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orthohawk (User's profile) June 9, 2015, 4:29:46 AM
Tempodivalse:No, I never said tnon-binary genders are a non-issue. What I said (perhaps unclearly) is that there are not enough non-binary people out there to be a strong enough catalyst to cause languages to make up a gender-neutral pronoun if they don't have one to begin with (as do Finnish and Turkish and Hawai'ian, et al.)Up until Political Correctness turned everyone's brain to mush and made the phrase "free speech" a meaningless one, absent a DNA test, anyone with a penis was considered male, and anyone with a vagina was considered female.but for now, with everything up in the air, I don't think we should lock Esperanto in a Fundamento prisonI was a little confused by this post. It seemed initially you were arguing that non-binary genders are a non-issue we shouldn't care about, but then your last sentence seems to endorse use of ri or similar.
I think it's worth distinguishing between sex (biological) and gender (social). The two usually overlap, but not always. For example, a person may feel that they were born into the wrong body, or otherwise not identify with the social gender roles that their biological sex is expected to play. I don't know much about non-binary genders, but it seems entirely plausible that someone might identify with both genders, or neither gender. Clearly only a small minority of people feel this way, but I think we ought to be sensitive here and not downplay their experiences and feelings.
I don't downplay anyone's experiences and feelings. If Caitlyn Jenner wants to be referred to as "she" then I'll do that. But I will NOT apologize for not being able to read someone's mind to know what pronoun se prefers. For example, if I see a person who, to me, "looks like a man" but she identifies as a woman, I refuse to accept blame for using the wrong pronoun before I know her preference. Once I know her preference, if I then use the wrong pronoun, then yes, I deserve to be castigated, but not before I know.
As I have stated before, I personally have no problem with "ri" except where it causes someone to start tuening words like "patro", "filo" and "frato" into "parent", "child" and "sibling" etc. For me, "icxism" probably necessitates use of "ri" as "the epicene pronoun" but conversely, "riism" does not necessarily require "icxism". I'm not sure if I said that right, so bear with me.
Red_Rat_Writer (User's profile) June 9, 2015, 5:06:26 AM
1. No one is asking to read a person's mind. You can call a stranger by whatever pronoun you want. No gender is better than the other, so no one should be offended when they're mistaken or referred to as a different gender. If someone does get offended when a stranger refers to them using the wrong pronoun/gender, then that person is oversensitive. However, if someone clearly states their preferred pronoun/gender, and someone continues to use the wrong one, then that can be rude.
So orthohawk, we're pretty much in agreement.
2. Sex organs aren't the only thing that differs between gender. There are other categories that differ.
How men and women are expected to act, ex boys plays with dolls and girls plays with toy guns.
Men typically look a certain way, and women the other, ex women usually have curved eyebrows and men and have straigter ones.
The brains are wired differently.
What hormones are released in the body. For example, men produce more testosterone than women, usually.
So, a person might have a body of a man but a brain wired for women, a man might be want to wear dresses (guilty) or a women might produce a lot of testosterone. These people might want to referred to as a different pronoun for different reasons.
I'm not an expert on the topic, so I'm probably not going to be able to answer a lot of questions, but it might be a good idea to read the wikipedia articles
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_identity_disor... (there's no Esperanto translation of this).
Vestitor (User's profile) June 9, 2015, 10:38:50 AM
What this DOESN'T mean is that a language necessarily discriminates against other cases. There are people who seek gender reassignment - from male to female or vice-versa - and thus move from one pronoun to the other, that one is easy. Then there are shades in-between, but in-between what? Between two options and whatever philosophical complexity people want to put upon it it's either male, female or a scale in-between for when biochemistry doesn't run standard. 'Gender' is really a sociological term for biological aberrations that don't fit into the standard interpretations, which are the majority reality. To say that is not to discriminate or be intolerant.
Ask people what they identify as, even if it changes from day to day, then apply that, because these will be special cases.
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Kirilo81 (User's profile) June 9, 2015, 12:49:20 PM
So what if we try to reach an agreement, that the pronouns refer only to the sexes (the number of which is undisputed) and not necessarily to gender?
Red_Rat_Writer (User's profile) June 9, 2015, 1:40:51 PM
that's an argument against using gender pronouns. Using gender-pronouns is confusing and counterproductive. You can probably guess the sex of a person by simply looking at her, and you can know more about a person's gender by talking to her.
The concept of gender has become extremely blurry in the last few decades yet the pronouns refer to concrete genders.
Can any body make a decent argument on why we should have pronouns refer to gender at all?
Vestitor (User's profile) June 9, 2015, 4:53:55 PM
Kirilo81:if we insist on this identification, we support the heteronormative binary view of the world, don't we?And what's wrong about that?
Understanding and recognizing minority differences shouldn't have to extend to tolerating Sociological claptrap.
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Tempodivalse (User's profile) June 9, 2015, 5:58:55 PM
Vestitor:Understanding and recognizing minority differences shouldn't have to extend to tolerating Sociological claptrap.I don't understand the last part of this sentence. Could you clarify?
The root of the confusion is that it's no longer taken for granted that gender correlates 100% with sex. In 1900 it would have been a non-issue because it was assumed that biological sex = social gender. Now that's no longer the case, and we have to decide if the pronouns refer to a person's biological sex or to gender.
In binary instances, I think it's obvious that one should use the pronoun that corresponds to the individual's identified gender. It's the smallest of courtesies and harms no one.
What is more confusing is: 1) what terms to use when the individual identifies with neither gender; 2) what term to use when gender is unknown.
For 2), I prefer li or tiu - the former has Fundamento support and reflects usage in many major Western languages. 1) is far less obvious, but I think ĝi or tiu covers everything well (as argued here and in similar threads).
Red_Rat_Writer:Can any body make a decent argument on why we should have pronouns refer to gender at all?Precedent - it's just a feature of the language, like it or not. Language is arbitrary. It often doesn't make sense to ask "why" something is a certain way and not another way; it just is. Why should Russian have a locative case at all, when it can be replaced by the prepositional with no loss of clarity (as it is in many nouns already)? The "decent argument" is the same - that's just the way the language is. Unsatisfying, perhaps, but languages don't work on the basis of logic. And yes, Esperanto is the same, now that it has left the stage of "linguistic experiment" and is a living, evolving language along with others.
Also, clarity. It is sometimes helpful to figure out to whom exactly a pronoun is referring to, if there are multiple referents in immediate context.
Vestitor (User's profile) June 9, 2015, 10:58:03 PM
Tempodivalse:I refer to the bit I put into bold; the sort of pseudo-intellectual rubbish that clutters up clarity of thought by positing oppressive power structures in every nook and cranny.Vestitor:Understanding and recognizing minority differences shouldn't have to extend to tolerating Sociological claptrap.I don't understand the last part of this sentence. Could you clarify?
Gender, from a sociological perspective, may have been uprooted from binary sex classifications, but when you face the issue it's an encounter with someone who either claims to be the opposite sex to how they were born, or someone who is uncertain of their place between the two.
The first is an easy solution, you just stop referring to the ex-man (or woman) as a woman (or man). The second is problematic for fuzzier reasons. If the person is biologically a man, you use that denotation, unless the person in question protests, whereupon you then use the one they prefer.
The problem is that I don't even believe that the people in question all feel the same way. There will be many differences and views and approaches. I don't think there is a single set of pronouns that could be agreed upon, or which denote a 'thing' or 'state', and what would it be referring to anyway; when those in gender limbo can't even quantify it themselves with complete agreement?
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Christa627 (User's profile) June 10, 2015, 4:42:30 AM
Tempodivalse:Well, except for Lojban. And it doesn't have gendered pronouns. In fact, it is quite interesting how many more-recently constructed languages don't have them (toki pona, for example).Red_Rat_Writer:Can any body make a decent argument on why we should have pronouns refer to gender at all?Precedent - it's just a feature of the language, like it or not. Language is arbitrary. It often doesn't make sense to ask "why" something is a certain way and not another way; it just is. Why should Russian have a locative case at all, when it can be replaced by the prepositional with no loss of clarity (as it is in many nouns already)? The "decent argument" is the same - that's just the way the language is. Unsatisfying, perhaps, but languages don't work on the basis of logic.