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one of the beautiful woodpecker friends i met earlier. it was not shy at all even though i was pretty close to it.

@crowlad That’s the kind of content I prefer on Mastodon.

@crowlad hey, cool posts, but have you considered using they/them pronouns for non-human individuals rather than calling them ‘it’? It’s part of a speciesist language lexicon that depersonalises other animals and allows society to objectify/commoditise them with more ease

@gia As someone who uses it pronouns in English, I don't agree.
I would prefer "it" to be normalised as a pronoun like any other instead.
@crowlad

@owl @crowlad as in, for humans? Because I really don’t think many humans would appreciate having an object pronoun used for them unless specified, and though other animals can’t understand our language and it’s implications, using objectifying language still undeniably has an effect on them through normalising their commodification. Why normalise extending that commodification to everyone when capitalism is already trying its best to do so?

@gia
As in for myself, "it" being my preferred pronoun.
Of course I wouldn't use any pronoun for someone else that they didn't ask for (except for "they" if I don't know.)
Also I use "it" specifically because it's used for animals.
@crowlad

@owl @crowlad Obviously to choose to use it for yourself is fine, but that’s a choice you get to make, whereas if we can acknowledge the negative consequences of using ‘it’ for individuals who as you say haven’t had asked or had a choice in it, I’d argue we should use pronouns that are in their best interests. Which is definitely not ‘it’.

@gia
Seems easier to me to normalise "it" than to change the way the language is used.
But if we're thinking big, we can also just abandon English in favour of a language that doesn't have this problem.
@crowlad

@owl @crowlad Normalise it how, could you please explain what that would involve? Because it seems like it would require a bigger change than to just switch out ‘It’ pronoun for a more personalising one when it comes to one easily defined group, I don’t see how it’s different than humans asking for they/them pronouns in terms of it being any big change to how language is used.

@gia
Normalise it in the same way that gay, queer, etc was normalised.
Instead of abandoning those words, they were repurposed, and are not very effective insults any more.

@gia Would also benefit those who use "it" as a pronoun, who get to hear a lot of opinions about it.
I like it also because it's portable; there's an equivalent in German, Icelandic, and other languages where e.g. adjectives need to agree with the grammatical gender of the noun to which they refer, so if you prefer neuter adjectives over masculine or feminine ones, that's a low-friction way to do it, since everyone understands it intuitively.

@owl So at least be consistent, use ‘it’ for everyone if it’s something to normalise, not just for literally the only ones who can’t consent to it? Non-humans aren’t our linguistic test tubes, the use of that pronoun has tangible negative repercussions for them and so even if it might somehow normalise your chosen pronoun, it isn’t justified lol. Besides, using they/them for animals would equally be a good lesson for people in using the most common gender neutral pronoun for humans

@gia Just like I use queer for everyone?
That makes no sense to me.
Anyway, I'll keep using "it" in a positive way.
I'll also keep using "she" even though some native English speakers use that for boats or whatever.

@owl and I suppose explaining this to everyone every time you call an animal ‘it’ in front of them? Or say it online? Because if not that literally isn’t achieving anything it’s just reinforcing the predominant idea without challenging it

@gia Yeah apparently I have to explain it to people online, who attribute negative things to it.

@owl but ‘it’ is not an insult, it doesn’t have that same overtly offensive function as those slurs did. the damage works on a much more subconscious level, when people call an animal ‘it’ they aren’t doing so because they hate animals and want to advertise that fact, it’s already something normalised, to the extent that almost everyone is blind to its negative effect. Even animal lovers, even vegans and some new to anti speciesism will do it without realising. The normalisation is the issue.

@gia You say that "it" is objectifying, or depersonalising.
The normalisation I'm wishing for would remove those associations, and it would be a pronoun amongst other pronouns.

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