Gender Pronouns

Gender pronouns are third-person pronouns that reference the gender of the person being spoken about. English stands among only a handful of human languages with gendered third-person pronouns. The most common English examples are she/her and he/him; if we are recounting a story about someone and use one of these pronouns in place of that person’s name, a listener would infer that person’s gender. This is an automatic, yet far-reaching inference that now informs the listener’s interpretation of the story: whether its events are typical, or atypical, for people like that; how the person may have acted otherwise; what the listener themself might have done in that situation; and so on. Due to the gendered significance of pronouns in English, many trans people’s social transition ...

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