This tag is for questions related to gender neutral pronouns, nouns, and sentences.

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2
votes
1answer
65 views

What job descriptions are currently accepted as gendered?

It seems to me that in my lifetime, the use of "actress" has fallen out of favor in lieu of "actor", while relatively recently the term "comedienne" has been climbing in popularity. These blog posts ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

Proper syntax of gender-neutral statements, order of his/her

I know that in certain cases, you can form a gender-neutral sentence with a form of "they", e.g.: If a person goes out to their car... You could also use "his or her" or some variation: If a ...
3
votes
4answers
118 views

How to make gender-neutral: “Let he who would move the world, first move himself.”

Here's the original quote from Socrates: Let he who would move the world, first move himself. I'm thinking a non-gender specific version would be: Let they who would move the world, first ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

An alternative to gender specific pronouns [duplicate]

Is there any suitable alternative to using both gender specific pronouns in such cases? Example: Client uses his/her account.
11
votes
2answers
1k views

“Mx” the gender-neutral honorific

The gender-neutral honorific “Mx” has its own entry in the OED since August 2015, so no one can argue it doesn't exist. According to The Sunday Times, central and local governments have been quietly ...
1
vote
0answers
126 views

How to specify we don't know the gender

I was talking about the short story "The Invisible Japanese Gentlemen" by Graham Greene. The narrator is part of the story and also talks about himself/herself. They ask me what we know about the ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are plurals ‘*humen’ and ‘*Germen’ not conventional?

Studying English in school as a second language, I learned that human being would be the proper noun to describe a member of the Homo sapiens species, but it seems human is perfectly acceptable in ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

Feminist 'she' when the action is bad

When the gender of the subject of a sentence is unknown, I sometimes use the feminist she rather than the more common singular they. Now I happen to feel that something is wrong when I use it as ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

What's a suitable gender-neutral alternative to manned? [duplicate]

What's a suitable gender-neutral alternative to manned, as in "the front desk is manned by a different person every day?"
2
votes
3answers
124 views

Do any style guides advocate the alternating use of “he” and “she” as a gender-neutral pronoun?

I don't like the options that are usually given in the "gender-neutral pronoun" debate. The singular they offends my prescriptivist sensibilities. His/her constructions are clunky and look terrible. ...
2
votes
0answers
56 views

Gender-neutral pronoun other than singular they? [duplicate]

I'm looking for a singular, gender-neutral pronoun that can be used when the speaker doesn't know or want to disclose a person's gender. For example, take this sentence: He is coming with us. ...
2
votes
2answers
187 views

Is gender-neutral language the norm for academic writing ? If so, when did this start?

Most texts I read on linguistics and translation studies seem to use gender-neutral language (e.g. 'he or she/his or her', 'they/their'for people of unknown gender). Is this the dominant trend for ...
26
votes
19answers
7k views

Is there a non-gendered term for “gentlemanly” [duplicate]

Opening doors, offering to pay the tab, helping with a coat or a light of the smoke: we may describe these acts of a man to be gentlemanly. In a word, how may we describe these acts of any person?
2
votes
8answers
927 views

A non-gendered word for fishermen

Is there a non-gendered word for fishermen, that doesn't feel as self-conscious as fisherpersons or as folksy as fisherfolk?
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Father and mother are to parents what brother and sister are to which gender neutral noun? [closed]

Looking for a word that denotes both brothers and sisters without gender connotations (gender neutral), in a similar fashion as parents for father and mother.
2
votes
1answer
173 views

Why are plural pronouns used for a singular third person? [duplicate]

My initial concept was: One should finish one's meal. When a user logs in to his/her email... A person bought a cake for his/her work. However, in the recent (8-10) years, I have been ...
25
votes
18answers
4k views

What is a non-gendered synonym for “macho”?

In teaching computer science, I often want to mention certain beliefs that would normally be described as "macho", such as "Strong types are for weak minds" (translation: only lousy programmers need a ...
-1
votes
1answer
184 views

Generic he, correct or incorrect? [duplicate]

Completely ignoring the sexist aspect of the word, is using "he" as a gender neutral pronoun grammatically correct or incorrect? I'm well aware that using "he" may come off as sexist or politically ...
0
votes
2answers
207 views

Why are words like “actor” and “waiter” considered male?

What is it about words like "actor" and "waiter" that causes them to be considered male, so that they have female counterparts (i.e. "actress" and "waitress")? Why are they not gender-neutral like ...
-2
votes
1answer
600 views

male/female cousin or nephew/niece [closed]

I was reading true some of the gender questions on this site. They said that there where no gender specific way of saying cousin except adding male or female in front of it. But i was always told you ...
-2
votes
1answer
58 views

Pronoun Agreement [duplicate]

Lately, I've been trying to understand the use of pronoun agreement in depth. While in the process I came across this website. According to the Author: Professional writers might revise the ...
5
votes
7answers
882 views

Alternatives to the expression “poor man's <noun>”

I'm looking for a more politically correct substitute for the expression "poor man's", meaning an inferior improvised or makeshift substitute. Usage examples: "Guncotton is the poor man's TNT" "Poor ...
6
votes
3answers
247 views

Dating equivalent of 'spouse'

I want to ask someone, "Describe the perfect girlfriend/boyfriend" but I don't want to be so hetero-normative. So I'm looking for a simple gender-neutral/gender-inclusive equivalent for ...
-3
votes
1answer
246 views

Is there a non-transphobic alternative to “he or she”? [duplicate]

For instance, "A politician must be able to think quickly on the spot. He or she must also have no qualms about lying." I know some people who use "they", but as that both sounds and is ...
0
votes
1answer
516 views

Is it grammatically correct to use his, her, or his/her? [duplicate]

I've always thought that using the word "his" as a gender-nonspecific pronoun has been acceptable; in recent years, however, I've been told off by people when I do this, saying it is now "politically" ...
18
votes
9answers
6k views

Man-hour vs. person-hour? Is the former now considered politically incorrect?

It's now (often) considered politically incorrect to say 'chairman'. We must now say 'chairperson' or simply 'chair'. Does the same apply to 'man-hour'? Should I instead say 'person-hour'? (On say a ...
5
votes
1answer
370 views

Is there an explicitly male version of “craftsman/craftsmanship”?

This is somewhat of a fringe question, I’m sure, but the recent question asking for a gender-neutral of craftsmanship thread got me thinking. Since the suffix ‑man has become something of a ...
8
votes
3answers
139 views

What's an evidential basis for discussing gender-neutrality of terms? [closed]

I keep finding myself looking at questions involving the concept of gender neutrality of words or phrases. (Check out the RELATED panel down to the right there.) "Craftmanship" for example - is it ...
24
votes
15answers
12k views

Gender-neutral alternative to “craftsmanship”?

It's straightforward to refer to a "craftsperson" instead of a "craftsman" if one doesn't want to imply a gender. But "craftspersonship", "sportspersonship", and the like seem pretty cumbersome. Is ...
15
votes
9answers
6k views

Is the genderless pronoun “they” appropriate and grammatical for a non-binary gender? [duplicate]

I recently had somebody tell me that a mutual friend of ours who is genderqueer prefers that people refer to him/her using the gender-indefinite pronoun they. In some cases, this almost seems okay: ...
3
votes
2answers
304 views

How to ask a mixed-gender group for their participation?

This question deals with the use of y’all in written vs. spoken English, gender neutrality and group dynamics. I often find myself writing emails to a group of both men and women asking if they ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Is “past master” a gender neutral phrase?

PAST MASTER - noun: a person who has done something many times before and has become very skilled at doing it "He's a past master at finding ways to get out of trouble." ...
8
votes
3answers
547 views

A gender-neutral, informal alternative to singular 'guy'

When referring to an online comment, I want to say I agree with this guy. However, it's not gender neutral (See this ELU post.) What other informal alternate word is there? 'User' seems ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Term of endearment for either parent?

For father, we have daddy, dada, papa, poppy, etc. For mother, we have momma, mommy, mama, etc. Is there a term of endearment that fits either role? I've racked my brain thinking of one and I can't. ...
1
vote
1answer
413 views

History of usage of singular “they” (gender-neutral) [duplicate]

I have just read in Emma by Jane Austen a phrase which surprised me: I can think of but one thing - Who is in love with her? Who makes you their confidant? (Jane Austen: Emma, Chapter VIII, ...
0
votes
2answers
340 views

Can we use “it” as a generic reference for a human being?

I was watching a Hollywood movie few days ago. In one scene the son says "See, Mama: it's Dad," using it for a human. Is that right? How? In another case, when one of my colleague was explaining some ...
0
votes
3answers
792 views

Choice of pronoun to refer to 'one of us' when 'us' is male + female: they, he, she?

Imagine yourself – a man – sitting next to someone you want to talk to – a woman – on a bus, train, plane, etc. After a while you say: 'One of us has to start talking / break the ice, don't they? / ...
6
votes
9answers
6k views

What is a female or gender neutral form of gentleman that relays the same tone of respect? [duplicate]

At my office when referring to customers or external vendors I often use the word gentleman. I do this in effort to show that I’m speaking respectfully about them so the content and tone of my ...
20
votes
5answers
15k views

Is ‘hero’ applicable to females?

There was the following sentence in today’s (June 4) New York Times written by its Op-Ed columnist, Nickolas Kristof under the headline, “There’s a Kind of Hush.” “Aung San Suu Kyi should be one ...
-1
votes
4answers
842 views

Are terms like “policeman” still gender-exclusive if they refer to one specific man?

I'm reading a news article about a male police officer and the author calls him a "policeman." This word seems unsophisticated to me, but is it still sexist if it refers to a man?
0
votes
1answer
164 views

Given “a player” as antecedent, when should the pronoun be “he” or “she”? [duplicate]

I am learning game theory. I always see that professors write (in text books): a player chooses her strategy If she chooses a strategy Also some professors use he instead of she. There other ...
1
vote
8answers
1k views

What is a heterosexual term for “cruising”?

Cruising, the act of going out and about looking for a sexual partner, is generally only used in a gay context in the US. What is a term with the same basic meaning but without the homosexual ...
1
vote
1answer
490 views

gender neutral pronoun - he/she or it [duplicate]

I'm a bit lost in gender neutrality. Please see the example below. A: What, I got a child‽ B: Sooner or later *he or she* will show up. From my own research, people put preferences this way: they > ...
4
votes
4answers
843 views

Etymology of “manhole”

I don't think man stands for male here, I think it stands for human—it is a humanhole. Does it have this name because its purpose is to provide access to the sewer for men?
0
votes
3answers
425 views

Looking for a gender neutral equivalent for “dairyman”

What would be the gender-neutral version of the term "dairyman"?
1
vote
1answer
133 views

Is “tomfoolery” a gendered word?

I saw a comment of someone refering to tom-and-tanya-foolery as the gender-inclusive version of tomfoolery. I was completely unaware of tomfoolery having any gendered conotation at all. Is this a ...
7
votes
4answers
680 views

Gender neutral term for “maiden name”?

The term "maiden name" is only used to describe the name that a woman had before marriage, and as such, is not gender neutral. However, it occasionally occurs that a man will take his partner's last ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a gender-neutral prefix for “parent”?

The prefixes "patr-" and "matr-" refer, respectively, to father and mother--e.g., a patriarch is a father who rules a family, and a matrilineal society is one where property is passed from mother to ...
2
votes
2answers
772 views

Freshman or Freshwoman

Can we use freshwoman to refer to a girl in her first year in college, or is freshman acceptable?
2
votes
2answers
603 views

Use of plural pronoun to avoid mentioning of gender

I'm aware that (at least today's) English allows the use of a plural pronoun to avoid mentioning a gender of the subject. Example: _"Everybody can do what they want to" instead of "Everybody can do ...