What Does “He/Him” Mean?

With the evolving understanding and growing recognition of gender identities beyond the binary, it’s becoming increasingly important to understand the concept of pronouns, namely, “he/him.” These terms are more than just grammar points; they mark an individual’s identity and respectful recognition of the same can contribute to a more inclusive and accepting society.

In essence, “he/him” is a set of pronouns. Pronouns are, in their most basic sense, words used to refer to someone in place of their name. “He” and “him” specifically, are pronouns traditionally used in English when referring to a male. For example, “John is running because he is late,” where “he” is used in place of John.

However, in today’s world that strives to be more inclusive, the use of pronouns encompasses more than grammatical correctness and extends to a person’s individual identity. When someone identifies as male or exhibits a masculine gender expression (regardless of their assigned sex at birth), they may choose to be referred to by the pronouns he/him. These pronouns acknowledge that person’s identity and respect their gender expression.

It should be noted that there is a difference between someone’s biological sex and their gender identity. Biological sex is determined by physical attributes such as chromosomes, hormones, and reproductive systems. Gender identity, on the other hand, is a deeply-held sense of being male, female, or something else and may not necessarily align with one’s biological sex. Hence, a person born as a female may identify as a male and prefer to be addressed as he/him.

There is also the aspect of gender fluidity, where individuals may not strictly identify as male or female, but they may express a fluid or changing orientation towards masculinity and femininity. In such scenarios, these individuals might prefer different pronouns at different times depending on how they identify themselves at the moment, which might include he/him as well.

Moreover, it is getting increasingly common for individuals to state their preferred pronouns in both social and professional situations, like in their social media bios, email signatures, or during introductions at meetings or gatherings. This practice promotes a culture of respect and acceptance by acknowledging the diversity of gender identities.

Ultimately, the use of “he/him” and other pronouns should always be about respect for individuals and their chosen identities. If one isn’t sure, it is always appropriate and respectful to ask what pronouns a person prefers to use. This act is a simple yet effective way to foster a climate of inclusion and acceptance. So, when someone claims “he/him” as their pronouns, they’re essentially communicating how they wish to be acknowledged and the identity they align with. It’s a part of human dignity and freedom to define oneself, and embracing that diversity makes our society richer.