Review – A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns

Posted June 19, 2018 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them PronounsA Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them, Archie Bongiovanni, Tristan Jimerson

Received to review via Netgalley

A lot of people now use gender-neutral pronouns, and singular ‘they’ is one of the more universal and (to my mind) easy to adjust to choices. Not that I object to zie/hir on principle (though some people do because those pronouns sound like gendered pronouns in their own language; this is not a personal bother of mine, but I keep it in mind), but ‘they’ is already something we know how to use, and they doesn’t always have to mean plural (despite what people say). This is basically a guide focused on how to respect the pronoun choices of people who identify as non-binary… or just want to use neutral pronouns for reasons of their own. It’s an easy and simple read, though I find myself wondering if the people who could really use the education would ever bother to read it.

It’s also… not 100% right. There’s a whole bit about how saying “preferred pronouns” is disrespectful. I totally understand that argument — most people don’t prefer to be called she/her, they are a she/her — but I hesitate about it too because people to whom it doesn’t apply tend to take that too far. I’ve been scolded for saying I personally have preferred pronouns, even though that’s the case. I use they/them in some contexts, and refer to them as my “preferred” pronouns, because they are. However, nobody who meets me in real life is ever going to think there’s any grounds for ambiguity, and I don’t mind it in that context; it’s all about context for me and what’s comfortable in a given place/time. Often online I just let people make whatever assumption they want: it doesn’t matter to me, and I don’t usually have strong feelings either way (unless someone is being sexist or something). But still: at the end of it, they/them/their are my preferred pronouns by default.

So yeah, don’t go thinking this book is the bible of gender-neutral pronouns and can’t be wrong. But otherwise, it’s a good resource for explaining to someone willing to learn. The art it nothing special, but the expressions, etc, add some humour and flavour to it.

Rating: 4/5

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