No doubt

Oh lord, so confused. About those “pronoun badges” offered by the Edinburgh Student Union

While I personally see this as a fantastic step forward on EUSA’s part, the wider reaction on Facebook has been less than encouraging. In a poll, 81 per cent of people (at the time of publishing) said that they don’t think the pronoun badges are a good idea, with only 19 per cent of respondents voting in favour.

While the results of this poll surprised me, many of the comments on both the original article and the poll unfortunately did not. In response to the original article, one Facebook user simply responded with a gif which stated “we need a new plague”. On the poll itself, another user commented “mine better say microwave” and accused someone who argued against them of being “confused about their gender”. Pronoun badges are not just a trans issue, yet the majority of people are using it as an excuse to air their no doubt long held transphobia.

Oh no doubt. No doubt at all. Why? Because they’re transphobes. How do we know? Because they’re transphobic. How do we know? Because of their no doubt long held transphobia. How do we know? Because they’re transphobes. This is easy – tedious, but easy.

As a gender non-conforming butch woman, I’m often mistaken for a man, and I’m often subject to the awkward “uh, actually” conversation that follows. While uncomfortable, as a cis woman (identifying with the gender I was assigned at birth) I know that I’m lucky to be able to correct people and feel safe in doing so.



She says she’s a gender non-conforming butch woman, and then a few words later she says she’s a cis woman, identifying with the gender she was assigned at birth. What sense does that make? Doesn’t “gender non-conforming butch” mean not “identifying with the gender she was assigned at birth”? If you’re gender non-conforming then you’re not identifying with the gender you were assigned at birth.

She actually means sex at birth, but the ideology of this pile of sick is so incoherent she doesn’t realize it.

For many trans people however, correcting people on their pronouns can be terrifying and downright dangerous. By introducing pronoun badges, EUSA is making sure that trans and gender non-conforming students are safer and less likely to receive harassment for their gender presentation.

Is it? Are we sure about that? If “correcting people on their pronouns” can be terrifying and downright dangerous, then why wouldn’t wearing badges announcing one’s pronouns be even more so? The badges turn up no matter what, while participants’ third person pronouns don’t turn up all that regularly in conversation, and when they do it’s not necessarily always the case that they need to be corrected.

It’s important to note these badges are in no way compulsory, but rather a new option for people to take advantage of if they please. The violent reaction makes it seem as if armed EUSA members will be holding people down and tattooing pronouns on them against their will.

The reaction isn’t violent.

Other than that, good piece.

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