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3-15-2009 @ 4:26PM
"Altering the language in this way is confusing and overcomplicated. What's the point, and where does the trend stop?"Is adopting gender-inclusive language really so objectionable? Yes, the traditional usage is that exclusively male terminology can refer to both men and women. But it never did so on equal terms. Look at the culture in which that usage derived. Women were legal non-persons under the care of their father or husband, barred from most vocations (so "craftsmen" WERE exclusively male). Men were considered the superior, prime specimen of the species, and women were viewed as an inherently flawed, sinful, weak, inferior variation. And the English language developed reflecting and reinforcing that worldview. The inequality of women in society and the inequality of women in language is not some crazy coincidence. Most women, for the most part, no longer refer to themselves as "Mrs. John Smith", feeling they have their own identities and should therefore get to have their own names. Similarly, is it really so objectionable that they wouldn't want to identify as "men" or be referred to as "he"?
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