Why I won’t use “your” pronouns (video transcript)

This video is proving to be one of my most popular and I have been asked to provide the transcript. Here it is – I have not included the supporting evidence in the form of screenshots and video clips that I show in the video. 

Pronouns are part of language. If we are to speak naturally, we use pronouns. We use ‘he’ and ‘she’ about people even when we are in their company. I sometimes see people saying they don’t talk about people in front of them so it’s not an issue. but think about it next time you are in a group, interacting. You’ll find it is impossible to avoid using he or she about someone present, at least some of the time. It’s not something we can avoid doing.

But we don’t have our own pronouns any more than we have our own verbs or adjectives. People refer to me as ‘she’ and ‘her’ because they can see that I’m a woman or they refer to me ‘he’ and ‘him’ because they can see that I’m a woman and they think it will upset me for some unfathomable reason. But I don’t own the pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’ any more than I own the adjectives ‘brilliant’ and ‘fabulous’. It is other people’s choice how they refer to me – not mine.

If you expect me to use the terms ‘transwomen’ and ‘transmen’ and to refer to men who call themselves transwomen as ‘she’ and to women who call themselves transmen as ‘he’, then you are expecting me to go along with a falsehood.

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