Be a Better Writer -- GENDER NEUTRAL LANGUAGE

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

Moderators: mikeedwards, glorybee

User avatar
Cinnamon Bear
Pencil 4 (150-199 Posts)
Pencil 4 (150-199 Posts)
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:35 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Be a Better Writer -- GENDER NEUTRAL LANGUAGE

Post by Cinnamon Bear » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:22 pm

glorybee wrote:
Cinnamon Bear wrote: Perhaps you can help me out a bit with this. I'm not sure that I'm seeing where the hypocrisy is. By your own statement, using only the masculine form implies that masculine is better, and using a woman's title to indicate her marital status implies that marriage is superior to not-marriage. Gender neutral language gets rid of such implications--in my view, that's the exact opposite of hypocrisy. So I'm not clear where you're seeing hypocrisy--can you clarify at all?

Jan, thanks for your reply.

I realize that in some instances, gender neutral language is indeed gender neutral. For example, the term "police officer" instead of "policeman" or "matron".

But terms such as "waiter" or "actor" are used for both males and females in many instances.

Regarding titles for women: In theory, "Ms." was supposed to replace both "Mrs." and "Miss." In practice, it only replaces "Miss" and therefore means that a woman in not married.

Regarding hypocrisy: It may have something to do with my personal experiences and the types of people/organizations to whom I have been exposed. Enforced use of gender neutral language and other types of terminology deemed politically correct, can create resentment, and often does nothing to help the people who such terminology was supposedly meant to help.

That said, in my non fiction writing for my "day job", I go along to get along. I appreciate your lesson. Among other things, I learned that it is best not to use "he/she" or similar phrases, which up to now, I have been doing.

Cinnamon Bear

Post Reply

Return to “Jan's Writing Basics”