My public pronouns are she/her. My kid’s pronouns are they/them. I like that we now have gender neutral pronouns. As I’ve gotten used to using them, I find I’ve started to use them as the default choice. For example, I might inquire about a new pet I am meeting for the first time, What’s their name? Or if a friend tells me about someone new in their life I might say, Cool, what’s their deal? What are they like?
Because I have been involved in a lot of pronoun talk over the last few years, I just noticed a few days ago that I often refer to myself as we. My friend and I were driving to Runyon Canyon for a hike. Excited to get back into shape now that the weather is cooling down, we were conversing on the state of our at home work outs. She hadn’t done any yoga that week. I said: We haven’t either. One of us really wanted to this morning but another one didn’t. Guess who won?
I do this a lot but only became conscious of it in that moment. Unlike the larger pronoun conversation the world is having, this is not about my identity and I don’t wish for other people to refer to me this way. But it does make me reflect on why I do this.
Don’t we all contain contradictions? Thinking of myself as a we is a way of unifying a bunch of unruly and disparate impulses, desires, and actions. Some of us want to eat Pringles. Others of us want less belly fat. Some of us want to read books all day, others of us want to get stuff done. I don’t know if they are the same people. They don’t feel like the same people. They make too much noise for one person. Some of them I like more than others, but we are a gang and it’s definitely an all for one and one for all internal situation.
Does anyone out there also use an inner we when talking to themselves?
Sidewalk Face 1023