I’m back with another question from the search terms! Today:
“femme women using they them”
I’m going to approach this one from two different interpretations:
- the generous interpretation: the asker is wondering about people they know who actively identify as both women and femmes who also use they/them pronouns.
- the (sadly) more likely interpretation: the asker is wondering about people they perceive as women, who have femme presentations, and who also use they/them pronouns.
So, what’s the deal with femme women who use they pronouns? I don’t know, really, it would be ask to ask them about it. But if you’re wondering whether it’s ok for them to use they pronouns, then yes, absolutely that’s fine!
Women of all kinds have different feelings about the various forms of woman-gendered language. Some women hate being called ladies, and they get to feel that way about it. Other women love it, and that’s great, too. Most women are good with being called ‘she’, but maybe some aren’t, and prefer to use ‘they’ or a neutral neo-pronoun. Or maybe some prefer to keep their gender under wraps in certain contexts, and use ‘they’ in those contexts.
I’ve written before about how ‘they’ as a pronoun is simply a way of referring to someone without gendering them at all, and there’s nothing wrong with someone preferring not to have their gender brought up every time they’re being referred to. Using ‘they’ pronouns is one way to reduce that frequency, and if it works for some women (femme or not! Femme-ness or lack thereof is completely irrelevant here, to be clear!) then that’s just fine.
It’s also possible that the ‘femme woman’ you know who uses they pronouns isn’t a femme woman at all!
Maybe they’re a femme non-binary person that you perceive as a woman. Non-binary people aren’t obligated to be ‘androgynous’ or vaguely masculine, and many of us like to femme it up some or all of the time.
Maybe they identify as a woman sometimes, but not strongly enough or often enough to go by ‘she’.
Maybe they told you they’re a woman because that’s what they were most comfortable explaining to you, but honestly it doesn’t matter. They’ve apparently also told you they use they pronouns, so go ahead and do that. You won’t hurt anyone if you do.