Pronouns in Reviews

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Pronouns in Reviews

Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
Today I submitted a review in which I described the use of a toy on my partner who is FTM. I described using the toy during oral sex, stating:

"It is nice for rubbing the labia/clit of my female-bodied partner, as well as tease HIR g-spot. My partner prefers pulsation to straight vibration patterns, and ZE actually really enjoyed a couple of the pulsation patterns of the Goddess."

I deliberately choose to use "hir" and "ze" as alternative pronouns to her/she because my partner is not a woman. I also didn't want to confuse the reader by using him/he immediately following my statements that I used the toy on female anatomy. When the review was published, my words were changed to "her" and "we", but this post is not to complain about that change.

Instead I request that alternative pronouns be recognized by Eden when submitted in reviews. I would also like to see transgendered people, or their lovers, or just people who understand the nature of alternative pronouns, chime in with other alternative pronouns/suggestions here on this thread.

This could serve to educate so that if a reader sees "hir" in a review, that reader might understand it isn't necessarily a typo.

You see, that may seem like a very little thing to some of you: Being called "he" or "she", but to someone who is called the wrong pronoun on a daily basis it is a very big deal. My partner reads the reviews I write. He already has to deal with the majority of the world calling him "she/her", so it would be nice if here, in a "sex positive community", that could be avoided.
03/11/2009
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Dragon Dragon
Quote:
Originally posted by Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
Today I submitted a review in which I described the use of a toy on my partner who is FTM. I described using the toy during oral sex, stating:

"It is nice for rubbing the labia/clit of my female-bodied partner, as well as tease HIR ...
I think that it's a beautiful idea, but there is a practical problem. Transgender (to I even have my terms correct?) people are much rarer than the the general population. Although many of have "some" experience, either in movies or personal life, it is very limited.

Alternative pronouns are simply something that people have never heard of. Even with initial exposure, the meaning will not be retained and concretely understood until after several meaningful exposures.

Quite simply, it will appear to be a typo to most people.

I suggest that you write your reviews with the both the term and the meaning defined in parenthesis. That way you can provide meaning, context and repetition. With an added bonus, the more you review, the more you can expose people to alternative pronouns!
03/11/2009
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
I've never heard "ze" before. I don't really understand why "we" would need an alternate pronoun.
He, she, him, her... those all assume gender.
We doesn't.

I'm confused!

Any chance you'd clarify if you have a chance? I'm very close to quite a few mtf transgendered folks and those of my acquaintance usually prefer to be called by the pronoun they're transitioning to. A better understanding of those who feel differently would really be awesome.
03/11/2009
Epiphora Epiphora
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
I've never heard "ze" before. I don't really understand why "we" would need an alternate pronoun.
He, she, him, her... those all assume gender.
We doesn't.

I'm confused!

Any chance you'd ...
"ze" takes the place of "her" or "he," not "we." I think it was changed to "we" because it was assumed to be a typo.
03/11/2009
Epiphora Epiphora
Sorry -- it takes the place of "she" or "he."
03/11/2009
Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
"Ze" was meant to take the place of "he" in my review.

I use he/him/his on a daily basis when referring to my partner.

As I said above, the problem is how to reconcile those male pronouns in REVIEWS with descriptions of toy use on a female body part.

I like DBD's suggestion, but I'm not quite sure how to incorporate it in what I wrote above.

Would this make sense to people... "It is nice for rubbing the labia/clit of my female-bodied partner, as well as tease HIR (his) g-spot. My partner prefers pulsation to straight vibration patterns, and ZE (he)actually really enjoyed a couple of the pulsation patterns..."???
03/12/2009
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Quote:
Originally posted by Epiphora
Sorry -- it takes the place of "she" or "he."
Ahhh... that makes way, way more sense then. I was SO lost.
03/12/2009
Dragon Dragon
Quote:
Originally posted by Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
"Ze" was meant to take the place of "he" in my review.

I use he/him/his on a daily basis when referring to my partner.

As I said above, the problem is how to reconcile those male pronouns in REVIEWS with ...
You know...
For most people, even open minded people without some basic description "somewhere" of your partner's sexual status/sexuality, everything is going to be so confusing that most people go HUH???

Factually, most relationships are a either male/female, male/male or female/female. Then people understand mixes and multiples. People just are not familiar with transgender.

You might need to say, "My female partner, who was born male..." (or something similar. Then your above statement makes more sense. I read it, and went "labia/clit" - OK, "female-bodied partner" - little confused, but doesn't matter to me. "his g-spot" and then - "HIS" "G-spot"?? off to check some facts. Don't women have g-spot, and men have prostrate stimulation. (Same thing.) At first it just didn't make sense to me, and read like you didn't know what you were talking about.

Maybe it's just me, but I think I need more context to truly understand and appreciate the flavor of your review without getting lost. Even in a sex-positive environment. It's a very complicated subject.
03/12/2009
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Quote:
Originally posted by Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
"Ze" was meant to take the place of "he" in my review.

I use he/him/his on a daily basis when referring to my partner.

As I said above, the problem is how to reconcile those male pronouns in REVIEWS with ...
Thanks, Happy Lady. That makes a lot more sense now.

I don't know if doing the HIR(his) thing would work unless you explained why you were doing it. Folks would likely just assume you misspelled her.

Seems like you shouldn't have to explain this stuff every time you write a review but I"m stumped as to how to make it clear without an explanation.

Hmmm....
03/12/2009
Epiphora Epiphora
What a great post this is. I am disappointed that Eden changed the pronouns on you, and I hope someone from Eden will take stock of this post and stop changing them in your reviews (I think you should email them as well to make sure they realize what happened).

This is quite the dilemma, I agree. I DEFINITELY do not think you should stop using the alternative pronouns. To those of us who know that they are alternative pronouns, they immediately signal that you are talking about a transperson (whereas "he" and "him" would not). The issue, of course, is people who do not know about these alternative pronouns and what they denote. I would like to think that in a community such as this one, they would not confuse a lot of people... but I think I am wrong. Many people just don't know much about transpeople, even if they consider themselves sex-positive.

I see a couple of ways you could go about this. One would be to explain your partner in each review. The first time you mention your partner, you could explain in parentheses something like this: (my partner is a FTM transman, hereafter referred to by the alternative pronouns 'hir' and 'ze'). It would be tedious, but it would give people a direct explanation so they can't whine about the "confusing" pronouns. Another thing you could do would be to include this info in your profile as well.

I think the "hir (his)" idea that you proposed would be confusing to people. Of course, in a perfect world, people would read "his" and not immediately think of male genitalia, but that's not going to happen quite yet. I think specifying that he is a transman would be useful to readers. And if they don't know what a transman is or what alternative pronouns are, they can freaking Google them.
03/12/2009
Epiphora Epiphora
Quote:
Originally posted by Dragon
You know...
For most people, even open minded people without some basic description "somewhere" of your partner's sexual status/sexuality, everything is going to be so confusing that most people go HUH???

Factually, most ...
While I agree that the alternative pronouns and "his g-spot" are complicated and confusing to people, I disagree that "People are just not familiar with transgender." First of all, this is a sex toy website -- not a site that sells knitting supplies. On Eden we are inherently concerned with sexuality and gender, and I don't think it's unreasonable to assume readers have at least HEARD the term "transgender." We have several reviewers who are transgender, and I don't ever see comments on their reviews that indicate readers are confused.
03/12/2009
Dragon Dragon
Quote:
Originally posted by Epiphora
What a great post this is. I am disappointed that Eden changed the pronouns on you, and I hope someone from Eden will take stock of this post and stop changing them in your reviews (I think you should email them as well to make sure they realize what ...
Epiphora said this perfectly. I love it. Especially the example about mentioning your partner.

I've certainly heard about transgender, and I don't blink an eye about it. However, I've never heard of the the "alternative pronouns" or even the term "transman." Would I google it? Depends on my mood, level of interest, and time. Most likely not because it's very unlikely to directly affect me. (I learned long ago that you have to control where you direct your interests and time.) In this area, I don't think that I'm alone with my lack of real knowledge.

I also love this thread. It makes me more aware of a different aspect of my reviews that I should consider.
03/12/2009
Cinnamon Chambers Cinnamon Chambers
Happy lady..bless you and your partners hearts. I know everything in life dealing with classifying gender must be so complicated for you. This is my suggestion, it is in no way meant to cover up, hide, or lessen how significant this issue is. In an effort to keep you from having to explain in every review, would it be easier to use a non gender term? Like My partner, or for instance we enjoyed using it for g spot stimulation, Our pleasure was intense, for us this toy...or my significant other experienced...whatever . You of course could still say something about my transgender partner with out using a label. This way it would keep from changing pronouns, and keep you from having to explain over and over. This way transgender folks who do wish to be identified as the sex they are moving toward would not be alienated either. I have only had 2 transgender friends, ever, not by choice but just circumstance! One MTF and one FTM and the both were offended if they were not addressed as the gender they identified with. The HIR and Ze was completely new to me. This is a really good discussion thread.
03/12/2009
Liz2 Liz2
I learned something new, as I never heard the new pronouns before. Makes great sense but only after an explanation.
03/12/2009
Epiphora Epiphora
It would be messy, but you could make "FTM transman" and "alternative pronouns" into links. Then nobody has to go through the trouble of looking them up. Depends on if you want to spoon-feed people or not.
03/12/2009
Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
DBD, Cinnamon Chambers, Carrie, & Liz2:
I'm glad you are open to learning about alternative pronouns and that you get something from this thread - which confirms to me this thread has a value reaching outside my own issues with writing. Thank you.

If Eden will allow it, I will try to use Epiphora's suggestion to link up alternative pronouns to that people can click on them to see what I am attempting to convey by their usage. That's a great idea.

I would still like to hear from some of the transgendered community members, or their mates, with thoughts on the best way to handle these issues. I am, by no means, the ultimate authority on the matter. In fact, my relationship is only a couple of months old.
03/12/2009
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Quote:
Originally posted by Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
DBD, Cinnamon Chambers, Carrie, & Liz2:
I'm glad you are open to learning about alternative pronouns and that you get something from this thread - which confirms to me this thread has a value reaching outside my own issues with writing. ...
Ooh. I'm just glad I didn't come across as offensive. I think I got confused because most of my trans friends are folks I see in person, that I've never really "typed" to. So the pronoun thing just never came up. Totally awesome that, if it does, I "get it" now.

I think Epiphora's suggestions are perfect and hopefully they'll work with EF's editing staff.
03/12/2009
Gabe Gabe
I think that the idea of writing "his labia (my partner is a trans man--born with female bits but lives as a dude)"--or something like that-- makes the most sense, in terms of both showing sensitivity to your partner's preferred pronouns and to the knowledge level of most readers. You can just use it the first time you mention your partner in each review, and that way anyone reading won't be confused by any later pronouns.

The problem I foresee with using hir and ze--and there will be an article in Sexis about this soon, though I don't think it's up yet-- is that those are alternative pronouns, not actually male pronouns. So the people in the trans community who use those pronouns don't identify as men (as it sounds like your partner may)but as something other than man or woman. That's why they don't use he/his OR she/hers (I'm sure lots of folks know this stuff, but bear with me for the greater good, yeah?).

Many identify as genderqueer (somewhere on the spectrum of gender but not close enough to man or woman to claim it) and many others don't identify as a gender label at all. I think that by using those in a review, you would confuse the people who didn't know enough to see them as anything but typos and mislead the people who did into thinking that your partner didn't claim male pronouns.

As a trans guy, I'd always prefer to be referred to by male pronouns. I'd also always prefer to refer to my genitalia by words other than the medical ones of labia/clitoris/vagina/ whatever. With that said, it's tough, right? Because most of the readers wouldn't get what I wrote if I used some of the words that I have for thinking about my own parts. So these reviews are always compromise, figuring out how to respect the trans person without being confusing--major kudos for being sensitive enough to try.
03/12/2009
Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
Quote:
Originally posted by Gabe
I think that the idea of writing "his labia (my partner is a trans man--born with female bits but lives as a dude)"--or something like that-- makes the most sense, in terms of both showing sensitivity to your partner's preferred ...
Thanks Gabe. This is a whole new world for me. I care so much about this person that I want to make sure that not only am I respectful of his preferred references, but also that my readers understand (even just a little bit) that it is possible for a man to have "girly parts." I know that isn't going to be accomplished with a couple of reviews, but I see those reviews as maybe a small chance of enlightening a few. And that's a start.

So I will probably start introducing him with explanation in reviews where his experience will be included.

Thanks all for the suggestions.
03/12/2009
Victoria Victoria
First, let me say: We will absolutely support alternative pronouns and links to them. Our auto-spellchecker did not recognize the words and changed them. I apologize for the confusion, although it seems that it’s understood that is why they were changed. We are adding them to the list here to avoid future word changes.

Second, I think a wonderful discourse has come out of this thread. So many honest opinions have been shared and it seems a lot of eyes have been opened. I am really inspired by the level of openness here. Thank you to everyone who took the time to explain to others and thank you to everyone who openly admitted they were not familiar. The interaction and educating within this community is amazing.
03/12/2009
Epiphora Epiphora
Quote:
Originally posted by Gabe
I think that the idea of writing "his labia (my partner is a trans man--born with female bits but lives as a dude)"--or something like that-- makes the most sense, in terms of both showing sensitivity to your partner's preferred ...
Ahh, very good point.
03/12/2009
Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
First, let me say: We will absolutely support alternative pronouns and links to them. Our auto-spellchecker did not recognize the words and changed them. I apologize for the confusion, although it seems that it’s understood that is why they were ...
Pink: I definitely understood why the words were changed and I'm not upset about that or anything.

I am also really pleased this thread has been a source of information about a subject that is very real to some of the EF community members, while other members didn't even know the issue existed.

I hope all EF members feel comfortable in contributing to this thread if they have questions or suggestions on review writing with these issues in mind.

This thread really does reaffirm why I stay with Eden.
03/12/2009
Victoria Victoria
Quote:
Originally posted by Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
Pink: I definitely understood why the words were changed and I'm not upset about that or anything.

I am also really pleased this thread has been a source of information about a subject that is very real to some of the EF community ...
I am so glad you feel this way! I had a gut feeling about this thread when I was reading it throughout the day

Thanks again!
03/12/2009
Dragon Dragon
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
First, let me say: We will absolutely support alternative pronouns and links to them. Our auto-spellchecker did not recognize the words and changed them. I apologize for the confusion, although it seems that it’s understood that is why they were ...
"auto spell-checker" changed them? What does that mean - the changes were automatic or someone else did it. I still don't understand how the entire spelling portion works.
03/13/2009
Miss Cinnamon Miss Cinnamon
Wow... How did I miss this thread the first time around?

Regardless, I learned a lot by reading through the posts. I am aware of transgendered folks, but I was not aware that there are alternative pronouns for some of them. Most of what I know I gathered from Julie Anne Peters' novel "Luna", in which a girl has to learn how to accept and support her MTF brother. In that book, it is noted that MTF individuals prefer the feminine pronouns while FTM prefer masculine pronouns. Are there special cases in which neither pronoun is acceptable for the individual, so the person chooses this alternative pronoun?

Time to hit the wiki tree and see what falls out!
03/21/2009
Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Cinnamon
Wow... How did I miss this thread the first time around?

Regardless, I learned a lot by reading through the posts. I am aware of transgendered folks, but I was not aware that there are alternative pronouns for some of them. Most of what I know ...
My partner prefers masculine pronouns and, quite frankly, he is a man to me so I automatically use them.
The issue that arises here when writing a review is trying to describe a male person with female anatomy...

I do know of transgendered people who prefer to be identified in person with the alternative pronouns. It's been explained to me that it is because they don't feel like a male or a female, or maybe they feel like they are both.
03/22/2009
stuck in the middle stuck in the middle
I'm a weird one.When I'm getting to be myself I always prefer female pronouns but when I'm having to present myslf as male I really don't care.On occasion when i do have someone use a female pronoun by accident I just let em know I'm fine with it and not to appologize.It doesen't bother me.
04/29/2009
TinyTease TinyTease
Quote:
Originally posted by Gabe
I think that the idea of writing "his labia (my partner is a trans man--born with female bits but lives as a dude)"--or something like that-- makes the most sense, in terms of both showing sensitivity to your partner's preferred ...
Really good point here. Even with the openmindedness of the general population of readers here, I think there are probably times when a small clarification at the beginning of a review could be quite helpful.

I'm also glad to hear that EF is going to add these into the word library! Go EF!
04/30/2009
Sir Sir
Quote:
Originally posted by Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
Today I submitted a review in which I described the use of a toy on my partner who is FTM. I described using the toy during oral sex, stating:

"It is nice for rubbing the labia/clit of my female-bodied partner, as well as tease HIR ...
You should have just referred to him as "he," since that's what he is. It was wrong of you to even doubt or use other fake-pronouns. He is a male, no matter what, and though his anatomy is different from biological males, he's still a male. Refer to him as male and don't even question your pronoun use, since you shouldn't be questioning it in the first place.
05/16/2009
Sir Sir
Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Cinnamon
Wow... How did I miss this thread the first time around?

Regardless, I learned a lot by reading through the posts. I am aware of transgendered folks, but I was not aware that there are alternative pronouns for some of them. Most of what I know ...
There is no such thing as an "MTF brother." It's MTF sister, and FTM brother. They "prefer" these pronouns because their true gender is not that of their genetics. It isn't a matter of preference, it's a matter of being correct. You wouldn't call a biological male a woman, unless he was a transvestite, transgender, or genderqueer male. So don't call an FTM a woman or a MTF a male - it's just blatantly incorrect.

Do not go to Wikipedia for this information, because only a person who truly is or who knows the issue (or even trans- specific sites) will be able to answer you correctly.
05/16/2009
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