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Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:23 PM

I'm going to start using the female as the default.

If I don't know the sex of some animal or person, it's automatically a 'she' in my vocabulary, until I find out otherwise.

(No but seriously I am doing this)

34 replies, 3052 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply I'm going to start using the female as the default. (Original post)
redqueen Jan 2012 OP
seabeyond Jan 2012 #1
redqueen Jan 2012 #2
Gormy Cuss Jan 2012 #5
Lunacee2012 Jan 2012 #7
Gormy Cuss Jan 2012 #10
Whisp Feb 2012 #33
redqueen Jan 2012 #13
iverglas Jan 2012 #3
redqueen Jan 2012 #4
noamnety Jan 2012 #16
CrispyQ Jan 2012 #6
Lunacee2012 Jan 2012 #8
CrispyQ Jan 2012 #18
Remember Me Jan 2012 #19
seabeyond Jan 2012 #20
CrispyQ Jan 2012 #24
Lunacee2012 Jan 2012 #21
redqueen Jan 2012 #11
Sera_Bellum Jan 2012 #9
redqueen Jan 2012 #12
Sera_Bellum Jan 2012 #14
CrispyQ Jan 2012 #15
Feldspar Jan 2012 #17
Neoma Jan 2012 #22
redqueen Jan 2012 #23
Zorra Jan 2012 #25
CrispyQ Jan 2012 #26
xmas74 Jan 2012 #27
petronius Feb 2012 #28
MineralMan Feb 2012 #29
Rowdyboy Feb 2012 #30
WingDinger Feb 2012 #31
kdmorris Feb 2012 #32
iris27 Feb 2012 #34

Response to redqueen (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:24 PM

1. lol. he/she... people/person.... i hear ya.

why? what brought this up?

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:30 PM

2. I was using 'he' and someone said

that I didn't know it was a he, so I explained why I used it (as there is no non-gendered pronoun)... so I decided if I'm gonna cause confusion either way, why the hell not?

Sometimes the commonly-used 'they' just does not sound right at all... and 'it' is right out.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:27 PM

5. Well, 'they' and 'it' are always wrong when referring to a single person.

'She' will only be wrong about half the time.

eta: in informal writing it's acceptable to use "s/he" as a contraction of "she or he." I'm not aware of a similar construction for him or her, but "her/m" would be fun to use.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:27 AM

7. I use s/he usually,

if I'm typing. I'll try her/m next time I get a chance. Do you mind if I use it?

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Response to Lunacee2012 (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:13 PM

10. Please do.

Maybe it will catch on. I'm not sure how one would contract "his or hers" though.

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Response to Lunacee2012 (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 23, 2012, 01:04 PM

33. The first time I noticed this usage

 

was on a game forum I belonged to a while back. It was a man using 'her' and 'she' where you would expect the usually he/him/his. I knew him, and he was a very nice and thoughtful person.

I sometimes used herm and heesh.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:34 PM

13. This makes the most sense to me...

I like both s/he and her/m... I'll be using this as well!

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:39 PM

3. this was discussed a bit on the old board

 

I work for the guvmint and I constantly have to deal with documents that have a note at the beginning that say, in English or French, that for ease of reading blah blah the masculine includes the feminine. No it doesn't.

The govt here had long had a policy of not using exclusionary pronouns generally in any of the various kinds of gazillions of documents it generates, and that led to various solutions: some situations of alternating between he and she in a text, a lot of "he or she", and so on. Then some time back, the federal govt began using the third person plural for the third person singular in legislation. "Where a person ..., they shall", like that. My pedantry (and knowledge that it was formally disapproved) had won out over that practice in the past, and I had always used "s/he" informally, and "he or she" formally. But I finally just made the decision that the grammatical rules weren't good enough anymore, and since nobody had come up with any better proposal ever, "they, them, their" it would be from now on. It was liberating.

It can create confusion occasionally, and sometimes I end up repeating the noun rather than using a pronoun, and I'm sure some people who aren't used to it aren't pleased. But you get used to it, and at least in my case I have precedent to cite: federal legislation; what better could one want?

Try it! And if any pedants say nay, tell them the Canadian government says otherwise.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 06:38 PM

4. You'd think with as much extra work that this causes

what with the 'his or her' and 'she and him' and 'they/them/their' stuff, that we could come up with a gender neutral pronoun.

I'm not so fond of 'xe' though. I don't even know how to pronounce it.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 06:21 PM

16. I'm pretty sure it's pronounced

"the pronoun formerly known as blackwater."

I like she as a default. One of our English teachers where I work (a feminist guy, btw) has used it a few times in meetings that way, always makes me happy.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:59 PM

6. I might have had too many shots of tequila when I thought of this,

(many years ago, after reading The Lefthand of Darkness by Ursula le Guin), but what you are advocating makes perfect sense & here's why:

You can take the 'he' out of 'she,' but not the 'she' out of 'he.' You can take the 'man' out of 'woman' but not the 'woman' out of 'man.' So, when you refer to the female of the species (harr! - you can take the 'male' out of the 'female'), you are automatically including the male. Also, when you think about women's role in reproduction, it really becomes true that you can take the he out of she, but not the other way around.

Did someone say something about tequila?



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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:36 AM

8. About taking the "he" out of "she"

- this is why I never believed in the story of Adam and Eve, not even when I was little. Women don't come from men, men come from women!

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Response to Lunacee2012 (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:20 PM

18. For all my anti-religious experiences, I never linked my 'he out of she' ideas to religion. Yet,

now that you mention it, I see the creation story in a new light - as a way for men to take the "bringing forth life" attribute for themselves. Sure women bring forth human life, but through God, human life, man, was brought forth, first, into existence, & therefore placed higher in the hierarchy than woman. It makes perfect sense.

Throw in the whole bad woman/tramp who fell for the temptation of the serpent & I wonder how any woman can believe in this fabrication.

Wiki states first: "Before making the first woman, God tells the man that he may eat the fruit of any of the trees in the garden except that of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God then forms the first woman (named Eve)..." 1.

and on another page: "...Eve ate the fruit, against God's command to Adam and later so did Adam, ..." 2.

So Eve had not directly been commanded by God not to eat the fruit - only Adam had. But Eve ends up being the tramp that gets humans kicked out of the garden because she told Adam to eat the fruit & then, on her instruction, Adam ate the fruit! - in direct violation of God's command to him.

Hmmmmm, what does this remind me of? It reminds me of a culture that thinks that women who dress provocatively or women who work in strip clubs or women who work at night or women who walk alone, or women who on & on, deserve to be raped because God forbid we hold men to decent & civil standards of conduct!

I remember in confirmation class - I'm still not sure what that was about - I asked why do we refer to God as the masculine when we were taught in Sunday school that God has no gender? Why can't we create a special pronoun for God? We have God the father, God the son & God the holy spirit. Where are the women in this holy trinity? The answer was "that's just the way it is." In other words, don't ask questions.

But again, a way to put God in a masculine light. It could just as easily have been God the parent, God the child & God the guiding light.

Religion - just another way to manipulate women & the minorities of choice at the time. But always women. Always women.

My apologies if my comments sound disrespectful, but I think this is an appropriate topic for this forum. I believe there is a link between organized religion & the suppression of women & the sooner we start to see through these manipulations, the sooner we can get back to a culture where it is easier to raise decent human beings because relationships are based more on nurturing & cooperation than dominance & competition.

Just my 2 plus a few.


1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_of_the_knowledge_of_good_and_evil

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_of_life_(biblical)

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 06:32 PM

19. Of course there's a link between organized religion and the suppression of women

 

And you've identified a big piece of it.

I think it may have been The Chalice and the Blade (Riane Eisler) or perhaps The Creation of Patriarchy (Gerda Lerner) that talked about the overthrow of ALL the goddesses and "reinterpretation" of the creation stories so that we had such impossibilities as Athena springing fully grown from Zeus's head and other atroicities. But it happened across a lot of cultures. Both are good reads.

As someone who also grew up Catholic and still very spiritually-oriented, when I opened Lerner's second book, The Creation of Feminist Consciousness: From the Middle Ages to Eighteen-seventy which tracks Patriarchy from the point she left off, I was so thunderstruck with her revelation that all her studies and research revealed that the main preoccupation of women was a spiritual one, trying real damned hard not to be so "other" as to be excluded from heaven and other spiritual considerations -- and I don't remember exactly what she said or how she phrased it -- but I closed the book, literally unable to read further. The thought still affects me profoundly all these years later.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 07:16 PM

20. i would ask boys... what does that make adam, that he was so weak to do as told and why

does eve get the blame for adams choice. personal responsibility you know.

i can do spirituality, without the patriarchy of religion. the essence of the whole of what is being said in the bible. omnipresent.... within religion or outside of religion, or all types of religion, i see all kinds of ways to the stillness. be it nature, animals, children, art, music, lite, .... so many ways to reach the same. spirit within.

that is my minute of beyond that i never do on du.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 12:35 PM

24. Thank you for that minute of beyond.



And yes, I am very spiritual but not at all religious. And my most spiritual moments usually happen outside.

And to totally hijack my hijack, a few years ago I read an article about a study that discovered that a lot of the younger generation is not as eco-minded as we tend to think & they believe it has to do with the fact that today's kids spend so little time outside. I don't know many young people, so I don't know if it's true or hopefully if it's one of those things that is changing.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 12:15 PM

21. No apologies needed.

I think you're right.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:32 PM

11. I love it!

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:59 AM

9. What took you so long?

 

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Response to Sera_Bellum (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:33 PM

12. Grammar Nazi here...

It took me over 30 years to shake off society's conditioning, I'm surprised I ever got around to reconsidering the rules about the language I love so much!

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Response to redqueen (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:35 PM

14. +1 n/t

 

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Response to redqueen (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:39 PM

15. When you stated a few weeks ago that male is the default,

you made a succinct point. I'm willing to bet when you use feminine pronouns as the default, people notice. They may not react, but they notice. Even if it's sometimes more of a "Did I hear that right?"

I love the idea!

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:13 PM

17. YAY! :waves back: nt

 

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 12:24 PM

22. Good idea.

Though, getting used to doing that will be tough.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 12:27 PM

23. I'm taking to it like a fish to water!

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 10:22 PM

25. I've been doing that for 20 years, and it still makes me smile.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 01:39 PM

26. I did this today.

A male I was talking with mentioned "...a friend who works at X" so I asked, "Does she like working there?" Immediately he said, "He. And yes, he does."

So, did it register with him that I used the female instead of the default? I don't think so. If his friend had been female & I had used the default, he probably would have responded, "She. And yes, she does."

But, I'm going to continue with this, because, somewhere, someone will notice & it may be just the little nudge they need to start thinking differently.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 06:00 PM

27. what an awesome idea!

I can't wait to try it out at work-make some heads explode!

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 12:54 AM

28. I've done this with my class a couple of times this semester - it creates

a little ripple each time. I doubt if it's making anyone thing deep thoughts about gender and language (although that would be nice), but at least it returns flagging attentions to my lecture...

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 04:03 PM

29. I think that's a great idea. I'm thinking about

doing the same on DU. Most DUers don't specify their gender in either their name or profile, so it's an equal chance you'll be right or wrong if you use she and her. What will be funny will be to see if guys who have a neutral screen name and don't disclose their gender in their profile will take offense. I'm betting that some will. Should be amusing, I think.

As for me, I include my gender in my screenname and it's in my profile. But, you can use she and her with me, too, if you like. I can't see how it's any kind of insult at all. After all, I could be lying in my name and profile...who'd know?

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 02:11 AM

30. Its both obvious and logical....rougly 51 women are born for every 49 men...

At least thats what I was taught in school. Since after birth men are more violent, behave less sanely and die younger then on average, a human you address is (percentage wise) most likely female. Not sure if the distinction holds up in the animal world but, since humans are animals I'd be surprised if it doesn't.


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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 01:54 PM

31. These GUYS are working on you finding out otherwise.

 

http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservative_Bible_Project

Because Lord knows, the bible is replete with Female prerogatives.

""Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other feminist distortions; preserve many references to the unborn child (the NIV deletes these) ""

Of course, this emasculating starts off young, so we will develop public school materials. Of course Jezebel, and Delilah remain women.

""benefiting from activity that no public school would ever allow; a Conservative Bible could become a text for public school courses""

Next, they are going to work on this distorted piece.

http://www.amazon.com/Feminine-Mystique-Betty-Friedan/dp/0393322572/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329763729&sr=8-1

This post would be good refutation to those that don't buy a PATRIARCHY.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 08:08 PM

32. I usually go with s/he when typing

But it's harder when you are speaking.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2012, 09:43 PM

34. If you're going to pick one or the other, that would be the way to go.

In that context, I've always just used "they" as a singular pronoun. If it was good enough for Shakespeare, it's good enough for me.

There's not a man I meet but doth salute me
As if I were their well-acquainted friend

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