Gender neutral language in English
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Gender-neutral languagealso called gender-inclusive languageis the practice of using words that don't give an idea of someone being female or male. For example, the word "fireman" gives the idea that a person in that work is male. An offer for a job as a "cleaning lady" gives the idea that only a woman should do the job. The gender-neutral alternatives are to say "fire fighter" and "janitor," respectively. Then it is easier to see that these jobs can be done by a person of any gender. Gender-neutral language is important in feminismbecause changing the way that people talk can help make sexist ideas less common.
For example, the sexist idea that some jobs should only be done by people of certain genders. Gender-neutral language is also important to many people who have non-binary gender identities.
For one reason, this kind of talk helps fight against nonbinary erasurewhich is the common but wrong and sexist idea that there are only two genders. Since gender-neutral language doesn't give the idea that a person is male or female, it can also apply to people who identify as other genders, outside of the gender binary.
Non-binary people can ask to be talked about in this way. Glossary of Chinese gender and sex terminology. Glossary of English gender and sex terminology.
English has grammatical gender, but only a vestige of what it once had. Old English once had grammatical gender for inanimate objects, but this practice started to disappear in the s, and vanished in the s. The population of England at that time spoke several languages, and the same inanimate objects had different genders in those different languages.
They may have stopped using that part entirely just to make it simpler. English stopped using grammatical gender for inanimate objects, but it still uses grammatical gender for people and personal pronouns. Gender-neutral language has become common in English today largely thanks to the pioneering work by feminists Casey Miller and Kate Swift. During the s, they began the work of encouraging inclusive language, as an gender-neutral andor non-binary alternatives to fangirlfanboy to sexist language that excludes or dehumanizes women.
Miller and Swift also proposed a set of gender-neutral pronouns, teyalthough they later favored singular theyor he or she. A Dictionary of Gender-Free Usage Much of the language that is often called gender-neutral has a problem: This is the problem that the gender-neutral he pronoun"you guys," and similar kinds of language have in common. Gender-neutral andor non-binary alternatives to fangirlfanboy can be arbitrarily seen as either including women or excluding women depending on whims, which has made trouble for women when it happens in legal documents.
It can also give the impression that someone is in some way gender-neutral andor non-binary alternatives to fangirlfanboy, which can be unclear or insulting to people of other genders. Much of other gender-neutral language has a problem: For example, calling an unspecified person by he or she pronounsa speaker addressing "ladies and gentlemen," an invitation saying "both genders welcome," and so on.
Much of Western society thinks this is inclusive enough, because it doesn't know there are other genders. This language excludes nonbinary people, who would prefer an unspecified person to be called "they" rather than "he or she," would prefer a speaker to address "the audience," and an invitation saying "all genders welcome.
This is a list of both standard dictionary and non-standard created terms and pronouns to include nonbinary identities. It should be noted that while some are genderless or gender-neutral andor non-binary alternatives to fangirlfanboy genderothers are multigender.
Terms gender-neutral andor non-binary alternatives to fangirlfanboy be marked with the implied gender identity when possible. See main article at Gender neutral titles. Parents as gender-neutral andor non-binary alternatives to fangirlfanboy the formal words mother or father, or the informal mama or dada. Gender-neutral and gender-inclusive words for a parent of any gender, or non-standard specifically nonbinary, queeror genderqueer words. A list in alphabetical order. Some of these gender-inclusive or gender-queer words refer only to relationship as in daughter, son, or offspringothers only to age girl, boy, or young oneand some to both children.
Standard English doesn't have a gender neutral word for one's parent's sibling. People have created some words to fill this lexical gap, but they are still uncommon words.
Standard English doesn't have a gender neutral word for one's sibling's child. Gender-neutral and genderqueer words for a non-committed relationship, such as boyfriend, girlfriend, or date. Gender-inclusive or gender-neutral andor non-binary alternatives to fangirlfanboy words for tentative romantic and sexual partners as in girlfriend, boyfriend, or date as well as permanent ones as in wife, husband, or spouse.
Gender-neutral and genderqueer words for a girlfriend, boyfriend, or partner in a committed relationship. Glossary of French gender and sex terminology. Glossary of German gender and sex terminology. Pronounced as a pause or glottal stop. In between "feminine" and "masculine" ending, the most common version:. Shortened Words and Nonsense Forms . Glossary of Hindi gender and sex terminology.
Glossary of Japanese gender and sex terminology. Glossary of Korean gender and sex terminology. Norwegian is a language with three grammatical genders: For example, "kvinne", which means "woman", "kusine", which means a female cousin, "jente", which means "girl", and "dronning", which means "queen", are all or can be masculine nouns.
There are also a few odd words, such as romkamerat, an inclusive word meaning room-mate. The word "kamerat" means male friend. Glossary of Brazilian Portuguese gender and sex terminologyand Glossary of European Portuguese gender and sex terminology. Glossary of Russian gender and sex terminology. Unlike English, Russian has three grammatical genders: While neuter allows some non-binary people adjectives to use, this gender is not ideal for non-binary people for grammatical reasons.
The first is that most neuter nouns decline like masculine nouns. The second is that neuter animate nouns do not change in the accusative case, while both masculine and feminine nouns do. This implies that people using neuter words are not human. Glossary of Spanish gender and sex terminology.
Spanish has two grammatical genders, masculine and feminine. Like other Romance languages, it's very gender-neutral andor non-binary alternatives to fangirlfanboy to talk about a person in a gender-neutral way. This is because every adjective, noun, and article are all either masculine or feminine. It's gender-neutral andor non-binary alternatives to fangirlfanboy or even impossible to be completely gender-neutral in standard Spanish.
However, feminists, LGBT people, and other activists today have made ideas for how to speak Spanish in a gender-neutral andor non-binary alternatives to fangirlfanboy way when necessary. For example, it's now common for people to write "Latinx" or "Latin " as a gender-inclusive version of "Latino" and "Latina". For more information, see Wikipedia's article: Gender neutrality in Spanish and Portuguese.
In Spanish, many nouns and adjectives end in either a masculine -o or a feminine -a. These same letters are also used in the grammatical gender of the definite articles.
Many people who want gender-neutral options for Spanish have had ideas for substituting these letters with something else that would make a word gender-neutral. These non-standard proposed alternatives are:.
Standard Spanish articles have binary gender as well as number. The indefinite articles are ununosunaunas. The definite articles are elloslalas. People have come up with some gender-neutral alternatives to these. In Spanish, every noun is either female or male. Gender-neutral andor non-binary alternatives to fangirlfanboy have a truly "neuter" grammatical gender. There are some kinds of nouns that come close to being gender-neutral in some ways: Some words, regardless of their own grammatical gender, are used for men and women alike, without changing the word's ending.
Its article stays the same, too. However, when these nouns are used for women, it's now acceptable in standard Spanish to optionally change to the feminine article. These words are epicene epiceno. This is the closest that standard Spanish gets to gender neutral language. Some words in Spanish aren't consistent in what grammatical gender they have. They've been used as feminine or masculine words depending on the place and time period.
They may have one conventional version, plus an alternative gender that is used poetically or in archaic language. These words are rare. There are only about a hundred of them.
They still mean the same thing even when their gender changes. Unlike, say, la cometa "kite" and el cometa "comet. People have created new, gender-neutral andor non-binary alternatives to fangirlfanboy nouns.
Some are gender-inclusive can be used for men, women, and nonbinary people. Some are only for people who identify as nonbinary or genderqueer.
One non-standard method for forming gender-inclusive and nonbinary nouns is by letter substitution, which is described above.