Why stop there?

26/11/2020

The Public Service Commissioner is recommending employees include a pronoun in email signatures to signal their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Pronouns are words used to refer to people (for example, she/her, he/him, or they/them). An easy way to normalise the use of pronouns is to include them in your email signature. There are a few reasons why this is beneficial:

  • When cisgender people include pronouns, it normalises it for everyone and protects trans and gender diverse people when they include their pronouns.
  • Having pronouns in an email signature signals you as an LGBTQIA+ ally.

Why stop there?

Why not include a reference to all groups and individuals of whom you are an ally?

Including pronouns in your email signature is a quick and easy way for cisgender people to have a powerful and positive impact. This is harder and riskier for transgender and gender diverse people because it leads to longer conversations and asks them to educate people. . .

There are all sorts of ways all sorts of people can have a powerful and positive impact but is it appropriate to do this in business correspondence?

When does teaching become preaching and when, if ever, are either appropriate in an official email or letter?

Is this a valid way to promote inclusion or will it promote division?

. . . The effect that bringing racial, ethnic, or sex differences to the forefront of our consciousness will have on social interactions is not hard to imagine. Seeing and immediately judging strangers by the innate characteristics of their group, will conjure out-group hate, strip people of their right to be seen as individuals, and sever bridging social connections in precisely the same nasty way, regardless of whether these people are vilified by racist bigots or sanctified by open-minded progressives. . . 

Gender has become another vehicle for proponents of identity politics which dissects and divides and in doing so emphasises differences rather than reinforcing our common humanity.

Hat tip: Lindsay Mitchell


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