Pronoun usage in the Infinite Flight Community

Using the person’s username makes the most sense.

Edit: For example in the example it’d make sense to just continue referring to the pilot as “the pilot”.


They/Them is something I’ve used for many years, online, when writing, especially here on IFC, to not judge or guess on someone’s gender or what they identify as and using they/them in real life, as when you speak can also be a good idea, when you are talking about someone as an individual, because we don’t always know someone’s gender when we first get to hear about a person we’ve never heard about, from our friends, family, and etc.

I often to use the word, “One”, as in, one aka a human, since I don’t wish to mention a specific gender, and using the word one, to mention a someone or a group of people not based on their gender can be used well in speeches or in poetic kinds of texts.

All in all, I do believe that Oskar has made an excellent point, in that we should not call people by him/her when we don’t know their gender or their identification of gender as they see themselves, as becomes or sounds, rude or disrespectful when assuming or guessing, although not our intentional intent to hurt someone’s feelings or make it sound rude or badly mannered, but we are used to that the Aviation industry is male dominant, and more often than not we may say, “He tried to fly into me”, or “He cut in line at LHR”, while the person in question may not be of male gander for all we know. So in that sense, this post is a great reminder for us all indeed, not only for our way of communicating here on IFC, but also on other forums, elsewhere on Online and also in real life, as it’s not as simple as saying, he or she.


I’ve been thinking of this LOL. Great that you brought it up before me. I also make a few mistakes like this.

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I love this. This is going to be very beneficial for everyone.

Might that be because:

  1. The controller can hear the voice of the pilot they are talking to and can, therefore, discern (admittedly mistakes can be made) whether they are talking to a man or a woman at the time;
  2. The vast majority of pilots are, for now at least, men, meaning more often than not the controller will actually be referring to a ‘he’.

As others have already mentioned, aircraft - along with basically all other vehicles inc. ships, cars, bikes, tanks etc - are traditionally referred to as female unless otherwise declared male.

I of course appreciate appreciate what you are saying but, as with everything in this kind of conversation nowadays, a little common sense is needed.


I don’t necessarily think it’s that. “Older” generations of Americans, anyone over the age of 21 probably, were taught in English class that for singular pronouns you’d assume the masculine version “he” if you didn’t know what gender of the person is. Or if you’re creating a hypothetical you’d use “he” generally, assuming the masculine version because it also covered all genders. That’s what I was taught in school.

I only learned about using “they” last year. Maybe younger people, the newer generation, are now being taught to use “they”. Good to see “they” is now getting more widely adopted.

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I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of students being taught in that way in school in my home country of the UK. Admittedly schools are sadly becoming more and more “woke” nowadays (whether or not you believe this is correct is, of course, a whole different topic of conversation) but I have never heard of schools teaching people my age to assume something is male unless told otherwise.
I was always taught not to assume anything about someone unless it becomes obvious - for example, not assuming someone is either male or female unless you can see or hear them.

As for the use of ‘they’ on the forums, I agree that this is the only way to subsequently refer to somebody once you have named their community username.

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Come to think of it, is there a way of knowing roughly what proportion of this community are female compared to those that are male? I realise it’s not a relevant point in the grand scheme of things but it’s an interesting question.

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I’m genuinely confused. Why should it matter what pronouns are used? 🤦‍♂️


Because it’s important to respect others identity 🙂. That’s why.


Well, not to create controversy, but I know that there are only two genders: male and female. What people identify as is completely irrelevant to what they actually are. That’s my final say as so I don’t make the politically correct police angry.


Ok your opinion is completely fine, but respecting others is more important. It’s also important because our world is evolving and growing. And specifically saying there are only two genders is completely wrong. There are plenty of people in the world that identify as something other than the “social norm”. That’s why it’s important to utilize the they them pronoun.


I respect your opinion but there is a fine line between what you may believe in and basic respect toward your peers. It is important to remember that despite the differences you may have with someone, you should still treat them with the same amount of respect you treat anyone else and value what they think is disrespectful to them personally. Just like how I respect your opinion though I may not agree, you should respect how others want to be addressed.


This post is not about how many genders there are, but merely addressing the fact that sometimes it’s impossible/inappropriate to determine a user’s pronouns, hence using neutral pronouns is more appropriate.

For example, I genuinely could not tell by your username “ClassicAviationLover” what your pronouns are. If I mistakenly (or correctly, I don’t know) used the pronoun “She/Her” and your pronouns were “He/Him”, then it might create a bit of an issue. Utilising “they/them” is neutral and could both apply to male and female when it’s impossible/inappropriate to assume someone’s pronouns. It avoids the hassle of “that’s not my pronouns” altogether :).


Using the quote “you never know how someone is feeling until you step in their shoes” I can tell you that other in the world feel like they don’t belong in either category of Male or female. That’s why we use they them. And respecting that aspect of their life is so important in maintaining a healthy mind and body.


I treat people with as much respect as they deserve depending on their attitude. That to me seems like a more than fair system to live by.


And people that identify outside of the social norm don’t deserve respect??


So no mater what you are you can’t change? Or the world can’t accept people that identify or use the they them pronoun?

I usually refer the pilot with a callsign name if I’m unsure who is who
I can understand your point @ClassicAirlinerLover, if you see it a bit political correctness brigade going on here but if someone refer me as a she and not he, I would get confused. So using They/Them is more respectful bearing in mind of the user who is not aware of my gender. It’s all about making everyone inrespective of gender more inclusive in the IFC. I agree @GraceHopper


Great topic. I’ve been assumed to be a guy in the IF community so many times. Just being able to step back and not assume all pilots are male is a great step for inclusivity.