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Pokémon being called it

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SeanWheeler

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One thing that I've always found odd, most Pokémon are characters with genders yet Nintendo has always referred to them as "it." And you know how people find "it" as insulting, it's can be cringey when anthropomorphized animals are called "it" because they are so close to humans that the pronoun "it" just doesn't sound right. People even use "he" and "she" for their pets. There have been a few instances where Pokémon were referred by gendered pronouns but they've mostly called it. Even Meowth from Team Rocket was called "it" despite being the most human Pokémon in the show. I'm just wondering, does it feel right to call Pokémon it?
 

PinkIceFox

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I tend to call pokemon that I don't know the gender of 'it'. Though in the games they do it so they don't have to change dialogue flags for gender as well as the species name of the pokemon. However if I know the pokemon is male or female (through gender dimorphism, straight up clarification from an event in the anime, or anything else) I'm going to call it he or she.
 

SeanWheeler

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Well, at least we're not calling one Pokémon "they" right? Using plural pronouns for a singular specific subject just sticks out as being not right. Sure people are accepting "they" now, but if anyone called me "they" when I was alone or an individual character was called "they," it's just plain confusing. It can be offensive if someone was called the wrong pronoun. I would prefer to call male Pokémon he and female Pokémon she. You can pick "he" or "she" for genderless Pokémon depending on whether they seem more masculine or feminine.
 

Prof. SALTY

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I call most pokemon species "he" unless their design is feminine or I'm referring to a specific pokemon. I'm not super comfortable calling anything "it".
 

Gengarzilla

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He for males, she for females, it for genderless (and unconfirmed when it comes to the anime) or when referring to a whole species. I don't intend to make standard Pokémon conversation more difficult for myself.
 

SylveonSparklit

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I like seeing them as he, she, or 'they' (gender is over rated, so.... :p).

'It' doesn't really feel right to me. Its not like we call our pets 'it', and they're even less like us than pokemon are o.o;
 

Rocket Zigzagoon

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Depends on what gender the Pokémon is. I personally only use "it" on genderless Pokémon. Like Metagross, Stakataka, or even Darkrai or Arceus. I use more gender-specific pronouns for single-gender-race ones, like "she" for female-only Kangaskhan or Cresselia, or "he" for male-only Forces of Nature (Tornadus, Thundurus, Landorus) or Hitmons (Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Hitmontop).

For Pokémon with higher male ratio (like Eeveelutions), I use male pronouns for them mainly. The inverse is same for ones (like Litleo-line) with higher female ratios.
 

Stratelier

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I like seeing them as he, she, or 'they' (gender is over rated, so.... :p).

'It' doesn't really feel right to me. Its not like we call our pets 'it', and they're even less like us than pokemon are o.o;
"It" has a longstanding connotation of being specifically impersonal (or worse, anti-personal), and therefore inappropriate to use in a personal context. It's a legitimate flaw in the English pronoun set itself, and not likely to change any time soon (especially since "they" is already the frontrunner for ungendered singular 3rd person).

Adopting new pronouns is like Highlander: no shortage of contenders, but in the end, there can be only one.
 

Lilac~♡

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I always refer to Pokémon as "it," and other people's pets too.. but I am weird
 

ThreeThousandFish

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I wonder, would most Pokémon species care whether they receive proper reference? The sex and the gender of a person in our societies can be fairly significant in their culture and especially for that person, but Pokémon, while fairly close to humans in terms of intelligence, communication, cognition, etc. have different lives.

Would a Pokémon who has resided among humans for an extensive period of time begin to have concerns for their identity anent their gender? Would a wild Pokémon caught from the wild ever care about their personal pronoun, considering that it most likely was not necessary for their survival? Are their even pronouns in the language of Pokémon?

I like this discussion. Interesting topic.
 

Kyriaki

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One thing that I've always found odd, most Pokémon are characters with genders yet Nintendo has always referred to them as "it." And you know how people find "it" as insulting, it's can be cringey when anthropomorphized animals are called "it" because they are so close to humans that the pronoun "it" just doesn't sound right. People even use "he" and "she" for their pets. There have been a few instances where Pokémon were referred by gendered pronouns but they've mostly called it. Even Meowth from Team Rocket was called "it" despite being the most human Pokémon in the show. I'm just wondering, does it feel right to call Pokémon it?
Well... what about genderless pokemon?
 

Drakon

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I think 'mons like Magnetite and similar are probably okay with being referred to as "it". As for Legendaries, they probably don't give a shit and some like Dialga, Palkia and Giratina and the Ultra Beasts probably don't even have the concept of gender or the lack of.

Still, I think it's best to call Pokémon with "he or she" because in the words of a dog owner I know, "My dog isn't an object." And this goes double for talking Pokémon like Team Rocket's Meowth.

Wild pokémon, "it" would suffice.
 

Ally Switch

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Well, at least we're not calling one Pokémon "they" right? Using plural pronouns for a singular specific subject just sticks out as being not right. Sure people are accepting "they" now, but if anyone called me "they" when I was alone or an individual character was called "they," it's just plain confusing. It can be offensive if someone was called the wrong pronoun. I would prefer to call male Pokémon he and female Pokémon she.
Singular they is grammatically correct, and has a ~500 year long history in English.

You can pick "he" or "she" for genderless Pokémon depending on whether they seem more masculine or feminine.
Personally, I prefer to say they for genderless Pokemon. I don't really see the point of enforcing gender on something that specifically lacks it.
 

prog rocker

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In my case, I use "he" when referring to male Pokémon, "she" for female Pokémon, and "it" for genderless Pokémon or with unknown gender (e.g: the Slowbro from Cerulean City). Singular "they" still sounds weird to me, but I feel I'll get used to it someday.

At least you have something resembling a gender-neutral pronoun. In Spanish (my native language) we don't have anything like that. It's either "he" or "she", no alternatives.
 

ZephyrSpecs

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"They" is necessary for people, but not for animals, so I don't see why it'd be different for our pocket monster friends. I agree with the point that a monster pal probably doesn't care what pronouns you refer to it/them as. I'd use "it" because I'd also refer to a pet I didn't know as an "it".
 

prog rocker

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You can pick "he" or "she" for genderless Pokémon depending on whether they seem more masculine or feminine.
The problem with this is that most genderless Pokémon don't look like any gender, like Magnemite, Staryu, Cryogonal, etc.
 

SeanWheeler

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Or we could use it, since that's what Nintendo wants us to call Pokémon. If we make the singular they normal, we'd might as well finish singularizing the plural pronouns by ourselves "we" when we're alone. If you is both singular and plural and they is both singular and plural, the only pronouns left in the English language that are exclusively singular and plural would be the first-person pronouns.
 
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