Monday, June 24, 2024

Is gender really that important in every discussion group?

At the start of small group discussions it seems like a lot of time is wasted asking everyone for their name and preferred pronouns. There are other things about each person that's more interesting to me; like someone's quick response to a question about the topic being discussed.

I usually don't remember just names and pronouns where as other topics are more unique and memorable and likely better at starting a discussion.

Pronouns and even names may only matter if one is talking about another person in third person such as "he, she, they, who, was just at the microphone, made a good point." In that case one could maybe always say "they, or that person, sitting over there, made a good point."

Seems like when time is limited, getting to the meat of the topic is more interesting.

In quite a few cases, I've met people once in a group discussion and then never seen the person again. I'll remember the topics, but not the name. If I don't see the person again, it may not matter what name or pronouns they go by.

In some cases, I'll admit, I've known someone for over a year and can pick up a meaningful conversation, where we left off last meeting, but never learned their name. Their ideas and experiences were more unique and meaningful to me.

Much of the rest of it is just "check the category or box" and move on. In many cases people don't fit in a box anyway.

In some cases, people don't feel safe being expected to reveal their gender preference; especially depending on the topic and the nature of the group that is having the a discussion.

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