I usually try not to post twice in one day, but this is timely. My standup this morning started with the following exchange.
Dude: Oh, yeah, Carol is at that women's thing. Jess, why aren't you there? What do you have against women?
Me: Well, I'm not a woman.
Me: Yeah. I'm nonbinary.
Dude 2: I.....didn't know.
Now, I'm not militant at work about enforcing correct pronoun usage, and I don't remind people that I'm nonbinary all the time. But I do have it in my public profile at work and on slack, and it stings when the people around me put in so little effort.
But even if I weren't nonbinary, there are a few pieces of advice I'd like to give.
1.) Don't ask women why they are or aren't participating in a woman focused event. Not all women focused events are safe for every woman, and not every woman wants to center her career on her gender. This is a rude and uncomfortable question.
2.) Don't ask women to explain why women-centric spaces are necessary, or why they're okay when a "men's group" would be given side-eye. That's a question you can google for, or you can reach out to group organizers in private if you have earnest follow up questions.
3.) Don't ask women or nonbinary people what they have against women or why they hate women, even in jest. Don't make jokes at your coworkers' expense that are designed to make them defensive or feel bad. That's a shitty way to be a coworker, an ally, or a friend.
This has been a public service announcement