Forwarded: Gender in Language

Lief M. Hendrickson (hendrick@NOSC.MIL)
Sat, 31 Dec 1994 02:25:28 PST

> = Dec 30 posting by David Beriss

>This thread on gender and language is stupid and most of the contributions
>have been ridiculous.
I agree!

>Actually, it was Lief Hendrickson's most recent post that finally got me to
>submit this (I had meant to stay out of it, but just can't help myself...).
Glad someone woke you. You were starting to snore.

>Finally, objecting to certain uses of gendered language does not
>mean that one cannot "stomach" the concept of gender in language.
Whew! that's a relief. That's the sentiment that started this
exchange. Someone totally dismissed all content from a
contributer because of a gender interpretation- that was not
intended by the author.

>It also doesn't mean one wants to eliminate gender from language.
>Whatever gave you that idea? It means we should pay attention to
>when and how we use gendered language.
Well I guess I got that idea from the flame that started all
this- see above comment.

As far as language usage goes, I have no problem with using
whatever words are generally accepted. "Male carrier" instead of
"mailman" is O.K. by me. But I still hear a lot of people using
the latter. I'd be annoyed if everything else a person says is
condemned simply because they say, "Has the mailman been by yet?"

>Try it for a while and it
>becomes automatic. Its no big deal.
This is true. So do responses to certain issues. Kind of like a
knee jerk.

>...As for the names of museums or other "distinguished"
>institutions, well, change may be good.
Come on down to San Diego sometime. Maybe you can get them to
change the name of the "Museum of Man". If they change the sign,
I promise I'll be able to find it. I'll even go inside. I'm not
one to totally dismiss something solely on the basis of wording.