Posted: Oct 02, 2014 5:41 pm
by Thommo
I'm actually quite sympathetic towards this argument. We do have a lot of societal conditioning towards treating men and women differently, which in both directions leads towards harmful stereotypes - just look at the activity we get in numerous threads about women's and men's rights.

An interesting example of how in-group and out-group pronouns and descriptors can work is to look at the perception of a religious or racial words like negro or kaffur take on negative qualities and even spawn bastardized terms that are explicitly derogatory.

The biggest counterarguments for me are firstly that people like gender roles and positive stereotypes, so they will not want to change based on negative stereotypes and the fact that goals of gender equality are almost certain to be unachieved with such a change when forenames are still gender based (my name is Paul, you won't be hiding my gender via use of a pronoun, for example).

Incidentally I do not agree that statements such as "She was loud." cause any association in my mind with women as a whole and "being loud", she is a singular pronoun after all.