The system will ensure everyone knows whether to refer to one another as ‘he’, ‘she’ or ‘they’
Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) have announced they will be handing out pronoun badges to freshers, so that everyone knows whether to refer to one another as “he”, “she” or “they”.
This system has been put in place in order to avoid any “misgendering” of non-binary or transgender students.
The pronoun badges will be available throughout “Welcome Week”, which commences on September 10th.
EUSA recently published a guide to pronoun use, explaining why it's important to “normalise” the practice of sharing gender pronouns.
"Many people assume that the pronouns they should use for an individual are obvious: people who look like men should be referred to using he/him, and people who look like women should be referred to as she/her,” the guide says.
The guide also explains that making these assumptions can be “frustrating and harmful” for transgender on non-binary students, who may in fact prefer to use gender-neutral pronouns.
EUSA's pronoun guide reminds students that gender is “fluid” so even if you've used a certain pronoun for someone in the past, it may not apply indefinitely.
The guide goes on to say, “if we choose to make assumptions about which pronouns are correct, we risk misgendering people and/or singling out trans people who want to clarify their pronouns".
It continues, "even where you are fairly confident you know people’s pronouns, it’s still good to refresh our knowledge and give folks the opportunity to provide their correct pronouns".
Students and academics are now being encouraged to sign their emails with their names, contact numbers and whether they like to be known as “he/him”, “she/her” or “they/them”.