The Third Person

For many faculty members, the semester begins with the now-familiar call to students to “introduce yourself with your name and pronoun.”

Erm. Not on the planet that I inhabit. It’s rude to talk about people in the third person in their presence, so I have no use for “anybody’s pronoun” anyway. In terms of virtue signaling, this is quite useless because my students don’t recognize this kind of virtue, and thank God for that.

My classes are all discussion based, meaning that everybody talks all the time in small or large groups. Yet I never have an opportunity to say “she” or “he.” It’s always, “as Jessica pointed out” or “let’s hear what Jack has to say.” I’d feel very rude if I did it any other way.

4 thoughts on “The Third Person

  1. My students, if I asked for their preferred pronouns, would have absolutely no idea what I was talking about. And I can only imagine the discussion when I would have to explain it to them.


  2. I’ve never even thought of doing this. Although it’s somewhat unnecessary because our students can indicate preferred pronouns in their university profile and that information is included in the course list.


  3. Asking people about “their pronoun” is about a goddamn idiotic as you can get. I wear a man’s pants and shirt, comb my hair back in a typical male style, and have a mustache. If someone asked me which “pronoun” I preferred, I couldn’t even feel insulted because I’d know instantly that they were insane (or locked into an academic nuthouse that compelled them to pretend to be so).

    When I was a freshman in college 55 years ago, I was taken by surprise when all of my university professors called me “Mister Dreidel” instead of by my first name, like all my previous teachers had done all my life. But they didn’t have any trouble telling my gender — or sex, or whatever you want to call it — and if that’s a problem today, then I’m happy to be retired, and academics of your age are welcome to the world of tomorrow.


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