Inclusive Language Series: Gender Pronoun

Have you ever seen gender pronouns on a name tag or in an email signature and wondered why they were there or what they mean? Pronouns are often used in place of one’s name. Examples of pronouns include: she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs, ze/hir/hirs, per/per/pers, etc. Using someone’s correct pronouns is one of the best ways to show respect to that person. Many people include their pronouns in their email signature, on their Zoom profile, and share them during their introductions so people know how to refer to them without making assumptions based on their appearance or name.

If you are unsure of someone’s pronouns, you could ask them how they would like to be addressed or referred to. You could also say something similar to the following example: “Hi, my name is Sam and I use they, them, and their pronouns. How about you?” If someone chooses to not share their pronouns with you, that is fine as well, and you should not force a response from them. In this situation, you should refer to them by their name.

If you mistakenly misgender someone it is important to recognize everyone will respond differently to this. As soon as you realize you have made this mistake, be sure to apologize and assure them that you will get it right next time.

To learn more about gender pronouns, how to use them properly, and why they matter, please review the resources listed below.

Resources

University of Wisconsin–Madison, Gender and Sexuality Campus Center

GSCC-Pronoun-guide.pdf (wisc.edu)
Pronouns Matter – Gender and Sexuality Campus Center – UW–Madison (wisc.edu)

University of Wisconsin–Madison, The Writing Center                                                                 

Using Gender-Neutral Pronouns in Academic Writing – The Writing Center – UW–Madison (wisc.edu)

Other

What are Gender Pronouns? Why Do They Matter? | Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (nih.gov)
Pronouns.org Resources on Personal Pronouns
Pronouns / Minus18

Upcoming Holidays & Observances

November 7:  Election Day, a day set by U.S. law for the election of public officials.

November 9–10: Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of the Broken Glass, commemorates the 1938 pogrom against people of the Jewish faith throughout Germany and Vienna.

November 11: Veterans Day, a day that honors military veterans and the U.S. Armed Service

Dates from ADL Calendar of observances