Philosophers Robin Dembroff and Daniel Wodak on “He”, “She”, and “They”


Op-Ed here.

2 responses to “Philosophers Robin Dembroff and Daniel Wodak on “He”, “She”, and “They”

  1. I think every person has a right to choose and express themselves freely but the word “they” is already used as a term to describe a group of people. So of course people will feel uncomfortable changing the definition of the word, perhaps a possible solution would be to have a different word to define the unknown gender of an individual. The word “they” will soon gain a different perspective and will probably gain even more controversy on how people would use the word “they” in different manners. People who identify themselves either male or female at birth would find the usage of the word much difficult to use in that aspect, trying not to offend anyone or even assume anyone as “they” in that retrospect.


  2. This article provides two key points that I believe are persuasive in motivating the idea that refusing to use a non-gendered pronoun does not accomplish anything ideologically. I believe the most convincing idea is that they is already used as a singular gender-neutral pronoun, as in the door case. If we already use they to describe someone whose gender is unknown, regardless if it is non-binary, it seems that the same could be done for a non-binary person without any ideological repercussions. Secondly, the fact that they does not designate someone as non-binary, that it simply refers to a person without employing their gender, is a strong point. Calling a self-identifying man they would not create connotations of a non binary gender, and thus the word they does not do any work in classifying a persons gender or lack thereof. These two points provide evidence that using the word they does not create the widespread harm that some are apprehensive of.


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