Gender Bias in Pronouns

Subject: Gender Bias in Pronouns
From: Alexander Von_obert <avobert -at- TWH -dot- MSN -dot- SUB -dot- ORG>
Date: Sat, 16 Dec 1995 12:23:01 +0100

Hello George,

* Antwort auf eine Nachricht von George Allaman an All am 11.12.95

GA> From: George Allaman <gallama -at- lookout -dot- ecte -dot- uswc -dot- uswest -dot- com>
GA> |---> New address as of 1/2/95: gallama -at- uswest -dot- com <---|

GA> However, because of the awkwardness, I started to realize how
GA> biased the
GA> language usage really is. I'm GLAD we don't have a neuter
GA> gender - I tried to learn German once. What a pain!

Language usage IS biased and in our western societies and it IS centered around
the mail gender. You can argue that this should not be, but that will not
change anything.

The German you mentioned is my background. There are a few groups in our
society who either are not advanced enough or not self-confident enough to
grasp the difference between grammatical and natural gender and who FORCE
members to explicitly use BOTH forms, e.g. our workers unions or many groups
the social professions.

From this background came my example "teacher/ess". Here in Bavaria the
professional society for teachers is called "Bayrischer Lehrer- und
Lehrerinnenverband" (Bavarian conforderation of teachers and teacheresses).

Another quite "popular" way to spoil language uses the fact that all nouns
start with a capital letter. So if some want to include both genders they do
definitely wrong constructs like "LehrerInnen". But noone can tell you how to
pronounce that! :-)

Again: I acknowledge that women have many disadvantages in our societies. I
prefer to work with women on the side of my customers because they are quite
likely more competent than men in comparable positions. I try not to
discriminate against women in my personal area of influence. But I will not
spoil the language I use to help people with their very personal problems they
should talk about to their shrinks.

Greetings from Germany,

|Fidonet: Alexander Von_obert 2:2490/1719
|Internet: avobert -at- twh -dot- msn -dot- sub -dot- org

| Standard disclaimer: The views of this user are strictly his own.
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