Greetings and salutations, human.
That sounds pretty weird, right? What’s even weirder is the way we as a collective culture tend to dance around issues of gender and gender-identifying pronouns.
When I was in high school the use of singular they in a paper - “The author shows this through their use of symbolism” - would be marked as a mistake. Instead, my teachers instructed we write either he, she, or he/she.
The latter of which is particularly sloppy.
Even then, back in the early 00s, the forbidden nature of singular they didn’t make a lot of sense to me. But thankfully times have changed and I’m glad to see that our culture and language are starting to move beyond the strictly gendered language of my youth and into something at least approaching a form of inclusivity that no longer accepts “he” as a catch-all pronoun.
For clarity, a pronoun is a substitute for a noun. In this case, substituting for a person’s name. Common singular pronouns are he/him/his, she/her/hers, and they/them/theirs, though there are various others people use as personal identifiers.
My preferred pronouns are she/her/hers or they/them/theirs. Which means when you’re referring to me in conversation, I’m fine with you saying “she’s a writer,” or “they have an alien-looking dog named Ghost.”
Which brings me back to salutations.
This is where American culture is a bit slower to evolve with the times. Personally, I don’t comfortably identify with titles like Miss, Mrs., or Ms. Part of the reason is how they’re centered around marital status, but also because of the dubious historical context.
Essentially, I didn’t feel like my identity, as both “she” and “they,” fully fit into any of the three female-centric titles. Thankfully, like the singular they, there’s now a fitting salutation for me.
Mx., pronounced like mix or mux, is a gender-neutral title already officially recognized in the UK. In the US? Not so much.
Though, like singular they, it’s only be a matter of time before it catches on.
What about you? What are your preferred pronoun(s) and title?
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