Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pronouns and Gender

English is a very gendered language, though not as gendered as say Spanish. The default gender pronouns are usually male in English. This is especially true with people or animals where gender is not immediately obvious. As a neuro-linguistic experiment, I am going to use female pronouns for anyone or thing that I am not certain of the gender of. I plan to do this for 90 days and see what the results are. At the least it will help me consciously focus on gender identity and hopefully help break cultural conditioning. I hope to follow this up by using one of the set of gender neutral pronouns for everyone for 90 days. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Please, please, please keep us posted. I've often wished that English had gender-neutral pronouns. Once I was talking to a woman on the phone and she said something about her boss being really upset. I said, "Is he having a bad day?" I said it knowing that her boss could very well be a woman. And she was. I felt really stupid for saying "he", but, honestly, how was I to know?