where I grew up in California not only is “dude” generally non-gender-specific, half of the time it doesn’t even refer to a person at all.
I said it to a faucet today.
i called my phone a dude and a bro in the same sentence
I may have to obliterate California just for this.
[ sarc ] Revolutionary new praxis: I will use “lady” with everyone. I’ll explain this to people I talk with so that they know it’s gender-neutral. Plus the female-as-a-default is so rare, this is clearly a force for good. “Ma’am” and “miss” are also gender-neutral now. I’m can’t think of how this could *possibly* harm anyone. Trans guys would thrill to being called “hey little miss” and then be informed that it isn’t a gender thing and that everything is actually a cute and adorable lesbian. [ sarc ]
You know *I* have microcultural moores that *I* suppress. Expressions like “it’s like throwing kittens out of airplanes”, “so cute I want to shove them in a microwave”, or “I should cut out my tongue to keep from mispeaking” get me ejected from conversations even though I’m not *doing* anything.
I’m honestly suprised by the contents of the notes here. I thought this was /tumblr/. Not a single essay about how terrible the male default is and how everyone who uses it is contributing to sexism? I don’t think that average level of discourse has risen *that* much.
Everyone seems like … they’re basically okay with this. Aside from some people stating that people who don’t want to be called “dude” should be listened to. No pitchforks or torches, no lurid exposés of “those people who say “dude”“, no “call out your friends who contribute to the male default by using “dude”“.
What /is/ this place?
Who /are/ you people?
N-not that I *like* these sorts of terrible tactics! B-but … even when they were totally wrong … I-it was nice to read people make arguments from my preferences.
the whole point of this is that dude isn’t a male default to these people?
It is, to them, an agender term?
Also, regarding the [sarc], the reasons those are bad ideas is that lady and miss both have common alternate gender alternatives which dude doesn’t. If you say dudette, I will respond by asking you when the last time is you have ever heard anybody say dudette unironically ever.
On an abstract level I get that gender-neutral dude can easily feel not-so-gender-neutral because that’s like the literal denotation,
In practice, a week of trans girls dude-ing each other quickly knocked such thoughts out of my foreigner ass and now I’m one of those #problematic people who need to explicitly think of not using dude at everyone and everything
In some weird sense it gives me hope, that a cultural male default might be overcame. Shitlords stole ‘man’ from “person” to “a male person” back in 1xxx CE (when’s the last time you’ve heard someone say ‘wereman’? of course this has some inconvenient implications around the grammar of female werewolves etc. but other than that I think ‘woman’/’werman’ is the Objectively Correct form and youngsters need to get off my lawn) but having the normativity degrade so that people internalize the “allegedly neutral” ones as actually neutral seems like a step in a very right direction even if it feels weird to be in the middle of such changes, like, “we used to fight stuff but nowadays nobody sees a reason to fight over them because the reason they were bad has been going away”
I mean, I’m the person who knows that ‘bad’ has a #problematic history but for some reason it’s viscerally hard for me to get worked up over ‘dude’; maybe that’s the same reason it’s hard for me to get worked up over people who call everyone ‘they’ (consistently, sincerely, instead of just using it as an excuse to opt out from gendering trans people correctly)
If it matters that much, female wolf shapeshifters can be wyfwolves, no clue what to do for enby shifters.
Also, yeah, be a part of the linguistic shift you want to see in the world. “Actor” and “author” and “director” and the like probably didn’t spontaneously become gender-neutral on their own.
“Person of Wolf.”