
    And even then, if someone asks to be referred to as ‘they’ or ‘them’, please respect that. Misgendering kills.

  56. dianne says

    Aha! You let the truth slip out! I knew it, women don’t poop.

    Oh, come now, you know perfectly well that the rectal exam for poop issues has been replaced. If you don’t know by what, get thee to a gastroenterologist and find out. Honestly, the prep’s the worst part.

    The rectal exam is now just for checking out the state of your prostate.

    How we are from a biological/medical viewpoint is another, and if those conflict, medical treatment may be inappropriate.

    This should be a very easy one to avoid. It should be easy enough to tell your provider what pronouns you use and what physical parts you have that need checking. The fact that some people are embarrassed to explain their nonstandard combinations is a failure of society. It should be no more emotionally laden than explaining any other bit of past medical or social history.

  57. says

    65.

    Right, but I was referring to your grammatical hangup in regards to they/them pronouns (which is silly, they’ve been used as singular pronouns since Early Modern English at the very least, and colloquially have been used in modern English for centuries)

    Colloquially, yes. In writing, a hell of a lot less, and far more in “American” (which is how the French tend to refer to the American version of English) than in English.

  58. says

    68. Dianne

    This should be a very easy one to avoid. It should be easy enough to tell your provider what pronouns you use and what physical parts you have that need checking.

    That is not the point. Of course, one *can* explain, and of course, it *should* not be emotionally laden. What I am pointing at, has nothing to do with that. As I said, it adds an extra level of complexity, and if experience is any indication, it *will* sooner or later lead to mistakes, and mistakes in this area can be deadly.
    One hopes that it would never happen, but *if* one is the exception for whom it did happen, one suffers the consequences. Do not forget, it would not be the first time that a patient wakes up to see that her/his wrong leg has been amputated. This is an extraordinarily rare occurrence, luckily, which is why such events are usually world news, but when one is the victim, it is until death, which may be decades away.
    In the future, this will change, and we will simply grow a new leg/other organ in some type of growing chamber and use it to replace the defective/missing one. Unfortunately, this isn’t the future yet, only the present, and this has consequences that are impossible to avoid.

    The fact that some people are embarrassed to explain their nonstandard combinations is a failure of society. It should be no more emotionally laden than explaining any other bit of past medical or social history.

    That is an additional problem, and separate from the one I was trying to evoke. The one I was trying to evoke stands, even if such embarrassment does not exist at all.

    In addition, but this is going way off course, there is also the privacy problem. We live in a society so paranoid that it has decided that the privacy of patients is more important than their health. And yes, I do have emotional and ethical issues with this. So should everyone else, because sooner or later, one may be confronted with personal medical problems as a result of this privacy insanity.

    These issues are very real, I am confronted with them on a daily basis, and I am worried about them. I think those worries are justified.

  59. says

    68. Dianne

    Honestly, the prep’s the worst part.

    Indeed, and when it has not been done properly, it can cause a *lot* of problems. In fact, I just worked on a document yesterday that explained that a proper diagnosis was not possible as a direct consequence of a botched preparation. In this case the patient was the cause because she had ignored the instruction to not eat.

  60. says

    67. rq

    Nobody’s talking medical care here, and even if they were, it would be 100% between them and their healthcare provider, and none of your beeswax.

    I am, and it *is* my beeswax.

  61. dianne says

    In this case the patient was the cause because she had ignored the instruction to not eat.

    Oh, dear. Most people settle for just “forgetting” to take part of the golytely.

    I’m not sure I understand the privacy issue you’re raising properly. Documentation of the patient’s genitalia and other sexually coded characteristics are private medical information, but they can be shared in the same way as any other piece of private medical information when there is a medical necessity. Maybe I’m just missing your point?

  62. rq says

    Bart
    Obviously you are now, but you weren’t originally. Your original problem was discomfort at the thought of using a plural pronoun in reference to a single person. See your own comment 62. In a discussion of people’s personal preferences on pronouns used to address them. The original discussion was not about medical issues, where you seem intent on focusing now. And your beeswax is how you want your medical professional of choice to address you, not how other people choose to have their preferred medical professional address them. Seeing as how my comment came before your medical discussion about how it’s so important for you to be addressed as a specific gender, it’s still not your beeswax about how people prefer to be addressed in social situations.

  63. rq says

    it’s still not your beeswax about how people prefer to be addressed in social situations

    Let me add to that: it’s still on you to respect their preferred terms of address and to use them when addressing them, even if that means some grammatical discomfort on your behalf – but that’s the extent of your beeswax.