Ian Ayres, a Yale Law School professor and deputy dean, has vowed to use “they” as students’ default pronoun.
In a Washington Post op-ed last week, Ayres shared a personal solution to the threat of “misgendering” students before knowing their preferred pronouns.
- “I would never intentionally misidentify someone else’s gender — but I unfortunately risk doing so until I learn that person’s pronouns,” wrote Ayres.”That’s why, as I begin a new school year, I am trying to initially refer to everyone as ‘they.'”
According to Aryes, who goes by “they,” “using the singular ‘they’ default, until told otherwise, affirms linguistic space in the classroom for people who do not exclusively identify as men or women.”
In 2019, New York Times opinion writer Farhad Manjoo announced he wanted people to start referring to him by “they/them” pronouns even though he identifies as a “stereotypical, cisgender, middle-aged suburban dad.”
- “Gender is a ubiquitous prison for the mind, reinforced everywhere, by everyone, and only rarely questioned,” Majoo wrote. “We’re a long way from eradicating these expectations in society. But we don’t have to be wary about eradicating them in language.”