I'm writing a descriptive essay about a bird, which is a metaphor of my cell phone.

So far, I have been using the pronoun "it" when describing the bird/cell phone; however, it feels awkward as the bird clearly has a personal connection to me, and the essay is written in the first person.

I was thinking instead of using the pronoun it, I should use he or she although I have been debating whether to personify my cell phone as a male or female.

Any suggestions/thoughts?

  • 2
    Because of Siri and ships and technology, a 'she' would not be thought odd, and may fit with your relationship to phone, I don't know. I think 'he' is interesting and would spark more interest in the reader. you can name him.
    – SFWriter
    Oct 4, 2017 at 23:40
  • 3
    Since you are describing something that is personal to you... how do YOU view the phone? I don't have any genders attached to my phone but I definitely do for other things. It's just mostly based off of the personality profile of said object. If you find the personality to be more of a female, then she would probably be better to use, if it's gender neutral, then pick what label comes naturally when reference to the phone.
    – ggiaquin16
    Oct 5, 2017 at 0:06
  • 2
    You can make up a name for your phone. Here is a list of gender-neutral first names, so you don't have to pick male or female: babycenter.com/…
    – Amadeus
    Oct 5, 2017 at 2:57

2 Answers 2


If you give your phone a gender, be consistent throughout your essay. If gender neutral, you can always refer to the device by name.


If you want to refer to an object with a male or female pronoun because using "it" doesn't feel right, then there is nothing wrong with it - it's your decision as the author and only you can know what feels right.

But: you should think carefully about the reason why you want to use a male or female pronoun. Try to ask yourself what it is that makes it feel more like a he or a she. This is an interesting and important part of your essay, especially because it focuses on the bird/phone.

Is the reason that the metaphor you are using is a bird and you feel that birds are delicate creatures so you subconciously always use she when referring to a bird? Or are you thinking of a predatory bird and associating masculinity with the way this bird hunts?

Or are the reasons found in the real meaning - the phone? Is it the fact that you can talk to Siri, which makes it feel like the phone is female? Or do you associate that one male friend with your phone who never texts and always calls?

Exploring why you are using a different pronoun may prove to be a valuable lesson that might give you more ideas for your essay and show the readers your thoughts. The fact that you realized that you don't feel like using "it" is a good first step.

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