Eddie Izzard has adopted the pronouns “she” and “her”, saying she wants “to be based in girl mode from now on”.
The actor and comedian made the announcement during an appearance on the Sky Arts series Portrait Artist Of The Year last week in which she described herself as gender-fluid, prompting the LGBT charity Stonewall to praise her for her bravery.
Leave the bravery part to one side. It’s this contention that she and her are being adopted as pronouns that annoys. They’re not. I and me are still in use by Izzard to describe the self. So, the pronouns adopted by Izzard are I and me as with all the rest of us.
The contention actually is that the rest of use are being told to adopt she and her as the pronouns we use to describe Izzard. That is, we must adopt the pronouns, Izzard isn’t.
Now, perhaps we will be polite and do so and perhaps we won’t. That’s up to each one of us. Personally can’t see any reason not to be polite except in those instances – you know, the gentleman thing of only insulting when insult is meant – where not being polite is the point.
But it does indeed grate to be told something so obviously linguistically untrue. Izzard hasn’t adopted the pronouns she and her. The insistence is that we must.
You know, she and her are third person things, not ones that are relevant to first person language?