Changing my preferred pronoun

Undisclosed Pixoe
Jul 22, 2018 77 Comments

I am a female in tech with an androgenic name. I have often observed I get a decent respect from colleagues as long as we are exchanging emails (especially offshore), but the moment they talk to me and figure out I'm female, they become difficult and condescending. I am also looking to change my job, and I am considering telling people right from the interview stage that my preferred pronoun is "he". So basically, look and dress like a female, but insist on being addressed as "he". What do you think will be the consequences of that? How would you deal with a female colleague who wants to be treated and addressed as a male? ( But use the female restrooms since I'm not getting a sex change done). Just changing my preferred pronoun.

This is in SF Bay Area, if it matters.

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TOP 77 Comments
  • Undisclosed hfr
    Change your coworkers, not your pronouns. (Unless you legit want to change your pronouns in which case sure do that too.)
    Jul 22, 2018 11
    • Undisclosed Pixoe
      OP
      That's a small problem. I hardly have any personal friends. I might run into former colleagues at the new workplace. I just tell them that's my new preferred pronoun. People deal all the time with women changing their last names upon marriage or divorce. I changed my preferred pronoun.
      Jul 22, 2018
    • Undisclosed
      Bamb

      Undisclosed

      PRE
      UM WW
      Bambmore
      I wouldn’t want to work with you :/ I’m all for it if you truly identify with another gender, but if all you’re trying to do is test out a theory or prove a point, your workplace isn’t the place to do it
      Aug 17, 2018
  • Booking.com TeslaOwner
    Are they actually condescending, are did you just spend too much time in SF circles and now see sexism everywhere?
    Jul 22, 2018 8
    • Booking.com TeslaOwner
      How would you know?
      Jul 22, 2018
    • Capital One / Eng Cheeter
      Saying you own a Tesla is like saying you own an iPhone. Who cares?
      Jul 22, 2018
  • VMware / Eng nonamehere
    If the only basis of using the pronoun “he” is to avoid sexism in the workplace, you’re a lunatic.
    Jul 22, 2018 8
    • VMware / Eng nonamehere
      This is legit the biggest troll ever. Lol
      Jul 22, 2018
    • Undisclosed
      Bamb

      Undisclosed

      PRE
      UM WW
      Bambmore
      You can’t force others to address you as male and then use the ladies restroom... you just can’t have it both ways.
      Aug 17, 2018
  • Box Gldb62
    I think you should discuss with your coworkers your perceptions vs changing your pronouns. Changing pronouns does nothing to solve the perceived issue.
    Jul 22, 2018 9
    • Undisclosed Pixoe
      OP
      Microsoft, how do you suggest I get my voice heard when I am right and I know the other person is wrong?
      Jul 22, 2018
    • Undisclosed Buddy Guy
      @Pixoe
      There are some good archived posts at LessWrong.com, for example https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/exa5kmvopeRyfJgCy/double-crux-a-strategy-for-resolving-disagreement

      It's hard to give specific advice without knowing more about the situations you're dealing with, but it sounds like these arguments may be getting hung up on "what" instead of "why", and one or more of these might help:

      - making sure they understand your reasons for preferring something

      - making sure you understand their reasons for preferring something else

      - identifying something you believe that would change your mind if it turned out to be false, and the same for them

      - making predictions (or betting) before implementing a solution, then circling back afterward to see who predicted the outcome best

      - finding an impartial third party to give feedback on both solutions

      - prototyping both solutions, so you have more information to use to decide which one to fully implement
      Jul 23, 2018
  • Undisclosed skyking
    Part of me says “this is inane, don’t fuck with language, it’s the entire basis of our common understanding,” but the other part of me says, “let’s lean hard into this trendy pronoun bullshit until everyone gets tired of it.”
    Aug 18, 2018 0
  • Facebook LWrj50
    If you're going to switch pronouns (not that I'd advise it) I'd suggest going for "they". It's... Less drama, in my experience?
    Jul 22, 2018 3
    • Facebook LWrj50
      I know a couple people in their early twenties who go by "they". It definitely takes a bit of getting used to, but it will probably avoid having people think of you as trans. They'll probably conclude that you're agender. People referring to you in the third person will no longer be suggesting a feminine identity when they talk about you.

      How easy this would be depends on your age of co-workers. If they're mostly twenties, they'll probably roll with this pretty quickly. If it's forties+ up, it might take a good amount of explanation yeah
      Jul 22, 2018
    • Undisclosed Pixoe
      OP
      Thanks for the suggestion! I didn't think of that option, but I will certainly look more into it. "They " does seem less radical and I would be happy with it.
      Jul 22, 2018
  • Facebook / Eng Kya
    I think that your problem is different. Most people are going to hate u if u are almost always right and don’t know how to make them see your point in a way that sounds convincing. They will immediately see u as arrogant. There is no use of being right if most people do not agree with you. You might want to have more empathy. The problem might not be that you are a female but that people perceive u as being arrogant
    Jul 22, 2018 1
    • Undisclosed Pixoe
      OP
      You might be right. I am often annoyingly "always right" . But other people are wrong, and I am watching them make expensive, time consuming, resource wasting mistakes. What would you suggest I do? When men are right in hind sight, people listen to them the next time. I am ignored over and over.

      As long as we are discussing over email, people will respond to me respectfully. Eventually, with complex technical topics, we have to set up a time to talk, and boom! It happens as soon as they confirm my name, realize my gender from my voice and have a little stammer from surprise. So it's not anything I said, it's the voice I have.

      I try to have empathy. I try to ask pertinent questions so they are forced to think things through. Finally I give up and just tell them the right way and the reason for it. Still ignored.
      Jul 22, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng diddler
    learning humility is very difficult but very worthwhile for your career growth. rather than assuming others are discriminating against you based on gender, try and fix what you can control, which is how you interact with others. your posts come across as quite full of yourself (intellectually) and you need to spend some time to learn more EQ rather than just IQ
    Jul 22, 2018 9
    • Undisclosed Pixoe
      OP
      Thanks for taking the time with the rewording. I cannot claim I outperform my colleagues, because my ideas are rarely accepted.

      And personally, I am not seeing the difference between saying I outperform someone vs saying I'm better than them. What is the nuance I am missing?
      Jul 23, 2018
    • Undisclosed Pixoe
      OP
      Regarding the second answer... People really are not solving hard problems correctly. They are missing aspects of the problem that break things later. I have tried all iterations... Waiting it out till they are close to the final decision, or speaking up earlier so they are not that much invested in the solution. I have tried asking pertinent questions that will lead them to the answer, and tried directly telling them. Nothing works.

      A few times, a male colleague took up my ideas and they were accepted right away. So I know people "hear" him, and his voice amplifies what I say, but my voice alone does not cut it. Unfortunately, when he tried to give credit to me, people dismissed that as well 🙄
      Jul 23, 2018
  • Amazon / Other
    Grrumm

    Amazon Other

    PRE
    Earth Index, Heavenly Couture
    BIO
    Doomed. Need a career reboot. Uber rescinded my offer. Previously wasted a lot of time and effort at Alexa voice shopping.
    Grrummmore
    You will be hated by men, women and other genders alike. Men, cos you are female. Women, coa bitches. And trans people cos they will soon find out you are a poseur.
    Jul 22, 2018 4
    • Undisclosed Pixoe
      OP
      Why is my reason not right? I am frustrated with being treated as a female, and want to be treated as a male. And why does the reason matter, as long as it achieves the desired result?
      Jul 22, 2018
    • Box Gldb62
      Man that's what women have been saying for a millennia-- I just want to be treated like other men. Aka you want to be treated as an equal. Make me sad to know many people are so insecure that they still treat people that are different from them like crap.
      Jul 22, 2018
  • Here is how I think: whoever had a bias towards you, will believe that you are a weirdo. I don't think it will help your purpose.
    Jul 22, 2018 1
    • Undisclosed Pixoe
      OP
      Sigh! That seems to be a real problem. So, either I'm female or I'm a weirdo. No working around it?
      Jul 22, 2018

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