Talking to some young people about the gender pronoun issue, I shared memories from my college past of almost 40 years ago. Back then, the gay issue was coming out on campus. I also knew quite a few transgender people, but pronouns wasn't a topic that people were discussing. As I remember, there was less anxiety about proper pronouns.
The folks, I was discussing this with, understood and seemed accepting of my perspective.
Back in my college days, I think expectations were lower, but I would like to think that society keeps progressing forward. On the other hand, people may have been just as happy, back then, or maybe even happier back then. Expectations were less demanding.
It's kind of like before electric lightbulbs were invented, folks didn't fret about the inconvenience of not having electric lights. They didn't know what they were missing.
These days, I think the science about gender has progressed, so it's seen as less binary. One now hears about folks who want to be called "they" instead of he or she. The term "gender fluid" was less in the lexicon, back then.
Science has progressed to where gender fluid is more recognized, though most people still identify as either male or female. There are shades of grey that are more recognized today.
The term "they" is kind of awkward. Maybe a new term can be found? They is usually thought of as non singular.
At the same time, I have used the term they to describe one person before. For instance, "I wondered how to get to a certain road so I ask someone how to get there and THEY pointed me in the right direction."
In many cases, gender doesn't matter.
Back in my college days, the big issue was that women didn't want to be called "girls." Often people were corrected when they said "college girls." It's "college women." The term "chick" for woman was totally incorrect.
As I remember, I always did say women and my mom once said, "in this case it's" when I was talking about my nieces that were, then in grade school.
I also remember the attempts to put the word womyn. in the language. It's womyn instead of women. That term less subservient without the "men" in it.
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