Should English eliminate words like "she" and "her", effectively getting rid of gender-specific language?

Asked by: TheInterlang
  • Instead, "He" will be used across the board for referring to a human or animal.

    - Other languages, like Turkish, lack gender-specific pronouns.
    - Signifies that gender doesn't really matter. "He" is a human; we are all human.
    - Compatible with transgenders.
    - People will be less annoying. Sometimes, when I say "she" when describing a friend, people immediately say "is she hot"? This obviously wouldn't happen if a gender-specific pronoun is eliminated.

    Let's spread this new usage across the Internet!

  • Why English should get rid of gender specific language.

    I think English should get rid of gender specific words because if we get rid of these words, then we're one step closer to eliminating discrimination among women, people who are often more wise than their male counterparts. Women are being discriminated for the fact that they are women, even though many women are more powerful, intelligent, wise, you name it. There is simply no justice in discrimination. Women are human beings as well, no different from men.

  • There is no definitive status

    Not all men are football-loving, muscular, aggressive, and dominant people, nor are all women pink-loving, weak, kind, and submissive people. Obviously there are physical differences between us. And obviously there are some psychological differences between us too. But those differences are small enough and subjective enough that it doesn't matter, just like we acknowledge race. Did you know black people statistically have lower IQs than white people? That doesn't mean, though, that we should segregate against them and offer them less opportunities. There are obviously some black people smarter than white people, and women smarter than men.

    And then there's the animal argument. Some argue that "us humans are like animals, and a lot of animals have separations of genders." Yes, that's true. But we humans carry a lot of anti-evolutionary traits specific to us. For example, natural selection. We create vaccines to prevent what would be natural selection, that is, the survival of the fittest. Should we then just let our physically and mentally retarded people just die? No; we've formulated the best response and that is a direct result of our intelligence. So, if we can "evolve" our way out of natural selection, then we can surely "evolve" our way out of gender. Plus, without gender, it will be so much easier for the sexes (note I don't say gender) to get along! Just as religion is taught to children they, most of the time, stick with that religion their entire lives, teaching children about the concept of gender will surely promote a healthy, egalitarian future with positive results.

  • Gender doesn't exist.

    I don't necessarily think it's a feasible change, but I think it would be a positive change. It's not like it's .So. Much harder to refer to someone with one gender identity instead of two as is common now. Goodness forbid you have to use the person's name or describe them rather than narrowing it down to fiftyish percent of the population first be using "he" or "she."

    Gender roles exist only because society has created them. In reality, gender is a continuum, not some simple dichotomy. There are "masculine" people with female genitalia (or XY chromosome) and "feminine" people with male genitalia (or XX chromosome) and everything in between. Unless one is filling out a genetics survey or is at the doctor's office, sex doesn't matter and gender as we know it doesn't exist (what we see as gender is independent of sex and has everything to do with behavior). I support using gender-neutral pronouns because gender doesn't exist.

  • It will confuse people.

    To effectively portray how confusing and annoying it would be, imagine if you're giving a business presentation, testifying in court or otherwise speaking in a public setting about a number of people. If you refer to men and women with the same pronoun, people are going to lose you very quickly. You'd have to go by their names instead of using pronouns. And let's not mention it'd be just flat out annoying.

  • Should we eliminate male and female bathrooms, too?

    We are a gender-specific society. By eliminating "she" and "her", you are stripping the title of womanhood away from women.

    When a woman is pregnant, most decorate their nursery with pink or blue (with the intent that the child conforms to their gender). Should we eliminate male and female bathrooms, too?

  • That's just dumb.

    Humans are a sexually dimorphic species. Men and women are different. Gender roles exist and are normal. We think of people as boys or girls, not as gender-neutral individuals. The English language reflects this. As long as gender is still a part of being human, we need words to define it. Purging the dictionary for the sake of political correctness is neither required nor recommended.

  • I like English the way it is thanks

    I'm not about to expend energy changing the pronouns I use in everyday speech. If I have a transgender friend I will respect them and use what ever pronouns they like, but I'm not about to go around changing the pronouns I normally use. And since most people aren't bored enough you're not going to get a large following of people enthusiastic about changing the English language. Find a more worthwhile cause and quit tilting at windmills, Don Qixote.

  • I don't even understand why?

    I'm not sure I understand why eliminating "gender-specific language" would even benefit women, or men for that matter. This would do nothing but make our language more ambiguous and confusing. If anything, this would hurt women, because by defaulting to "he" and "him" instead it creates the image of a male when you really mean a female.

  • We are taking it waaay too far

    This is getting ridiculous. It's like now you can't sing baa baa black sheep for fear of being racist. I'm a woman, and a strong one at that, but frankly feminists annoy the crap out of me. We cover 50% of the population, and we have to come to terms with the fact that men are simply stronger then us, and are better at certain things. Likewise we are better at certain things then them. When we consider how life used to be for women, and how it is for some women in developing countries or the middle east, we got it real easy.

    Standing up for women#s rights is important up to a certain point, for example in Syria where women aren't even allowed to drive, and are not allowed to go anywhere without being accompanied by their husband or a male family member. Then ok, we have a fair point. But the rest of the time it's like quit complaining, we have far more serious things to worry about at the moment then the fact that some guy slapped your ass at work.

    And another thing, I'm a woman, and I love being a woman, and i want my men to be men. I don't want to be treated the same as them, what's special or interesting about that? Call me old-fashioned, but I don't care. In my opinion we are different and always will be, so don't try to make us all the same.

    Posted by: sota
  • What is the point?

    What is the practical application of such a reform. I cannot name a single one other then to appease some fringe radical feminist movement. How about instead we advocate strong and effective reforms that actually have meaning and benefits to both genders?

    Maybe far into the future such linguistics will become obsolete but in the meantime lets stick with what works.

  • Are you freebasing?

    This doesn't make any sense. "She" and "her" are not gender-specific, they are sex-specific. When I say, "She's over there," I don't mean, "That person over there who identifies as a girl," I mean, "That person over there, who happens to have the sexual organs indicative of a female." The same thing I mean when I say "He's over there." I don't care if they identify as horses; they are, genetically speaking, a male or a female (with the rare, rare, rare exception of the person being transsexual), and I will refer to them as such. Are people really this politically correct, that we can't even indicate the sex of the person being referred to? Not to mention how damned confusing it would be. What would we use instead? It? Or encompass "he" for everyone, thus negating the notion of womanhood and rendering meaningless the idea of manhood? This idea is beyond ridiculous.

  • Probably not even possible

    Language develops organically in society. It changes, yes, but this is a pretty base concept in the English language, and in basically all Germanic languages.

    I would prefer to concentrate on encouraging people to simply be themselves (including accepting their gender as it is, and keeping their identity separate), deviating from norms as they see fit, rather than fighting a culture war over pronouns.

  • 12 Year old girl orders teachers and school to be gender neutral.

    I am a teacher, teaching primary school. I have a 12 year old girl (who has breasts) telling me she is gender fluid. I am not to refer to her as a girl and must avoid gender specific pronouns. She is being aided and abetted in this nonsense by her mother and organisations. Their goal is to change languages. This group are being led by Mily Cyrus and Ruby Rose! Gays and Lesbians are old hat, just as 'binary as heterosexuals. There must be a key organisational group behind this. I can't believe children are drowning at sea, refugees are suffering and we're allowing bratty preteens have a powerful platform about nothing.

Leave a comment...
(Maximum 900 words)
alwaysmetara says2013-09-22T02:02:08.330
Having gender specific pronouns does contribute slightly to sexism, but referring to everyone as "he" would be harmful instead of helpful. It'll be too confusing and "he" already has distinct connotations.