The Station Wagon podcast: Seattle - Snoqualmie - Olympia: Episode 8: Giving up Gendered Pronouns

Friday, November 13, 2015

Episode 8: Giving up Gendered Pronouns

Giving up Gendered Pronouns. Yup – we did. (at least we tried). Spoiler alert (there’s one he and one she in this podcast).


Old English
Grammatical gender for inanimate objects.
Old English
Grammatical gender for inanimate objects disappears. Too many different languages being spoken with different gender for each object made it confusing.
Middle English
Started using the gender neutral pronoun ‘a’. This was used instead of the gendered pronouns and could refer to either Gender.
First Grammarian to propose ‘he’ as default for both genders.
Anne Fisher’s A New Grammar
Pronouns Invented for non-gendered usage (a partial list). “ Like most efforts at language reform, these well-intended suggestions have been largely ignored by the general English-speaking public, and the project to supplement the English pronoun system has proved to be an ongoing exercise in futility.” link.

thon, himer



shim, shims, shimself




Aug 2015
University of Tennessee Knoxville
The University of Tennessee Office for Diversity and Inclusion is asking students and faculty to use the pronouns in order to create a more inclusive campus.
Sep 2015
University of Tennessee Knoxville
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, under orders by the head of the University of Tennessee System, on Friday removed from its website a guide to pronouns that many transgender people prefer.
Oct 2015
Tulane University
Tulane University is offering students the chance to provide a preferred first name and gender pronoun by which they would like to be identified. The process is intended to support transgender and international students, as well as those who do not go by their legal first name as listed in the student information system.


  1. Definition of pronouns
  2. Definition of gendered
  3. List of pronouns
  4. Support for Marc being wrankled by the default ‘he’
  5. Non gendered ‘a’
  6. Dates when pronouns were introduced
  7. UT Knoxville encourages students to use gender-neutral pronouns
  8. Fear of New Pronouns
  9. Tulane students can now provide preferred gender pronouns
  10. This Is What ‘Cisgender’ Means
  11. Bukiet, M. J. (2015). What’s your pronoun? Chronicle of Higher Education, 62(4), p. 23.  
  12. Hagan, D. B. & Galupo, M. (2014). Trans individuals’ experiences of gendered language with health care providers: recommendations for practitioners. International Journal of Transgenderism, 15(1), 16-34.
  13. Prewitt-Freilino, J. L., Caswell, T. A., & Laakso, E. K. (2011). The gendering of language: a comparison of gender equality in countries with gendered, natural gender, and genderless languages. Sex Roles, 66(3-4). doi: 10.1007/s11199-011-0083-5.
  14. Sarrasin, O., Gabriel, U. & Gygax, P. (2012). Sexism and attitudes toward gender-neutral language: The case of English, French, and German. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 71(3), 113-24.
  15. Senden, M. G., B├Ąck, E. A. & Lindqvist, A. (2015). Introducing a gender-neutral pronoun in a natural gender language: the influence of time on attitudes and behavior. Frontiers in Psychology,  6(1).
  16. Stout, J. G. (2011). When he doesn’t mean you: gender-exclusive language as ostracism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(6), 757-69.
  17. Thomson, R., Murachver, T., & Green, J. (2001). Where is the gender in gendered language? Psychological Science, 12(2), 171-5. doi: 10.1111/1467-9280.00329