Do not call me “it”

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Sierra Sulc, Editor-in-Chief

“It” is a pronoun used to represent an inanimate thing understood, previously mentioned, about to be mentioned, or present in the immediate context.

There is talk among some groups and companies to begin using this word to refer to people who they do not yet know on a personal level, replacing “she” and “he.” This idea is being presented in order to avoid offending the transgender and genderfluid community.

What about the rest of us?

 

Personally, I would be offended if I was referred to as an “it.” It betrays me as if I were some inanimate object and not a human being.

People who identify as transgender make up approximately 0.3% of the US adult population according to a survey done by the Williams Institute. Approximately 3.5% of the US adult population identifies as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

I am all for equal rights for LGBT individuals and I do not think that people’s sexuality should prohibit them from receiving the rights that any other American citizen gets. It is undeniable, however, that this percent of the population is a significant minority.

Ever since the beginning of the English language, the words “he” and “she” have been the pronouns used to describe people. That is just how it has always been. It is also true that within the past few years there has been a number of things that have changed, like the legalization of gay marriage. Society is changing and evolving every day. But is this change in pronouns a change that we as a society want to make? Will this benefit the majority of the population or will it hurt it?

I believe it is completely unreasonable to expect the majority of people to be called something that is offensive just to make sure that 0.3% of the population is not offended. It simply comes down to the age old idea of “majority rules.” I think it is extremely important to have equal rights and equality. But if something is going to negatively affect the majority, is it more fair to offend a small group of people or to offend the majority?

I am not saying that if someone has already corrected you and told you which pronoun they prefer that it is acceptable to continue to call them whatever you please. If someone has specifically explained which pronouns they would like to be addressed as, you should not continue to call them the wrong one. This is just hurtful, offensive, and completely unnecessary.

We should respect and be open to people’s lifestyles, even if their lifestyles are different from ours. But there is a difference between equality and molding our social norms to fit a minute group of people.