I'm convinced. Where can I mention that women are very welcome?
Posted Aug 29, 2009 17:26 UTC (Sat) by hypatiadotca
In reply to: I'm convinced. Where can I mention that women are very welcome?
Parent article: FSF to host a mini-summit on Women in Free Software
'they' is gender neutral, but it is plural, not signular.
as was pointed out elsewhere, they used to be in common usage as a neutral singular.
english doesn't have a gender neutral singular pronoun, historicly 'him' has been used both for males, and for the generic pronoun.
I've tried to explain why this is problematic. I'm curious if you read the Hofstadter piece I linked to?
in my opinion, getting to the point where you are arguing about what pronoun people use is over the line awaoy from sexual harrasment and sexism, and actually weakens your case.
this thread started out dealing with really important things (people sending death threats because a person is female), and here has devolved to "don't use 'him' to refer to someone that you don't know the gender of". can you see why arguing the latter cheapens the former?
Funny how you were the one who "devolved" this conversation by bringing this up in several comments:
Perhaps there's a difference to you between "aggressively stamping out" this usage and politely asking people to not do it. I'm curious as to whether you're receptive at all to the latter, given that several women have explicitly stated that male-only language makes us feel invisible, marginalized, and excluded?
I'm not all that happy to engage with arguments on "tone" but would at least like to clarify whether you're advocating for the continued usage of exclusionary language, or just uncomfortable with the "tone" of such requests in the past.
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