And here is your pronoun badge

Oh good grief.

Edinburgh University student union officials will hand out pronoun badges to freshers so they know whether to refer to each other as “he”, “she” or “they”.

The move is intended to avoid any potential “misgendering” of non-binary or transgender students who may display the physical attributes of one gender, while associating more closely with another or none at all.

Or, rather, the move is intended to put the new students on notice that they must keep “gender” on their minds at all times from here on out.

The students’ union also published a guide to pronouns, which explains why it is important to “normalise” the practice of sharing gender pronouns.

“Many people assume that the pronouns they should use for an individual are obvious: people who look like men should be referred to using he/him, and people who look like women should be referred to as she/her,” it says.

The guide explains that making these assumptions can be “frustrating and harmful” for transgender on non-binary students, who may in fact prefer to use gender-neutral pronouns.

Or, rather, making these assumptions can be “frustrating and harmful” for transgender or non-binary students because it means people aren’t paying enough attention to them and their Gender Identity.

“If we choose to make assumptions about which pronouns are correct, we risk misgendering people and/or singling out trans people who want to clarify their pronouns,” it says.

The guide advises that saying you “don’t care” which pronoun is used is offensive, as it “suggests that trans folks are silly for requesting that their pronouns be respected”.

Asking people about their “preferred” pronoun should also be avoided, as it can imply that pronouns are a mere preference rather than a necessity. Using the term “preferred” can also “isolate and alienate” transgender people, it says.

And, to sum up, it would probably be a good idea to turn smartly around and go back where you came from, to seek out a university with a less deranged student union. Good luck with that!

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