Any and all suggestions welcome. I usually revert to option 1.
Stopping the person and saying “Actually, I prefer the male pronoun. Thanks”. If I’d mispronouned someone that’s how I’d like to be told…
Nice- the assertive approach, i like it
Haha I was wondering what I was supposed to do when people use the wrong pronouns. So far I’d just been shooting them dirty looks, which conveys to those around me that the person who mis-pronouned was just teasing. Or something like that ^_^;
yeh that’s a good strategy – i’m never sure if I should say something or not. ’cause if I say something then it’s awkward, and sometimes it’s hard to stop people mid-sentence – but if I don’t then they and the people around won’t know that it’s not right.
i generally go with the looking uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as i feel. mostly because i feel uncomfortable about my discomfort being visible and making others uncomfortable…. Works really badly!
I hope others have better methods which i’m like, actually going to feel comfortable practicing!
Anyway, love you comic! xo
ha! I know exactly that feeling! I feel like I end up wearing all the discomfort, and pretending that I’m not to take care of other people’s feelings. arrgh. so bad.
I’d be tempted to word it slightly stronger than “prefer” – “Actually, correct pronouns for me are male” or something along those lines. If this is challenged or met with surprise, there’s no need to explain, just confirm that male pronouns are correct for you and carry on (with a confident smile if you can manage it).
yeh – that’s a good point, sometimes it’s soo hard to be so direct – but i think the direct approach works best.
I can tell you what not to do. Absolutely do not yell out “it’s HE!” in the middle of a classroom if someone refers to you as “she” when responding to your last comment in a class-wide discussion. It’s really, REALLY awkward.
I used to really suck at dealing with these situations. I could easily and gently correct people who mispronouned my friends, but when it came to myself I just got really insecure and embarrassed. Not to mention it always stung. For classroom situations I usually came out to the professor via email ahead of time and hoped that either the professor or one of my friends in the class would use male pronouns for me first. I usually found that whatever people heard first is what got imprinted on their brains, so to speak. When that didn’t work sometimes I tried to work my gender into my written work when I knew it would be peer-edited. That worked in one of my English classes so at least everyone at my table called me “he.”
Hahaha! That’s awesomely awkward!! I think having it written in emails has definitely worked for me in work situations before, and telling someone ahead of time (especially a professor, or a boss) is a really good idea – ’cause then they set the norm.
Send ‘em here!
No, I correct them. Consistently and insistently. I figure eventually they’ll get annoyed enough at me interrupting the conversation to get it right.
nice! consistently and insistently will become a mantra of mine!
It depends on the frequency of the misdemeanour. If it was their first time, I would ask them politely afterwards to use male pronouns. If it was up to their third/fourth time, I’d get snotty and ask that they not use pronouns at all if they couldn’t get it right. This forced them to actually think about what they were saying and usually get it right, as using the right pronoun is easier than using no pronouns at all.
yeh – i used to avoid pronouns for Joe in social situations and it is SOOOO hard to do. It made me realise just how often we use pronouns
Agree with the above (nix’s point) in almost all situations of pointing out ignorance, not just with pronouns. This is how I get people to stop spouting misogyny/racism/heteronormativity/fathatred/transhatred… get so angry and disrupt their jolly little conversation so much that they never mention it again, regardless of whether they’ve actually taken anything in.
Noted, I’ve got a great deal of cis privilege to do that with. That said, I will gladly yell at people for you if the occasion should arise…
haha yes please!
I like the have a sign – I do in fact have this sign on my desk at work,
but when people still get it wrong I’d point them to this essay on the matter by Dean Spade
oh cool! I love dean spade!! (PS got DUDE in the mail the other day – it’s AMAZING!!)
I have now read allll of your comics to date!
Also I should bring a sign like the one in panel three to my in-laws’ house.
Hoorah! Hope you liked them! And best of luck with the in-laws!!!
Ugh, this must be so awkward and yucky feeling. I’ve never experienced it firsthand, but this is why I always refer to people by the pronouns of the gender they’re presenting.
Not that that’s always infallible. I had one person I called “sir” while working in retail that turned out to just be a crossdressing female with short hair. But in retrospect, she was probably bothered a lot less by my, “Oh, I’m sorry, miss,” than she would have been had she been a transman that I misgendered.
I hope. Being an ally is a learning game.
Oh yeh – pronouns are really tricky things! Joe works in an alternative op shop at the moment and has experienced lots of shoppers who he doesn’t know what title to give them. It can be fun, but also really tricky sometimes playing the pronoun game.
I’ve had times where I just had to turn to the person and be like, “..I’m really sorry. I have no idea what to do with you pronoun-wise. Please help me.”
“See, this is why I ask.”
“I would have told you before, but it was entertaining to me to watch you struggle.”
I think the best way to do it would be to say “uh, I’m a guy” or something along those lines, if you prefer binary pronouns, because the phrase “I prefer X pronouns” or “my pronouns are X” tends to sound really, really odd to people who don’t know anything about trans* issues, and if you just tell them you’re a guy rather than telling them your pronouns, they’re more likely to get it through their head.
Most people, I’ve found, are generally really horrified when they’ve gotten someone’s gender wrong, or assumed wrongly, but if they think they’ve just gotten your pronouns wrong (and the two don’t connect in their head), then it seems less urgent and dire. Pronouns are words we’ve used so much and so long that we don’t tend to connect them with gender unless we’re actively thinking about it, and correcting someone’s pronoun usage will stick less than correcting their gender assumptions.
Note that this really only works when you’re using binary pronouns, because I’ve yet to find a good way to correct anyone’s usage towards nonbinary pronouns. :\
Good point – gender correction, as opposed to pronoun correction. I have never figured out how to have a non-awkward conversation about non-binary pronouns, however.
I usually wan’t to do one of #2-4, but only manage to do #1. Correcting people when someone else’s pronouns have been messed up is easy for me, so the answer – when possible, have an ally who will correct people for you.
I usually want to do one of #2-4, but only manage to do #1. Correcting people when someone else’s pronouns have been messed up is easy for me, so the answer – when possible, have an ally who will correct people for you.
I really think ally is the BEST way ever. I’ve appointed people pronoun cops for me before and it’s worked out really well
I prefer “they”, but when speaking even I sometimes slip up (when using it for other people or myself–though I’m getting better) because I’m not used to hearing it as a singular pronoun, and what I hear other people say affects how I tend to speak. But I really dislike being called “she” (at the same time, I don’t want to tell people to use “he” because I’m not a man, and that would also probably get annoying if I heard it too much).
Because even I have trouble saying “they” consistently, I feel like I don’t have the right to correct people too much, so I wait until it starts to bother me (which is probably particularly ineffective -__-;). My mom tries, so I especially feel bad about correcting her, so I don’t do it every time I hear “she” (and tend to thank her when she uses the right pronoun, which I feel I shouldn’t have to do but know will make her feel better about working to change her habits so I do it anyway XP), and whenever I mention it to my dad he gets annoyed (even though I’ve never heard him use the right pronoun). I almost never mention it to my friends or correct them (a lot of them know I’m gender neutral, but I don’t know whether any of them use “they”. I mostly hear “she”).
The looking uncomfortable thing is something I do sometimes, and I feel like I ought to step it up and make really weird faces whenever someone mis-pronouns me instead of just narrowing my eyes at them XD.
Tempted to mis-pronoun anyone I hear using the wrong pronoun as well, but that seems overly indirect and obnoxious XP.
It’s sometimes even harder to break patterns of using either he or she and replacing it with they – I’m pretty bad at it myself, but actually really love ‘they’ as a pronoun. I hope that more people use they for you in the future, because they is awesome
Thanks =D. Hopefully it will become commonly used as a singular pronoun within my lifetime *crosses fingers*.
It’s definitely becoming more and more used, I think.
Re 3) I totally have a badge with they written on it. (several, actually, as they’re made of cardboard and keep dying).
I get mispronouned pretty much constantly around my gaming table (though I tend to let it slide during Vampire as it’s so unclear much of the time whether they’re talking about me or Manuel) and ended up just going “right, I know how I can save some time, and be pointedly snarky about it!”.
Otherwise I tend to interrupt people at the ends of their sentences until they get the point. To date, only two people not from IRC have just immediately snapped to and gone at it, so I rarely hold high hopes >_>
(Incidentally on that note, I guess trying to engage them in text might help? There’s a lot more chance to refer to yourself in the third person, but it’s a weird situation to deliberately construe…)
But yeah I am hella sick of ‘but I need more tiiime stop having a go at meeee~’. I get it, people fuck up, that doesn’t mean I’m going to *stop trying* to make you get it right, the fuck kind of sense does that make?
Though better than my sister going variously ‘butgenderisn’trealwahwahireadtheinsertofagenderstudiesbookletonce’, ‘but you can’t use they in the definite!’ and ‘oh whatever I’ll just call you he when you’re not there’. ¬___________¬
That last point linking in finally to the most unpleasant part of it to me (and I suspect a lot of people): the idea that if I wasn’t there, you wouldn’t ever get it right.
And imma shut up now >_>
Yeh – badges are definitely a helpful reminder… but it’s so hard in regards to when you’re not there – because you can only correct people when you ARE there – and it’s then up to them to be respectful when you’re not. Sigh. I don’t think that made sense – but I don’t know how to write to make it make sense :S
I usually give them The Look that clearly says I’m not amused. Sometimes I will correct them. I’m fortunate that it doesn’t happen all that often anymore.
Yay! Glad it doesn’t happen that much any more! I don’t think I’m confident enough to give them The Look yet.
The Look does take having confidence.
If I’m particularly annoyed I’ll use The Voice. It’s amazing what switching to a deep baritone / bass voice will do when one looks particularly femme. I would imagine that FtM the voice is awkward until hormones do their job.
I agree with Anshin, it’s really easy to forget that people that aren’t well versed in LGBTQ issues probably haven’t thought about pronouns in a very long time.
I does occasionally happen to cis gendered people who look a bit more androgynous and due to clothes or an innocent mistake get mispronouned, and when that happens they’ll just say something along the lines of “actually I’m a guy/girl”
yeh totally, I guess that’s why it’s important to be gentle with people, ’cause while you might have it happen to you heaps, they might not even know what pronouns mean.
Firm, clear “He. I am a male.” Polite, small smile if you can muster it. generaly its an honest mistake. In my experience people get *really* flustered and apologetic if you just clearly correct them. And heres the kicker- even if the first couple of times you were too embarassed or flustered or hurt to say anything, not a single person has gone ‘But wait, you didn;t correct me before’.
They just take the correction, and move on. Best of luck, hon…
Oh that’s a really good point, I always feel guilty for not correcting people ’cause I think they’ll tell me off if I start doing it in the future – but, really, people won’t do that.
I’ve done the uncomfortable looks and at one point worn a sign when it comes to my family who flat out refuse. Then if they keep doing it…well I have cried when I went home.
Ah sad to hear that not even the sign worked – crying is definitely a key component in dealing with being mis-pronouned
I’m more of a “get really mad” or “pretend i didn’t hear it” kinda person
pretending it never happened is a coping strategy I try to use, but mostly then I start obsessing about it.
Any time there’s a pronoun misfire I switch to a fake British accent and demand usage of the royal ‘we’. If it doesn’t get a laugh then just go awkwardly quiet before softly clapping your hands together and batmanning it out of the room.
“We are outraged that you, an educated person as yourself, would fumble so terribly in the addressing of our royal personage…”
Ok, not really…but c’mon it would make for some pretty interesting conversations.
hahahahaha! That’s so awesome. I can totally imagine doing that, and then calling myself Sir Samuel S. Snodgrass.
Don’t you mean MISS-pronounced?
Clearing your throat or making fake hair-ball/ cough sounds is my approach.
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