First I’ll state two things:
- I speak for myself
- I don’t give a damn about pretty much all the LGBT + herb and spices stuff
Despite of that I often use gender neutral pronouns. That begs the question : “Why ?”
First, some context
I’m french, in french every word has a gender, it kinda sound stupid when you state it out loud, but I’ll point to only English native speaker (and those who natively speak a language not using that feature) that are not aware of it, that it’s quite common across spoken langages.
Also in french the 3rd person is gendered being singular or plural.
That means that when I speak or write in french I must deal with using gender even when speaking about things that are obviously genderless. So I’m quite used to it : it’s my native language so you internalize that kind of stuff.
But since I communicate in English a lot if not more than in French, I’m also used to the English language features. And when it comes to something related to the subject of this post, the 3rd person “it” is something quite nice. You don’t need to bother about what gender you should use for that genderless thing. That helps a lot in the blending process. The mistakes due to the quirks and strange rules of a language it’s often how I spot non-native speaker or writer so the less they are needed for day to day the less it’s obvious.
So “it” is a thing.
Now I must introduce an other fact : I work creating an erotic game, shocker right ?
What that mean is that I keep myself up to date with other game and more so with other erotic games (pro tip: it’s never as easy to pretext that you are doing research playing erotic games that when you are a erotic game maker, because even if you are not only researching it still true). So I’m exposed to a shit ton a fetish (rarely the other way around but still) that I doesn’t share and occasionally some I can barely stand. But erotic games games are still games, if you cannot fap, you might can still enjoy playing.
Anyway I’m exposed to fetish that I don’t share and frankly don’t care about, but I’m not a savage and more importantly as I said I don’t care (a recurreing theme about me as you may have guessed), I have no reason to bash something I don’t care about. So I can live in harmony with other fetishes.
So by my work I will speak to people that doesn’t have the same interest as me and they may declare it. But I will still have to communicate with and talk about them. So how do I do that ?
Laziness and Apathy
So how would you call someone that you don’t know, with the most precision, without making mistakes (because you really don’t like to do mistakes) ?
You simply go for the more generic pronoun you can find. And since “it” is used to object (and while there is probably a fetish for constant objectification, I have yet to meet something that is into it, but I would sure be curious to talk about that to it). So “they” is quite handy in that context.
As a lazy and apathic person as well as a programmer I could not be more pleased with a gender agnostic pronoun. English is already way easier to deal with than French since that “the” or “a” doesn’t indicate the gender of the noun it is used before. But here using “they” allow for a complete lack of any kind of management of gender for character, it’s perfect.
So with that how I see the choices from here :
- Use “he”, “she” and “they”, not simplifying for now but as it gets accepted it might, in the long run, it doesn’t cost much to implement either so after all why not
- Use only “they” and explain that it’s because
you are lazyis simpler while still fitting all
- Use only “they” and not give a fuck
It’s not about ideology (for me, remember)
For me at least it’s not about ideology, and I’ll see “they” as that when I will look at any piece of software or rule defined system. It’s simpler when precision is not needed.
If a programmer voice themself about it being because it’s because of their ideology then any backlash they will suffer is perfectly justified, because they went for the ideology first. If not, please users don’t assume their ideology 🙃.
But for me it’s simply more practical and it doesn’t harm me to use it, so I do.
Bonus point :
While it may trigger some antis, at least they would be wrong since they would target an alleged ideology of mine, while the triggered pros would try to push me do something for the sake of an ideology I don’t share while I would not bother them using it.
The anti are against ‘A’, while the pros are against ‘not A’. The pros are against a larger group than the antis because the antis are not be against ‘B’ while the pros are because ‘B’ is not ‘A’.
Next week I will talk about veganism.
Nah, joking, I could be it’s too off topic.