Presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently edited her official campaign Twitter bio to specify her “preferred pronouns” as part of an apparent attempt to appeal to younger, more “woke” voters who view gender as a social construct.
As of Thursday, Warren’s Twitter bio stated (emphasis added): “U.S. Senator, former teacher, and candidate for president. Wife, mom (Amelia, Alex, Bailey, @CFPB), grandmother, and Okie. She/her. Official campaign account.”
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) July 18, 2019
Preferred pronouns have been the subject of controversy with the emergence of outspoken, ultra-progressive millennials – dubbed “Social Justice Warriors” – who believe it is offensive to assume that male pronouns (he/him) should accompany biological men and female pronouns (she/her) should accompany biological women. Because genders are on a spectrum, they say, one must never assume an individual’s gender and, instead, be cognizant of an individual’s pronoun preferences, which include a range of variations from “hirself” to “zir” to “xem.”
Many universities provide guides to navigate the complicated world of gender diversity. For example, Duke University’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity states:
Most of us probably don’t spend too much time thinking about what pronouns people use when talking to and about us. However, there are many people who use pronouns other than those that they were assigned at birth, such as trans and gender non-conforming/nonbinary individuals. For these people, the concept of pronouns can be a real and exhausting stressor. Using the wrong gender pronouns when referring to someone is one way of misgendering, and this can cause intense feelings of dysphoria (a feeling that one’s gender identity has been ignored or invalidated and a corresponding discomfort in one’s body and mind) and worthlessness.
Using the right gender pronouns is a great and easy way to show love and respect for each other and our identities!
Warren is not the only presidential candidate to specify preferred pronouns. Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro (D) has “He/Him/Él” written in his Twitter bio.
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) specifies his preference as well, with his bio reading (emphasis added): “Mayor of New York City and candidate for president. Fighting for working people no matter how much you make or where you live. He/him. Ads by de Blasio 2020.”