Pronouns | Standing Up
As some of you might have seen, we launched our Respect My Pronouns collection in early 2021. I wrote about why this collection was important to me, and was joined by my design collaborator, Kellan Gibboney, in an announcement blog post.
When someone chooses to unsubscribe from our newsletter, they are asked to complete an "unsubscribe survey". This collects feedback; recently we received the following, which perfectly illustrates why offering collections like Respect My Pronouns is so important to me.
"Pronouns? Seriously? Get F*ck*d."
This feedback was sent by a Canadian customer who shall remain nameless (and un-identifiable), and no, he wasn't polite enough to use "*" instead of spelling out the word.
I looked at his words for a second, then I googled his email address and saw exactly who he was. It was not a surprise that it was a white male – white men do indeed sit at the top of the pyramid when it comes to having safe space.
For a second, I considered writing a scathing email back in protection of my team at VC and friends in the community. Then I thought of letting it go, but then I realized that the entire point of creating these design lines is to start conversations and, hopefully, engage our community in learning that will result in a more inclusive environment for ALL.
I thought of letting it go, but then I realized that the entire point of creating these design lines is to start conversations
So, I sat back and typed the first things that came to my calmer mind. With a quick edit by G to fix my famous typos, the email was sent.
VC Ultimate Inc.
Did I get a response, you ask? No, I did not. And that's ok; some conversations don't need to last that long.
I'm sharing this story with you to illustrate why it is so important that we stand together and up for folks in our community who deserve to feel seen, respected and safe.
If you'd like to join us, please consider picking up a conversation starter from our shop or, more importantly, share your own perspective with friends or on social media and state your own pronouns when you are meeting new people.
Thanks for reading,
This piece was written by VC's CEO Adriana Withers. Please feel free to reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback, or to start a conversation.