Will I believe that it's always ok to refer to people with gender-neutral pronouns at the end of 2023?
91%
chance

Right now, I'm of the opinion that referring to someone as "they/them" is always acceptible, and that anyone who gets upset that I'm using gender-neutral pronouns for them is making an unreasonable demand.

Sometimes I will follow such a request as a courtesy to a friend or to avoid drama, but I don't think it's ethically required and I'm happy to refuse whenever I feel like it.

This market resolves to YES if that is still a reasonably-accurate description of my belief at the end of 2023. Otherwise it resolves to NO.

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MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
bought Ṁ20 of NO

I think this turns on what you are communicating with "they/them".

There are people who openly and exclusively use neutral pronouns for people who don't pass as the gender they are trying to pass as, and going around telling people they don't pass seems clearly rude and not okay.

You seem nice and I expect you are not being rude, but the market is on whether it is "always okay", and there are plenty of not okay people out there. So buying some NO.

IsaacKing avatar
Isaac King
is predicting YES at 90%

@MartinRandall Yeah, that's one of the more interesting cases. If I refer to everyone as they/them, it seems hard to complain about that. But if I refer to cis people with gendered pronouns, while referring to trans people as they/them, then I'm clearly treating them as different, and I could understand being upset about that.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
is predicting NO at 90%

@IsaacKing Right. Other examples that I've run into in darker corners of the internet:
- someone uses they/them pronouns exclusively for ugly women.
- someone uses they/them pronouns exclusively for gay men.

I see your disclaimer comment below about "obviously contrived situations", but hopefully you believe me that such people exist in the world and you won't ask me to provide examples.

MartinRandall avatar

In the description should "upset that I'm not using" be "upset that I'm using"?

IsaacKing avatar
Isaac King
is predicting YES at 90%

@MartinRandall Yes, thank you. Fixed.

GustavoMafra avatar

Do you think it is always ok (e.g. in emergency situations) to use a refined version of language with people who are learning English, in ways that could cause confusion and ambiguity?

Would this market resolve to NO if you find that the answer to the title is "no", even if the reason is not because someone got upset at you for using the correct pronoun for them?

IsaacKing avatar
Isaac King
is predicting YES at 90%

@GustavoMafra There are obviously contrived situations where it would not be ok. e.g. someone points a gun at someone else and says "I'll shoot them unless you refer to me with a gendered pronoun". I don't think anything is gained by discussing such out-of-scope hypotheticals.

EliasSchmied avatar

Have you refused to do this before? Have you argued with someone about it? Have you gotten pushback on it by people in your social circle? If not, what's your credence that each of those will happen by the time the market resolves?

EliasSchmied avatar

@EliasSchmied Also, how long have you believed this?

IsaacKing avatar
Isaac King
is predicting YES at 86%

@EliasSchmied I've gotten a bit of pushback, and so far have avoided big arguments over it by switching to gendered pronouns for the person in question. I'd put it at about a 20% chance that such an argument occurs by the end of next year.

I can't recall any time when I concretely had a different opinion.

IsaacKing avatar
Isaac King
is predicting YES at 86%

@EliasSchmied To elaborate, I only started using gender-neutral pronouns for most people a year or two ago. Before that time I didn't have any particular reason to avoid them, I was just used to using gendered pronouns since that's how I learned English and that's what most people around me did. I hadn't put much thought into the topic.

BTE avatar

what are the arguments against this?

IsaacKing avatar
Isaac King
bought Ṁ69 of YES

@BTE From the progressive side, that people's pronoun choices should always be respected, full stop. Some subcultures treat neutral/nonbinary as though it's a third gender, and view referring to someone who identifies as male with neutral pronouns as misgendering.

From the conservative side, that neutral pronouns are a contortion of language being forced upon them by progressives, and gendered pronouns have worked for us just fine for hundreds of years. Neutral pronouns are also linguistically annoying, as they're treated as plural just like a group of people, and they remove some easy ways to tell which pronouns refer to which nouns in a sentence.