this might be stupid

(26 Posts)
HalloweenNameChange Fri 16-Nov-12 19:40:46

but do you think it is relevant than when we describe someone we always use there gender?

If I was telling you about meeting someone in a bus stop and I said "this black guy" I would get pulled up as the fact that the person was black is irrelevant to the story. But you wouldn't necessarily say why is the fact that he was a man relevant?

But in most cases gender is also irrelevant, but we almost always describe a person as a woman or a man not a person. And in cases where a gender neutral term should be used (doctor, police officer, EMT) a qualifier will be used especially if the gender doesn't fit the stereotype, lady doctor, male nurse, female police officer.

Should we be making an effort to totally stop using gendered language?

alexpolismum Sun 18-Nov-12 14:52:12

I do think it's a bit silly to say things like "woman driver" or "woman police officer". I have been known to use the same terms in reverse with people who do it, so saying "man driver" and "man police officer", for example, until my father and brother the people involved get the point.

However, it is relevant in some cases, I can see that a lot of women would prefer to have a woman HCP to deal with things like smear tests.

If it makes you feel any better, it doesn't help to have a gender neutral language. Georgian and Armenian both have just one pronoun in the third person, and they still find ways to clarify gender. And then there are downright wierd linguistic phenomena, like in Greek, where the word "girl" is grammatically neuter rather than the obvious feminine.

I don't get hung up on pronouns and using "they" instead of he or she, I just see them as part of the way the language works. I just try to avoid things like "woman firefighter" or whatever.

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