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How many times have you been told that English is sexist because it uses the masculine pronoun “he” or the generic noun “man” to mean both males and females?
In this video, I’m going to show you exactly why the English language is not sexist, does not exclude anyone, why the attack on it is illogical, and why it should be should not be bowdlerized to accommodate feminist ideology.
When I was a brain-dead liberal, I bought into the presupposition that some intangible harm came to women—somehow—because of the use of the masculine pronoun for the human race.
It never really occurred to me or my fellow travelers to accept that the onus was on us to prove that some real-world harm or insult was being leveled at females because of the structure of English.
The problem is, it’s extremely difficult to prove that no harm is done, just like it’s extremely difficult to prove that you’re not a racist or a sexist or a homophobe or an islamophobe or a xenophobe.
But in SJW culture, the important thing is to announce that you feel offended, not to actually prove that pronouns are the culprit.
In English, the word spelled “he” can mean “that male” or “anyone, male or female.” The word is fluid. And the usage is ALWAYS clear from the context.
… A Catholic should understand what he believes.
… Man cannot live on bread alone.… To each his own…. He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.
—are all examples of the generic use of the masculine pronoun, meaning the human race. As William Safire wrote in “The New York Times,” the male embraces the female.
The idea of one word including other realities comes naturally elsewhere in English, as well: nobody gets confused if you put a fork in the dishwasher, or if you order a cup of tea at a coffee shop.
The claim that English is exclusive and somehow damages women is illogical. It’s just dicta, thrown out there, as though self-evident. Imagine a woman at a feminist university walking into a dorm room recreation room and asking a bunch of women, “You guys want to order some pizza tonight?”
Nobody would bat an eye.
In 1863, when Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg spoke about “a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” — not one of his hearers thought he meant that abolition only applied to male slaves.
If you think about it, the divisive party in the battle for linguistic sanity here is feminism, not the English language.
The whole movement divides people into the sheep who accept the feminist presupposition that English is sexist, and the goats who disagree and who speak and write in standard English, as it comes to us from Middle and Old English, and the Anglo-Frisian languages before that.
Imagine if English was structured the other way around, so that the word MAN meant only male, and WOMAN was the generic word, meaning both female and the human race.
This would still be rejected by feminists, because the complaint would say that English is very male-biased—the word woman is forced to do double-duty and carry the load of “race” and “female,” whereas males get their own special word, man.
Also on the feminist chopping block are manholes, actress, freshman, bachelor’s degree, gentlemen’s agreement, a grandfather clause, father time, mother nature, grandfather clock, daughter cells.
One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that feminists don’t complain that Satan is always described in the Bible as he.
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