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  1. #1
    WALMART
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    Default gender neutralization in language

    is this something to strive for?

    does the application of gender to define an environment expedite mental rifts in the psyche?

  2. #2
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I think it is, and does. I'm not going to place a priority on it, nor am I sure of its feasibility, but it is something to strive for.

    I was just thinking the other day about how our use of gendered pronouns is incessant, always noting the genders of people in situations where it is totally irrelevant. I think it has the effect of constantly reminding people of a distinction, some sort of existence of a classification scheme and a dichotomy, and I think the mere presence of such divisions goes a long way in encouraging other gender distinctions in society, like roles or comportment.
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  3. #3
    WALMART
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    Yes, pronouns are where I watch myself most.

    I use 'he' and 'they' interchangeably, 'she' being used only when a woman is being explicitly defined. It sucks.

  4. #4
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    We need a gender neutral personal pronoun.

    My way of handling it is to use 'he' for a default, because grammatically the male form is the default as a rule. I use 'she' as a default if I'm talking about something that might be a stereotypically male thing in order to not reinforce gender stereotypes. I'm averse to using 'they' since it's plural and I'm not talking about more than one person.

    I'll use 'one' if I'm ok with sounding a little more formal or 'he or she' if I'm writing like a letter to parents of students or something where I feel like it's important to be politically correct.

    The problem with English is that since we don't have grammatical gender for apart from biological gender, it's impossible to use it without evoking association with it. It's a problem.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    I think the way that english language differentiates between men and women is sexist. I mean Man means a human in general, but males are "man" and females something else and when the persons gender is unknown the person is referred as he..
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  6. #6
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    In formal writing, I mix up between male and female pronouns. In speech I'd say they/their
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Opal's Avatar
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    If there's an imbalance I'll usually jump the fence, even if it makes me technically wrong. Facts hinge on consensus, y'know.

    Also, for anything hypothetical, "someone" works as less formal than "one". (I usually follow with an inappropriate "they" or "them" though)

  8. #8
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I always use 'they' or 'somebody' or 'someone' or 'one' if the subject's gender is not relevant or unknown, even though it can get awkward. I could try to just switch to hir and ey, I'm not sure I'm ready to make that statement, yet.

    Sometimes with subjects like God, I'll use 'she' just because its unexpected and just as wrong as 'he'.

  9. #9
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    I like the disclaimers people put in their writing about the use of pronouns. It's funny to me because I naturally assume it anyway.

    Nobody wants to use "it"?

  10. #10
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post
    I like the disclaimers people put in their writing about the use of pronouns. It's funny to me because I naturally assume it anyway.

    Nobody wants to use "it"?
    I want to think you're joking, but it doesn't seem like you are? If you're not, then I'm awfully curious if there's a difference in reaction between Ts and Fs on the prospect of being called 'it'.

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