For those of you who are wondering why we used the female pronouns “she” and “her” in our latest reports about Jack Monroe and her legal case against Katie Hopkins, we approached Jack to find out which pronouns she would prefer us to use before filing our article.
Jack Monroe told us that female or the plural pronouns (their, them and they) were acceptable to use.
In accordance with our editorial policy on using plural pronouns as a singular, we made a choice to use the female pronouns for clarity.
As way of explanation, here are our notes from our style guide on using “they”, “them” and “their” as a singular pronoun
Some people in the non-binary community would prefer to be referred to as “They”, “Them” or “Their”, be careful in how you write this request up. Whilst we want to respect how people identify themselves it must not detract from the article’s main purpose and clarity. We must not forget that these pronouns when used for a single person, to whom we have been introduced, could be confusing for a number of groups of people, namely, those who have trouble reading, those who are using a talk back system on their computer or those understanding the English language or where English is not their first language.
Therefore it is preferable to use: “they”, “them” or “their” sparingly and referred to them using their name instead or other non-gender identifiable descriptions, such as age or occupation. If using these pronouns they must be accompanied with an asterisk and an explanation that it is that person’s preferred pronoun use.
If you have comments about this please email: [email protected]