But, you’ll probably ask,

What the world needs right now is a damn good explainer on bespoke pronouns, and by god the Good Men Project has provided one. How good they must be. The author is named Jane Sofia Struthers.

I just added a signature to my email. It says: “Jane Struthers (pronouns: she/her/hers)”.

But, you’ll probably ask, since that’s exactly what most people would expect, WHY include them? I was going to call you “she” anyway!

There’s a simple answer. Including your pronouns in your email and social media, even if you ARE gender-binary, is a recognition that the gender binary doesn’t apply to everyone. Even if it DOES apply to me (and it does!) there’s no way, simply by looking at me, that you’d know this. (Yes, despite me wearing a lot of pink and “femme” clothes, I could still be non-binary. Contrary to popular opinion, non-binary people don’t HAVE to dress androgynously!)

Oh that silly popular opinion! Imagine thinking that non-binary people have to dress androgynously – you might as well think frogs have to speak rollerskate.

Ok so there’s no way you would know by looking at Struthers that the gender binary DOES apply to her. She says. I bet there is though. I bet there’s the usual stuff, that’s so automatic we don’t think about it. Almost always we just know, because we always have, from infancy. And if you met Struthers and you didn’t know, what good would including your pronouns in your email and social media do? What, you’re going to say to this mysterious person holding out her his their hand on meeting “Excuse me a minute I have to look you up on social media to find out whether the gender binary applies to you or not”?

So that’s not really what it’s for at all. It can’t very well be, because it makes no sense. So what is it for? Silly question. The usual display of rectitude, of course. “Get me I am genderically enlightened and perfected.”

Including your pronouns is one way for gender-binary people to overcome the hurdles that our gender-binary ancestors have nailed into society. Sure, my pronouns are what a layperson expects. But having them there — simply the act of having them — causes the reader to do a double-take. And ask themself, Why did she include this information? Hopefully, they’ll realize that my pronouns might have been anything.

Naw, chum, they’ll realize you’re a posturing condescending fool, and they’ll find someone better to interact with in email and on social media.

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