Gender-specific language (was: your mail)

Subject: Gender-specific language (was: your mail)
From: Alexander Von_obert <avobert -at- TWH -dot- MSN -dot- SUB -dot- ORG>
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 09:15:01 +0100

Hello Barbara,

* Antwort auf eine Nachricht von Barbara Weiss an All am 09.12.95

BW> From: Barbara Weiss <beweiss -at- umich -dot- edu>

BW> When I was a young girl, reading everything I could get my
BW> hands on, I
BW> remember feeling a door slam in my face every time the generic
BW> "he" was
BW> used. It was cruel and faceless and ubiquitous and it made me
BW> hate my gender.

at least in German we have a difference between the "natural" gender and the
"grammatical" gender. By default, the grammatical gender is male but does not
differenciate between natural genders.

If an author explicitly excludes women, you are quite right to be outragous.
But when I talk about the function a person is fulfilling, e.g. an author, I
see absolutely no need to use anything different from "he". If someone assumes
I tried to exclude women, I am right to be outragous.

BW> remember feeling a door slam in my face every time the generic
BW> "he" was used.

In my opinion this is your personal problem and no real argument to spoil our
languages with ideas like "teacher/ess" or "x" in stead as "he" or what
else has been discussed here over the time. From time to time I use a term
"he or she" once at the beginning of a text, but this is as far as I will go.

Greetings from Germany,

|Fidonet: Alexander Von_obert 2:2490/1719
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