Supporting "Mx"

Discussions related to nonbinary experiences, identity and expression. 'On topic' discussions that don't fit anywhere else.

Re: Supporting "Mx"

Postby Cassian » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:10 pm

Hello! :)

My understanding of Mx is it's a gender-inclusive title, so people of any gender or trans status can use it. I seriously dislike Mixster because I feel like its similarity to Mister genders it unnecessarily and I am *so* not a mister. I pronounce Mx somewhere between Mix and Mux, if that's possible to imagine?

I am slightly horrified to hear of the Dr (male/female) phenomenon. :S I've never seen it anywhere before, but airlines are very odd about gender sometimes. I had to book a flight recently for the first time since being out as nonbinary (like, 5 years!), and when they tried to put my gender into their system for a boarding pass I rang them up to clarify. Basically they want to put you in the M/F box, and if it's something other than what's on your passport it's going to cause problems, but for my particular flight they were able to remove all mention of gender from my boarding pass. I haven't actually gone on the flight yet so I guess we'll see when I get there.
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Re: Supporting "Mx"

Postby sparrowsion » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:23 pm

yrrw wrote:Another question... A few feminist colleagues have asked whether they, as cisgender females, could use 'Mx'. I've always had a 'the more, the merrier attitude', but YMMV.


My ideal would be if we had two titles, one for absolutely everyone and one specifically for nonbinary people who want a gendered title (even if the latter group doesn't include me). However, in terms of what we can hope to achieve, and given that in my experience nonbinary folk are outnumbered by others who would welcome a gender-neutral title (cisgender men as well as women, who currently go for the "no title" option from what they say), I think that focussing on getting a gender-neutral title recognised should be a primary goal. And that is only going to be helped if more and more people use it (and it does seem to be settling down on "Mx"), not just nonbinary people.
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Re: Supporting "Mx"

Postby adair » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:40 am

yrrw wrote:Another question... A few feminist colleagues have asked whether they, as cisgender females, could use 'Mx'. I've always had a 'the more, the merrier attitude', but YMMV. I don't think I want to police others' choice of pronouns or titles, myself.
Opinions welcome!


Do you know if they want to use it when there's a "no title" option, or to proclaim an alternate title? I'm fine either way, just curious. I would much rather abolish unnecessary gender markers like titles than work hard to add new ones. I don't think any people would actually suffer from not being able to proclaim a gender preference via title. Or not having the "respect" of a title, especially one that doesn't convey any rank or credentials like the non-gendered ones do.

I think what I'm trying to say here is if they're concerned that it would be appropriative, they should probably not use a title, but if it's a forced choice between using a gendered title that they don't believe in and a gender neutral title like Mx., I'd say definitely use the gender neutral one. Their beliefs and preferences aren't less important because they don't come attached to a non-binary identity. As long as people are being forced to choose from a fixed list of titles (instead of submit whatever they like or not being asked about titles at all), that's a problem for the NB community, and many of us are in the same boat as the cis feminists when it comes to having to choose something that doesn't fit, so I don't think there's much room to blame them even if someone does feel strongly that Mx. isn't a gender neutral title but instead means NB.
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Re: Supporting "Mx"

Postby kaycl » Mon May 19, 2014 12:32 pm

I quite like Mx as a title as far as it goes, it's simple and to the point, but that's my opinion. I must admit, however, to be torn on the whole neutral-title vs no-title stance, I do recognise that titles do seem to be largely irrelevant in a lot of ways, and that the places where they are useful largely come from existing societal rules. None the less, my opinion thus far has been that if people ARE going to use titles, I'm glad to have one that can reflect me, but if we eventually get to a world where titles as a whole are no longer necessary and no one is using them, I will be very happy with that :)

I've also heard of Mx being pronounced Mixter, although from my research, this is incredibly uncommon and usually an assumption of how it should be pronounced. With regards to cis people using the title, I have no problem with it. I would quite happily use it in situations where I need to use a title for someone and I simply don't know their title, and don't want to make any assumption. I personally see it as a kind of 'they' for titles. ^^
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Re: Supporting "Mx"

Postby twelveobin » Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:38 am

adair wrote:
yrrw wrote:I would much rather abolish unnecessary gender markers like titles than work hard to add new ones. I don't think any people would actually suffer from not being able to proclaim a gender preference via title. Or not having the "respect" of a title, especially one that doesn't convey any rank or credentials like the non-gendered ones do.


that's where I'm at too.
I've used Mx. and I like the x-for-unknown connotation, but i don't like that it's like "mix" because that makes me think of like, a mix of genders, which doesn't suit me.
Cheerily, cheerio, chirrup!
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Re: Supporting "Mx"

Postby fornorm » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:09 pm

Cassian wrote:... I've never heard of anyone pronouncing Ms "mees" - it's always been Miz or Muz or with a schwa (Məx, "Mz") for my whole life.

I agree, your spelling of that pronunciation is much nearer to the sound than my version. However, to try to pronounce the abbreviation instead of the word itself is not correct English.
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Re: Supporting "Mx"

Postby Cassian » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:30 pm

I'm very skeptical of the phrase "not correct English". My understanding is that your English is correct if people can understand you, and Ms pronounced miz or muz is very much understood at least in the UK. If somehow everyone decided at the same time to start using Mistress instead of Miz or Muz, that would cause a lot of confusion, I think.

When I used Ms, I quite liked the simplicity of Miz/Muz. I wanted Ms to become the standard, so that marital status was never in the picture at all. I do really like Ms. I feel like Mx is one step further - Ms removes relationship status, and Mx even removes gender.

The word "mistress" has a whole baggage of connotations that Ms doesn't have if you just say Miz/Muz, too, and not everyone will like the idea of being called a mistress.

From another thread I split off:

There are lots of people, myself included, who're strongly opposed to Mx standing for mixture. The original plan is just for the x to be a wildcard character, because lots of us don't feel like mixtures.

I did a survey on pronunciation, and most people seem to be pronouncing it Mix or Mux or with a schwa, Məx (sort of a non-sound, like the a in postman: we tend to pronounce it "postmn" in the UK).

Edit: I've never heard of anyone pronouncing Ms "mees" - it's always been Miz or Muz or with a schwa (Məx, "Mz") for my whole life.
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Re: Supporting "Mx"

Postby fornorm » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:24 am

Cassian wrote:I'm very skeptical of the phrase "not correct English". My understanding is that your English is correct if people can understand you...

There are certain conventions (or "rules") that help the reader or listener to understand more easily. I don't know of any other abbreviation that is pronounced as written (somebody is bound to prove me wrong here), so the general rule is that abbreviations are spoken as the original word. Perhaps my emotive "not correct" was a bit strong, but something which goes against the established practice of spoken English tends to make it less easy to understand because of this.

The people who promoted the unconventional pronunciation when they revived the historic abbreviation "Ms." created an unnecessary difficulty by making it uncomfortable to use. If they had followed English convention and pronounced it "mistress" it would have gained acceptance among the public a lot more easily, but would probably have been opposed by many who now apply it to themselves in ignorance of what it actually means. (Their reaction when it is explained to them is "interesting".)

There are lots of people, myself included, who're strongly opposed to Mx standing for mixture. The original plan is just for the x to be a wildcard character, because lots of us don't feel like mixtures.

It is an excellent written substitute for the abbreviations "Mr." or "Mrs.", but it must be recognised as just an abbreviation for something else if it is to take its place in common usage. That 'something else' need to be pronounceable, memorable, not easily confused with another word (or identical with another word of the required meaning) and preferably bi-syllabic so as to be easily substituted for "mis-ter" or "mis-ses" in speech.
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Re: Supporting "Mx"

Postby Cassian » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:12 pm

I do understand your reasoning, very much, and I wouldn't be opposed in principle to a bi-syllabic word used as the pronunciation of Mx. But since we don't have one in common usage for Ms (and we don't appear to need one either right now to avoid confusion with Ms), I don't think we have a pressing need for a bi-syllabic word for Mx. I also think that if we are going to choose one before Mx becomes as well-known as Ms, it should not be Mixture - there are many people, including people in this thread, who don't like it and feel it doesn't describe them. So I'd love to hear of alternatives, if anyone has any to share! I'll gladly support one that's more inclusive.

We do have a title that is gender-neutral and bi-syllabic already, sort of - Messr. It's actually the plural form of Mr, and it's one of those "male as plural default" things. So if you've got a group of men and women, you'd say "Messrs John Smith, Sam Johnson, and Sarah Rose" or whatever. To singularise it, just lop off the s. It's a bit of a bodge, but at least it's in people's historic language memory.

I think if it became known that Mx was pronounced Mixture (or mixer or mixster), I would switch to Messr in a heartbeat. I am not a mixture of anything, nor an alcoholic drink, nor a DJ. ;)
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Re: Supporting "Mx"

Postby sparrowsion » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:52 pm

sparrowsion wrote:"Mx" is my third choice of title, behind none and "Msc". I'm not particularly fond of it, but I recognise that it's developing traction as a gender/qualification-neutral title.


To the extent that now I've finally deed-polled my name, it's now my official title. It's just going to be slightly less painful to use something which at least some people have heard of. And stops the confusion as to whether I mean "Msc" as a prefix or "MSc" as a suffix (which I'm entitled to, but never use).
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