Re: Gender Bias in Pronouns

Subject: Re: Gender Bias in Pronouns
From: Heilan Yvette Grimes <HEP2 -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 1995 10:55:17 -0500

Alexnader wrote:

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

But that doesn't make it right, nor does it make it something that can't be

>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
> the social professions.

If the gender pronoun is irrelevant then let's all use she instead of he and
recognize that as the basic inclusive pronoun. However, men would never agree
to that because they would feel excluded. However, it's okay to use he to
refer to both men and women, because men know they are included by the use of

Word usage does make a difference. And women are pressuring society into
recognizing this. It now seems odd to many to read he as the only pronoun in
a book or manual. Many major publishers now insist that all the books they
publish be gender neutral. Those who cling to the he-only attitude are
fighting a loosing battle.

>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
> 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
> should talk about to their shrinks.

>Greetings from Germany,

If your language does not use inclusive pronouns for both geners then it not
the language that is spoiled, but rather your writing.

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