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I've been wanting to do this for a while because I've seen so many great suggestions all over this site and on 4w, but it would be so helpful to have it in one place. To all of you who contributed strategies that I've summarized here, thank you! Strategies by type below:

Note: thank you all for the amazing contributions in comments! I've definitely missed a few, but I've tried to update the main post to capture the most unique ones...

The "Less Is More" - Don't answer. - When probed, say "I already introduced myself - let's move on to Susan next" or "I prefer not to answer."

The Sarah Robles "No thank you."

The Clueless: - "Wait, what do you mean? What's a pronoun again?"

The Hagwarts Professor** - "Haha, I'll have to ask my grandkids what you mean by that!"

The English Learner "My native language isn't English. Can you explain it to me please?"

The Meeting Derailer "Wait, huh? How does that work? Don't you just refer to me as 'you'? I need a refresher on this."

The Brush-Off - "I don't care, whatever you want." - "Your best guess is fine with me."

The "Shift the Burden" - "Use whatever will help you be understood by others." - "Whatever feels natural to you."

The Feminist - "My pronouns are sex-based, like my oppression." - "Will you treat me differently if I say 'she'?"

The "Make Them Squirm" - "Why do you ask?" - "Do I not look like a woman to you?"

The "Make Them Sorry" - "My pronouns change depending on how my gender changes. Today I am they/them and tomorrow I am likely he/him and on Wednesdays we're xie/xir." - "I'm not sure! Do you have time to discuss it with me? I'll send you a two-hour meeting invite."

The Woke Ally "I'm not comfortable with that question because it might force trans people to out themselves."

The Vaguely Litigious - "That goes against my religion." - "I don't subscribe to that belief system." - "I don't think that's appropriate for the workplace."

The Obvious - "When I'm here, you can refer to me as 'you'."

The Academic "I prefer not to state pronouns due to stereotype threat. I appreciate your understanding."

The Libertarian "The words you use are up to you."

The Condescending "You're a smart boy. I'm sure you can figure it out."

The Pandemic Say your name, stop speaking, and cut off your camera. Type "sorry, tech problems..." in the Zoom chat. Wait until everyone else has moved on for problems to resolve. Repeat as needed.

The Second-Wave Feminist "You know, I made it all ___ years of my life without anyone asking me that, but it seems that people have gotten really confused in the last year or two!"

The Flamethrower "I'm going to use sex-based pronouns when I talk about all of you... you're free to refer to me however you wish."

The Desister "That question triggers my dysphoria."

The Linguist "Well the pronoun is a remarkably ill-defined word-class. Ancient Classical grammarians, for example, deemed to be "definite articles" word-forms we would now assign to the class of pronouns. Would you like me to send you copies of my research papers on this topic? We could meet to discuss them afterwards if you'd like. It's a fascinating topic."

The Reverse Voldemort "Please never use any pronouns when referring to me - only ever use my name."

The Righteous Witch Babe "Man if you can't tell, I'm not gonna tell you."

The Backhand "I think everyone here is capable of intelligent deduction."

The Barrister "As the case of Maya Forstater v CGD Europe and Others in the Employment Appeal tribunal established, discrimination on the ground of religious or philosophical beliefs is unlawful. I do not accept the ideological framework inherent in that question, as is my right, so to compel me to answer it would, in effect, be a breach of my human right to freedom of conscience, and to single me out in this way could be argued to be a form of employment discrimination."

The Curmudgeon "The same ones I've used my whole life."

The Reverse Woke "Individual choice of pronouns is a display of Western, English-speaking privilege. Not every language follows English-language constructs with pronouns or gender. Demanding sudden changes to basics like pronouns disrespects the struggles of those who aren't fluent in English or have reading or speaking disabilities. Forcing these changes into non-English languages is imperialism and disrespects other cultures and languages."

The Passive Resistance "I don't feel comfortable dictating the terms by which you refer to me."

The Snowflake "That question makes me feel unsafe."

The Dad Joke "Haha "Pro-Nouns"? What are those, nouns that made it to the big leagues?" self-impressed chuckling

The Offended Hippogriff "You obviously don't know how offensive you are being to even ask me that question. I feel that I must formally ask you to stop and never do that again."

The Flusterer "I may have passed menopause, but I'm still female - oh god, now you're worrying me. Can you tell I'm an ex-menstruator? Don't I still look like a woman? I know - I've let myself go. Should I wear more make-up? I should have worn a skirt and high heels today, shouldn't I, that way everyone would be able to tell without having embarass themselves by asking. I'm so sorry to have made you ask that question - you must feel like such a fool, having to ask." It's important not to let them get a word in edgewise - fake a hot flush if you have to.

The Foreign Language Learner "Ore* among friends, Watashi* in a professional context."

The Woke Salad "Pronouns are a colonialist construct used to subjugate queer identities and make them palatable to the white male gaze. This is literal violence which makes marginalized bodies, especially Black and Indigenous, feel unsafe. You need to educate yourself and do better. I'm literally shaking."

Thanks to previous Ovarit threads and this 4W article for the ideas! https://4w.pub/identity-crisis-pronouns/

I've been wanting to do this for a while because I've seen so many great suggestions all over this site and on 4w, but it would be so helpful to have it in one place. To all of you who contributed strategies that I've summarized here, thank you! Strategies by type below: Note: thank you all for the amazing contributions in comments! I've definitely missed a few, but I've tried to update the main post to capture the most unique ones... **The "Less Is More"** - Don't answer. - When probed, say "I already introduced myself - let's move on to Susan next" or "I prefer not to answer." **The Sarah Robles** "No thank you." **The Clueless:** - "Wait, what do you mean? What's a pronoun again?" **The Hagwarts Professor**** - "Haha, I'll have to ask my grandkids what you mean by that!" **The English Learner** "My native language isn't English. Can you explain it to me please?" **The Meeting Derailer** "Wait, huh? How does that work? Don't you just refer to me as 'you'? I need a refresher on this." **The Brush-Off** - "I don't care, whatever you want." - "Your best guess is fine with me." **The "Shift the Burden"** - "Use whatever will help you be understood by others." - "Whatever feels natural to you." **The Feminist** - "My pronouns are sex-based, like my oppression." - "Will you treat me differently if I say 'she'?" **The "Make Them Squirm"** - "Why do you ask?" - "Do I not look like a woman to you?" **The "Make Them Sorry"** - "My pronouns change depending on how my gender changes. Today I am they/them and tomorrow I am likely he/him and on Wednesdays we're xie/xir." - "I'm not sure! Do you have time to discuss it with me? I'll send you a two-hour meeting invite." **The Woke Ally** "I'm not comfortable with that question because it might force trans people to out themselves." **The Vaguely Litigious** - "That goes against my religion." - "I don't subscribe to that belief system." - "I don't think that's appropriate for the workplace." **The Obvious** - "When I'm here, you can refer to me as 'you'." **The Academic** "I prefer not to state pronouns due to stereotype threat. I appreciate your understanding." **The Libertarian** "The words you use are up to you." **The Condescending** "You're a smart boy. I'm sure you can figure it out." **The Pandemic** Say your name, stop speaking, and cut off your camera. Type "sorry, tech problems..." in the Zoom chat. Wait until everyone else has moved on for problems to resolve. Repeat as needed. **The Second-Wave Feminist** "You know, I made it all ___ years of my life without anyone asking me that, but it seems that people have gotten really confused in the last year or two!" **The Flamethrower** "I'm going to use sex-based pronouns when I talk about all of you... you're free to refer to me however you wish." **The Desister** "That question triggers my dysphoria." **The Linguist** "Well the pronoun is a remarkably ill-defined word-class. Ancient Classical grammarians, for example, deemed to be "definite articles" word-forms we would now assign to the class of pronouns. Would you like me to send you copies of my research papers on this topic? We could meet to discuss them afterwards if you'd like. It's a fascinating topic." **The Reverse Voldemort** "Please never use any pronouns when referring to me - only ever use my name." **The Righteous Witch Babe** "Man if you can't tell, I'm not gonna tell you." **The Backhand** "I think everyone here is capable of intelligent deduction." **The Barrister** "As the case of Maya Forstater v CGD Europe and Others in the Employment Appeal tribunal established, discrimination on the ground of religious or philosophical beliefs is unlawful. I do not accept the ideological framework inherent in that question, as is my right, so to compel me to answer it would, in effect, be a breach of my human right to freedom of conscience, and to single me out in this way could be argued to be a form of employment discrimination." **The Curmudgeon** "The same ones I've used my whole life." **The Reverse Woke** "Individual choice of pronouns is a display of Western, English-speaking privilege. Not every language follows English-language constructs with pronouns or gender. Demanding sudden changes to basics like pronouns disrespects the struggles of those who aren't fluent in English or have reading or speaking disabilities. Forcing these changes into non-English languages is imperialism and disrespects other cultures and languages." **The Passive Resistance** "I don't feel comfortable dictating the terms by which you refer to me." **The Snowflake** "That question makes me feel unsafe." **The Dad Joke** "Haha "Pro-Nouns"? What are those, nouns that made it to the big leagues?" self-impressed chuckling **The Offended Hippogriff** "You obviously don't know how offensive you are being to even ask me that question. I feel that I must formally ask you to stop and never do that again." **The Flusterer** "I may have passed menopause, but I'm still female - oh god, now you're worrying me. Can you tell I'm an ex-menstruator? Don't I still look like a woman? I know - I've let myself go. Should I wear more make-up? I should have worn a skirt and high heels today, shouldn't I, that way everyone would be able to tell without having embarass themselves by asking. I'm so sorry to have made you ask that question - you must feel like such a fool, having to ask." It's important not to let them get a word in edgewise - fake a hot flush if you have to. **The Foreign Language Learner** "Ore* among friends, Watashi* in a professional context." **The Woke Salad** "Pronouns are a colonialist construct used to subjugate queer identities and make them palatable to the white male gaze. This is literal violence which makes marginalized bodies, especially Black and Indigenous, feel unsafe. You need to educate yourself and do better. I'm literally shaking." Thanks to previous Ovarit threads and this 4W article for the ideas! https://4w.pub/identity-crisis-pronouns/

112 comments

[–] fightlikeagirl 65 points (+65|-0)

My go-to is "I'm not comfortable answering that" coupled with a concerned look. Makes them feel like they've overstepped a boundary (which of course, they have).

[–] KissMyOvaries 17 points (+17|-0)

And then act uncomfortable. Put your head down. Do an awkward body shift. Rub your forehead. Play it up to the nines to make them feel bad.

[–] CornflakeGrrrl 46 points (+46|-0) Edited

I love your list! One addition:

The pandemic: say your name and then suddenly stop speaking while simultaneously turning off your camera. Type "sorry, tech problems..." in the Zoom chat. Wait until everyone else has gone and the meeting is underway for your "tech problems" to magically resolve. Repeat as many times as necessary. This technique is also helpful as it acts as a secret terf handshake.

My pronouns are internet/connectivity/problems.

[–] CornflakeGrrrl 4 points (+4|-0)

😂 I love this. And if someone calls you out for doing a transphobia it would be easy to play dumb. Or burst into tears and accuse them of being unaware of how privileged they are to have a reliable internet connection.

[–] LunarWolf 40 points (+40|-0)

I was recently on a call with over 100 other women. I scrolled through zoom. One 2 people had pronouns next to their names. This was not the case in similar circles a year ago. I feel like the tide might be turning.

[–] IronicWolf 39 points (+39|-0)

Another for the list:

‘Are you saying that because I’m not wearing makeup I no longer qualify as a woman and you’re trying to publicly humiliate me by saying I look butch enough to be a man?!’

[–] yangsun Oh Dear... 28 points (+28|-0)

I use the brush off the most and it completely psychs out anyone asking the question seriously.

[–] IWantAGirlRiot 10 points (+10|-0)

Man, people really do just get baffled! I met someone recently and got asked. I could tell they were asking with obvious best intentions.

When I responded with a genuine smile, shrugged, and said “You’re a busy guy—use what’s easiest for you.” Took a moment for this dude to realize that I really did not care—maybe because I’m a “gender nonconforming” (UGH) woman?

Like, we are at work—it’s a huge event, high stress, it’s a fucking PANDEMIC, I can tell he’s drained. But he’d going out of his way not to let the “wrong” pronouns slip on a radio call only managers will hear?

I wish I could tell him that it was not enough and never will be. In fact, later during that day, a man came to whisper with me about the managers “misgendering” people. After a grueling shift I didn’t have the energy to argue GC. I simply said “Friend, there’s just no way we can respectfully educate everyone at this event on sex and gender in 3 days. My #1 concern and yours right now is the physical safety of everyone here—let’s focus on that and you can talk more to the managers NOT me about your concerns later.”

Not sure if that will help anyone else but I’ve happily found that most people asking the question don’t mind that I couldn’t care less.

[–] NotCis [OP] 6 points (+6|-0)

I would love to hear the responses you've gotten!

[–] yangsun Oh Dear... 9 points (+9|-0)

Nothing outrageous its generally just stupified gapes and general confusion while they try to figure out which of the 46 gender identities I might be feeling that day :')

[–] Artemis 3 points (+4|-1)

I did the brush off and it left the two women I was talking with in such a state of confusion and discomfort - and I just said to use what they were comfortable using. They started using every kind of pronoun, he, she and they. One settled on not using pronouns at all. I chided her a little when I heard that and told her she was making quite a big deal of it and she shouldn't worry. She finally settled on female pronouns. XD

[–] phoenix 26 points (+26|-0)

The Flamethrower "I'm going to use sex-based pronouns when I talk about all of you... you're free to refer to me however you wish."

I've never been part of a pronoun circle and I'd love to use "the Flamethrower", but I think I'm not bold enough and would instead pretend to not understand that pronouns could or should refer to anything but biological sex. If someone then started to try to "educate" me, I'd make the argument that associating sex with stereotypical feelings or behavior is sexist.

[–] phoenix 7 points (+7|-0)

Yeah, "The Flamethrower" isn't what I'd typically recommend or do (my least bold response is skipping answering the pronoun part and then if pressed saying, "I don't care about pronouns")... but I've always wanted to use this assertive response. If I were ready to burn all social bridges, this is the one I'd want to pull out. :)

[–] Peakaboo 26 points (+26|-0)

I've only tried this twice, but I've smiled, shrugged and said "I don't really play the pronoun game". Never been pushed to elaborate, so I call it a win.

[–] its_levio_SAH 24 points (+24|-0)

The Dad Joke: "Haha "Pro-Nouns"? What are those, nouns that made it to the big leagues?" self-impressed chuckling

[–] DebraKadabra 24 points (+24|-0)

The Reverse Voldemort (who shall be named): Please never use any pronouns when referring to me - only ever use my name.

[–] ItsCalculated 2 points (+2|-0)

OMG I love it. I'd really enjoy a scenario with a gender fuckwad where they can only use my name.

[–] actualdyke 21 points (+21|-0) Edited

i love a good combination of the brush off and the woke - "i personally dont identify with any gender or pronouns, so you can use whichever you like" - make sure to throw in a little bit of smug superiority so you successfully pass as a True Trans and not just an undercover terf, since that one guide to spotting a terf is apparently onto us re: refusal to answer the pronoun question/demand 😂

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