Re: The HE/ Thing

Subject: Re: The HE/ Thing
From: Sally Marquigny <SALLYM -at- MSMAILHQ -dot- NETIMAGE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 12:26:00 PDT

I too ran into the first balanced swapping of pronouns in baby magazines
after my son was born. One blurb uses "he", the next "she". It's not
obtrusive after you get over the fact that they're talking about your baby
even if the gender does not correspond.

You would think that being a woman I would have felt slighted before, but
being a writer, I adhered to the convention that "he" IS the neuter form,
and being raised in a patriarchal society, I never questioned it much until
the past several years.

But I find it really DOES change the gender of the "narrative actor" in your
head. And it makes you realize how many assumptions you make about people
(as we find conversing blindly on the internet like this), like everyone's
male until proven female!

Yet I don't think reverse discrimination (using only "she" now) redeems us.
We need to be a multi-sexual society!


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