Zie & Hir

Feel free to use Zie & Hir as your band’s name. It just sounds too cool.

I learned about gender-neutral pronouns in a college class, and instantly felt grateful that there is a way to describe people where everyone is not automatically described as male.

According to Wikipedia, “A gender-neutral pronoun is a pronoun that is not associated with any gender.”

In a couple of languages (English, French, Spanish are included) when there is a group of people that includes one male, the entire group is referred to as male. ‘Hey you guys;’ ‘Ellos van;’ and ‘ils sont nos amis;’… (they go; they are our friends, respectively) are examples of this issue. Issue? you ask. Female is not the ‘default’ pronoun. This conveys greater importance to males, which is not accurate as all human beings are essentially worthy and wonderful.

One thing I’ve noticed, is that men tend to protest out loud if a group of women and a few men are referred to as ‘ladies’ as if the men have been insulted, yet when the shoe is on the other foot, most women don’t even seem to notice they’ve just been referred to as ‘guys’.

Valid alternatives include ‘Hi folks’ or ‘Would you all…etc’.

Gender neutral pronouns assist in correcting the erroneous sway given to male pronouns by eliminating it. Apparently there are some pronouns which are even more equalizing than Zie and Hir (such as Spivak, Ne, and Ve). Personally I have found it easy to incorporate (with practice, of course!) Zie and Hir into my vocabulary in appropriate situations (when I don’t know whether the person I’m referring to is female or male, when I am not sure what gender the person I’m referring to prefers to express, etc).

How to use: Zie is my friend. I met hir in a college class. Zie spoke of hirself using gender-neutral pronouns, and out of respect for hir values I followed suit.

Here’s a gender-neutral pronouns blog! There is a helpful chart on the blog, which may answer any questions you have. Of course, feel free to ask questions here, also.

I’m feeling good about welcoming gender-neutral pronouns into my vocabulary and yours.

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One thought on “Zie & Hir

  1. Pingback: Love & Marriage (& Responsibility) | Feeling Good About Feminism

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