Friday, December 4, 2015

Gender Neutral?

When I was little, I was not "Daddy's Little Princess." Far from it, because I was a tomboy. If anything, I was "Daddy's Little Buddy," or the son my father never had. Scrapes and skinned knees for this girl who could be found riding her older brother's skateboard down a hill (yes, I know I said "the son my father never had") or climbing trees. 

I played baseball and kickball with the boys in the neighborhood and loved my brother's army men and trucks. In the days of "The Lone Ranger" and "Bonanza," we played "Cowboys and Indians" and "Cops and Robbers" with cap guns. (I cringe now when I think of how realistic they looked.) My best friend was even a boy.

This was a time when girls had to wear dresses to school, but I switched to pants as soon as they were allowed - fifth grade. Jeans came a few years later, and we had to buy boys' jeans at first. 

BUT, I was definitely a little girl, too. I knitted, crocheted, played with dolls, and loved paper dolls and making homemade clothes for them. (I did not have a tea party until I was in my 30's, though.)

Would a gender-neutral pronoun have been better for me then? I started thinking about this when I saw this article earlier: "10 Up-and-Coming Marketing Terms You Need to Know," and #9 in particular:

Now, I trained diversity for many years, and took Human Resource Management courses in graduate school (MBA, Clarkson University, '12), so I found this interesting. I have used "their" and even "s/he," but I had never heard of any of the other terms before today. Have you heard any of them before? If not, you have now, too.