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I’m convinced that Liberals like complicating things that others see pretty simply. For most of us, there are boys and girls, though admittedly I’m not always clear on who is who these days.

But why have simplicity, when you can complicate things. And that’s just what Liberals are doing.

Facebook said a while back that there are over 50 gender classifications. In my wildest imagination, I could only come up with less than 10, and even them, I still only need boy or girl.

We reported recently that you can be sued in New York City for not calling a transgender person by whatever name they choose, or if you happen to call them the wrong gender. The fine for such a transgression (pardon the pun) could be up to $250,000.

If liberals get their way, here is what your children will need to learn about gender pronouns.

 


This table was taken and edited from this Wikipedia page.

Nominative (subject) Objective (object) Possessive determiner Possessive Pronoun Reflexive
Traditional pronouns
He He laughed I called him His eyes gleam That is his He likeshimself
She She laughed I called her Her eyes gleam That is hers She likesherself
It It laughed I called it Its eyes gleam That is its It likes
itself
They They laughed I calledthem Their eyes gleam That is theirs They likethemselves
Invented pronouns
Ne Ne laughed I called nem Nir eyes gleam That is nirs Ne likesnemself
Ve Ve laughed I called ver Vis eyes gleam That is vis Ve likesverself
Spivak Ey laughed I called em Eir eyes gleam That is eirs Ey likes
emself
Ze (or zie) and hir Ze laughed I called hir Hir eyes gleam That is hirs Ze likes hirself
Ze (or zie) and zir Ze laughed I called zir Zir eyes gleam That is zirs Ze likes zirself
Xe Xe laughed I called xem Xyr eyes gleam That is xyrs Xe likesxemself

 

1. Ne/nem/nir/nirs/nemself

Ease of pronunciation: 4/5
Distinction from other pronouns: 4/5
Gender neutrality: 4.5/5

Although relatively obscure, this has become my favorite contender. It follows the formats of existing pronouns while staying more gender-neutral than any but Spivak – you could call it gender-balanced. “Ne” is n+(he or she), “nem” is n+her+him, “nir” isn+him+her. Because it has a different form for each declension, it doesn’t lean towards following male or female patterns – patterns made very obvious when you read works about obviously male characters with female-patterned pronoun forms. The letter “n” itself can stand for “neutral” – a property we are searching for. A reader may be uncertain how to pronounce “ne” at first glance, but pronunciation of the other forms is relatively obvious. One problem when reading aloud is that the “n” sometimes blends with words ending in “n” or “m,” but it didn’t occur as often and wasn’t as problematic as “zir” with words ending in an “s” or “z” sound (see entry #4).

2. Ve/ver/vis/vis/verself

Ease of pronunciation: 4/5
Distinction from other pronouns: 4/5
Gender neutrality: 4/5

“Ve” is another good option, found in some science fiction, without a specific bias towards either gender. The declension is again gender-balanced, being evenly split between forms that resemble “he” and “she.” But it does feel a bit more gender-heavy than “ne” – since “ver” and “vis” directly derive from “her” and “his,” readers are more easily reminded of the gendered forms.  There are some cases where “ve” will bleed with words ending in “f” or “v” sounds, like “of” or “if,” but this wasn’t a problem very often – maybe about as often as with “ne.”

3. Spivak (ey/em/eir/eirs/eirself)

Ease of pronunciation: 4/5
Distinction from other pronouns:2/5
Gender neutrality: 5/5

Spivak is the most gender-free pronoun that parses well in English (as opposed to “ta” or “thon,” which are also gender-free but simply don’t work in the English language), since it derives from “they” rather than from a mix of “he” and “she.” The problem is, not only does it remove the “th” from “they,” it also changes its grammatical structure. Even ‘singular’ they is grammatically plural (i.e. you would say “they were in the building” rather than “they was in the building”), while Spivak is grammatically singular. The claim that the Spivak pronoun is “more natural” to say than other neologisms is undercut by the fact that it doesn’t actually have the same structure as the already-existing forms.

Furthermore, when spoken aloud, not only does “em” sound like “him” in speech, but people already write a plural “them” as em or ’em in informal writing, making the Spivak pronoun more ambiguous.

4. Ze/Hir and its derivatives

(ze/hir/hir/hirs/hirself) (zie/hir/hir/hirs/hirself)
(ze/zir/zir/zirs/zirself) (zie/zir/zir/zirs/zirself)

Ease of pronunciation: 3/5
Distinction from other pronouns: 2/5
Gender neutrality: 2.5/5

“Ze and hir” is the most popular form of gender-free pronoun in the online genderqueer community, derived from the earlier “sie and hir,” which were considered too feminine/female-sounding since “sie” is German for “she” (among other things), and “hir” was a feminine pronoun in Middle English. The current forms are still leaning on feminine, by using the same declensions as “she.” “Hir,” although it’s supposed to be pronounced “here,” is read as “her” by many people unfamiliar with the term, and the less-gendered alternative, “zir,” along with “ze” itself, often runs into problems when it follows a word ending in an “s” or “z” (or “th”) sound, sometimes sounding just like “her” and “he.” For example, read this sentence aloud: “As ze looked up at the stars, ze realized that this was zir favorite moment of them all.” This isn’t as much of a problem with “ze,” which doesn’t follow words ending in s/z terribly often, but the problem occurs much more often with “zir” than it did with any of the declensions of “ne” or “ve.”

5. Xe/xem/xyr/xyrs/xemself

Ease of pronunciation: 2/5
Distinction from other pronouns: 2.5/5
Gender neutrality: 3/5

“Xe,” it turns out, is supposed to be pronounced the same as “ze” – apparently it was an aesthetic change in order to distance the pronoun from its “sie/hir” roots one step further. It also balances the genders in the way “ze” does not – but it runs into the same pronunciation problems when following words ending in “s” or “z” sounds, and the pronunciation is much more difficult to guess at – I assumed the “x” would be pronounced “sh” or “ks,” which would be either much too gendered or much too unpronounceable to even be considered. All in all, it has slight advantages over zie/hir in its gender-neutrality, but it keeps the same difficulties in pronunciation and is even more difficult to read than the original.

 

Honorable Mention: Shklee (links to YouTube)

It’s nearly impossible to pronounce, but that’s kind of the point. Used in the Futurama film The Beast With A Billion Backs, it was the pronoun used for Yivo, a planet-sized alien of indeterminate gender. Years ago when I first started searching for and asking about gender-neutral pronouns, there were cases when this was the only gender-neutral pronoun anyone was aware of.

 



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