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Re: ans Dove re HE
He stated that in his field, there were no longer any alive female Nobel
laureates, and to name only one wouldnt support the generalization that was
In it's original use, it was also correct, just not "clear," which is the
focus of my complaint.
>> I suppose the disadvantage is that even when I use HE to refer to a man, it
>> will still reinforce the mindest resulting in the damage you speak of.
>> Wouldnt that make it nonunique? Should we not use male pronouns even when
>>we refer to males?
>this makes no sense.
It does. If both the sexist use of the word HE and non-sexist use (when it
actually refers to specifically a male) sets off the disad, the link is
non-unique. I am saying if there is to be a disad from using sexist
language, we first have to have a way to tell if it is sexist. HE by itself
is not iherently sexist, only when it is used to refer to someone that can
be either a woman or a man.
>> My only comment is what if for some reason the sex happens to be known? How
>> can you differentiate between an exclusive pronoun and an informed one?
>an example of your question would help. i think in almost every case the
>sentence can be written without incorrect pronoun useage.
The example would be Mr. Dove's original post that started this. He (Dove)
used he to refer to a group of people that is exclusively male. Not all
people knew this, so it was assumed he(Dove) used HE as a non-gender pronoun
when he didnt. Of course his sentence could have been rewritten, but it was
>> Both of these dont help to clarify much. I know I am perhaps picking nits,
>> but absent a single gender neutral pronoun, these substitutions sound
>> unnatural. I think that to some extent, if it is obvious you are trying to
>> sound gender neutral, there will still be some residual entrenching effects.
>they soud unnatural because there is no context. and the residual
>entrenching clain is an assertion...got some support?
Not at the level presented in the post I responded to. Considering the
statement began with "I think," perhaps my first response would be do you
"got some" analysis against it? It makes sense. If it is obvious to a
listener that you are going out of your way to make your language gender
neutral, the listener will still have a separation in gender brought to
their attention, to some degree.
>> The several studies you pointed out all indicate that the use of gender
>> specific pronouns determine how we perceive things. My only question is what
>> happens when that is the right perception?
>in all of the above examples it is not the right perception: if you are
>refering to a class that has 10 boys and ten girls, saying "the average
>student in this particular math class is concerned for his grade" is not
>the correct perception. if you are refering to a particular person
>identify (insert "him" and delete "that person" in your world) that
>person by name, and if it is relevant refer to that person (him) using a
>gender specific pronoun. if you are not refering to anyone in
>particular dont use gender specifics...it is not even a feminism
>thing...it is a question of accuracy.
Right. However, the original example, even though it may be an exeption,
still stands. Mr. Dove used "his" in referring to a general member in a
group of people who are all male. It was claimed that this reference was
sexist. It, infact, was not, as he explained. In this one example it is the
Onviously this isnt often the case, and compared to all other evidence
produced so far, it is the only such example. It is enough, though, to
indict the idea that EVERY usage of the word HE causes damage to society.
The tests prove their point, but in an everyday setting, such as on this
listserve, if we individually dont have the authority to know if it is
sexist or not, to what extent can we reprimand someone?
>> While this question isnt enough
>> to indict any theory, I think it needs to be addressed. If nothing else
>> verdicts on the sexism of language need to look beyond the simple words on
>> paper, or on the computer screen.
>i agree 100% this supports my indictment of your explication of korcoks
>(are ya with me?) examples...remember i said you were picking on the lack
Yeah. Easy one for you. If anything my efforts (on the pronoun alternatives)
show how foolish it is.
I think my point is this- if we cant be positive of the context, i.e. the
actual truth behind a statement, the way it is being used, we shouldnt make
any conclusions about said truth and about the person making the statements.
If I were to say "Talk to any one of my teachers, and he will tell you I am
a good student," would that be destructive if all of my teachers were males?
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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