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Em Christie, Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor | December 10th, 2023

Degrading the Humanity of All Involved

To the editor:

Learning a new name for someone can be hard, new pronouns, even

moreso. Gender-neutral pronouns seem to vex more than most, though the

grammar has long been a part of our language.

An easy way to remember to use gender-neutral pronouns is to pretend like

you don’t know the gender of the person you’re talking about. (e.g. Someone

left their car keys behind. They’ll come back soon.)

How the media talk about gender can shift societal conversations

toward understanding -- or away from it. Because language is constantly

evolving, policy sometimes lags behind cultural acceptance, but

journalism needs to stay at the forefront of major ideas, including

still-developing concepts of gender expression and identity.

Most media do not currently have explicit gender-inclusive policies

for their coverage. Accidentally using incorrect names, pronouns,

and/or gender indicators to describe a person is going to happen, but

multiple accidents eventually reveal a choice to not extend the most

basic standard of civility, degrading the humanity of all involved.

That is not acceptable protocol for news organizations.

It costs nothing to actively acknowledge and uphold the dignity of

everyone in our community by using precise language, but the cost of

not doing so is our own dehumanization. Let local media outlets know

equitable and accurate coverage of all genders is essential for any

trustworthy news source.

Em Christie

Moorhead

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