I stumble upon it a little now and then, more often lately through talking with more diverse groups: gender-neutral pronouns. That varying inventions go from somewhat elegant to fairly clumsy, but I must say that this is the first time I got to see one that I find plain ugly!

I'm quite a bit ambivalent about the use of gender-neutral pronouns myself. Sure, I can understand that it's practical, but it also strips us from one not so small thing in the tapestry of what makes us all special and beautiful, our gender.

Sometimes, I wonder if those advocating gender-neutral pronouns do it from a perspective of personal wounds for having been subjected to the stigma that some assign to the gender itself (what's better, a man or a woman? The never ending discussion or attitude (see the typical salary differences in some professions as an example), and complete bollocks if you ask me). I do understand the hurt, but I feel just as hurt if someone wants to strip me of something that is very much part of who I am, and would feel quite offended if anyone referred to me as "xe" in any way in anything but formal text. And it doesn't really help anyone, except for practical purposes when you're tired of writing "he or she", "his or her" and so on.

In the end, I guess it's up to everyone how he or she wants to do things, and this sentence should make my preference quite clear :-).

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