The word “she” in English has not been around forever. Its roots continue to be researched, but what we do know is it started to appear in the 1100s and its use as the third-person singular for “woman” that we now take for granted had become routine by the 1500s. That is no surprise as we also know that in literature women had been essentially “invisible” in medieval British society.
In the 21st century, in English, we are now here:
Some individuals identify now as neither male nor female, thus as neither “he” nor “she.” The problem is there is no broadly accepted third-person singular ungendered pronoun to describe a person (“it” is primarily for inanimate objects) existing in English. Thus what we see used commonly is “they/them.”
I am no expert on non-binary-ism, but I do know about English grammar. Time for a refresher. “They” and “them” are grammatically woefully incorrect to describe a single individual because those two words best describe multiple individuals.
- They traveled north.
- Give the house to them.
“They/them” denotes from two to an infinite number of people. Multiple non-binary people within that group or separately are similarly “they” or “them.” Gender there is irrelevant.
“He” we know describes one man. “She” describes one woman. Demi is a single individual, so in English cannot be described as “they/them.”
This issue is actually pretty easy to solve. As in the 1100s with “she,” the English language is lagging behind. We (meaning all of us) simply need a new word for those who in the third-person singular assert to be neither “he” nor “she.”
How about “Ne”? The “n” could convey non-binary and the “e” is found at the end just like on “he” and “she.” (“Ne” would have its “e” pronounced the same as in “he” or “she,” so the word would be said as “knee.”) THAT would be gramatically correct and descriptively on target in English.
“Ne” might not work, of course, but whatever the chosen new word might be one has to be found. This “they/them” use for a third-person singular non-binary individual is lazy, illiterate, and English-language-damaging in its inexactitude. Its use has got to be stopped.
Anyway, that is just what I think. Have a good day, wherever you are. 🙂