Pronoun Statement to Palomar College Campus:
“Pronouns are an important part of gender identity and a way for people to show respect for people and their gender. Traditionally male pronouns are he/him/his, traditionally female pronouns are she/her/hers. But there are other options for pronouns that people may prefer when the traditional pronouns don’t feel right. These are known as gender neutral or gender inclusive pronouns. Gender inclusive pronouns can seem awkward or unfamiliar to those who are unused to them. But they offer an opportunity for people to find personal pronouns that fit who they are and feel good to them. Pronoun usage matters. Using people’s correct personal pronouns validates and confirms that you see them and that they are respected. Many people feel that alternative pronouns are silly or wrong, but using correct personal pronouns is a very basic way to prevent someone from feeling invalidated and disrespected.”(Fererro, J. Painting the Rainbow)
Tips for Faculty:
- Sharing your pronouns demonstrates that you understand the importance of respectful personal pronoun usage. Add your own pronouns to your email signature, your Zoom nametag, introductions, and include them in your syllabus.
- If you collect information from your students, consider adding space for them to share their pronouns and how they want to be identified. Please note on 8/13/20: the personal pronouns feature was activated on CANVAS. For information on how to use this feature, please visit: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Student-Guide/How-do-I-select-personal-pronouns-in-my-user-account-as-a/ta-p/456
- Avoid using binary gender markers in your materials and documents for your classes. For example, instead of offering limited choices for gender (M/F) or designations (Mr/Mrs/Ms), add space for people to insert their own.
- Consider the language you use to refer to your students. Using terms like “class”, “folks”, or “everyone” will be more inclusive than “ladies and gentlemen”, “guys”, etc.
Resources for Further Information:
- https://www.un.org/en/gender-inclusive-language/guidelines.shtml (United Nations Guide to Gender Inclusive Language in English)
- https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/gender-inclusive-language/ (example of a writing center guide for using Gender Neutral Language in writing from UNC)
Special thanks for the following leaders who contributed to the Pronoun Project at Palomar College:
Cynthia Cordova (she/her/ella)
Abbie Cory (she/her/hers)
Jenny Fererro (she/her/hers)
Susan Miller (she/her/hers)
Patrick Savaiano (he/him/his)
Hossna Sadat Ahadi (she/her/hers)
Charles Mazarakes (he/him/his)
Chris Norcross (he/him/his)