Ground Report | New Delhi: Gender-neutral words: As the public becomes increasingly aware of gender identities that do not strictly fit “male” or “female”, we run into a problem, Most languages were created with the gender binary in mind. To solve this problem, gender-neutral terms are emerging that can be used to refer to non-binary people or to talk about people without specifying their gender.
These also allow us to talk about others in a less sexist way if, for example, we want to address a group in a way that makes everyone feel included or we talk about someone’s partner if their gender has not been revealed.
What is gender-neutral language?
“The use of gender-neutral language has been widely recognized as very important in the fight for gender equality,” Sam Dowd, a British didactics expert at the Babbel language learning app, tells Bustle. “Language is power, and when we speak of ‘humanity’ or ‘the achievements of man’ what we are doing is confirming the subconscious bias that men are intellectually, morally, and physically superior to women, which is clearly! fake! By using that language, we exclude women (and indeed non-binary gender people) from the story.
As such, the term ‘history’ is now sometimes used in speech to refer to women’s achievements and struggles that have long been obscured. “
The proposed options, for various reasons, do not suit everyone, just as the development and popularization of a gender-neutral language deserve more attention. Therefore, again and again, it becomes necessary to discuss sexism in language and linguistic inclusiveness, i.e. inclusion in the language and culture of all gender groups and identities.
We could all be more inclusive, so to that end, here are some gender-neutral terms that we should all use.
Take a look at other gendered terms and their gender-neutral versions below:
|Example of gendered terms||Examples of gender-neutral terms|
|Stewardess, Steward||Flight attendant|
|The common man||The common person|
|boyfriend” and “girlfriend||Partner or Significant Other|
Now the world has even been included in the style guide, both to describe people using this pronoun and to describe people without talking about their gender.
Use “Mx” instead of “Mr”, “Ms”, “Mrs” or “Miss”
“The gender-neutral ‘Mx’ is used as a title for those who do not identify as a particular gender, or for people who simply do not want to be identified by gender,” according to Merriam-Webster. It is pronounced as mix. Like the honorific “Ms”, which provides women with an alternative to being identified by their marital status, “Mx” provides people with an alternative to be identified by their gender.
|Gendered noun||Gender-neutral noun|
|Latino” Or “Latina||Latinx|
|businesswoman, businessman||business person|
|chairwoman, chairman||chair, head|
|congresswoman, congressman||member of congress|
|grandmother” and “grandfather||Grandy|
|mailman||mail carrier, postal worker|
|He” Or “She||They|
|saleswoman, salesman||salesperson, sales attendant|
|stewardess, steward||flight attendant|
Use “partner”, “Sibling” And “Child“
Similar to pronouns and titles, the labels we give to family members, mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle are all gender. Gender-neutral terms like partner and spouse can be substituted when talking about romantic relationships, and brother, son, and father are also gender-neutral relationships. Although the terms “uncle” or “pibling” have been suggested by some, no gender-neutral term has really caught on to describe your father’s or mother’s, brother.