In March this year, the Oxford English Dictionary included a gender-neutral pronoun. The gender-neutral "he" (zir, hir) is a new choice as a byword. We know that language shapes behavior. What we used to be like "you" and "she" is the possibility of emphasizing gender stereotypes or respecting negative veins?
In June 2018, the Oxford English Dictionary included the inclusion of gender-neutral pronounze ze, referring to the gender-neutral "he" (he, she, it)
In March this year, the Oxford English Dictionary re-introduced the genderless pronouns zir and hir. The alleged gender-neutral "his" and the accepted "he" were used to replace the hes, hims, hers of the past, and again caused discussion.
Language-shaping behavior. We know that language is not just rhetorical tools, but also the ideology behind it and the way people interact. And when gender-neutral words enter life, it also gives us the opportunity to re-examine, in the end life is accustomed to "you" and "she", is a kind of gender stereotype, or perhaps respect for the female subjectivity of the show?
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Gender-neutral words and Oxford Dictionaries
This wave of gender-neutral words is described on the official website of the Oxford English Dictionary.
This addition is an attempt to avoid confusing the use of gendered words. The term "human" was used to replace "mankind" and was one of the first gender-neutral words to be used and was invented in the 1950s. Later, there was a series of gender neutrality, gender inclusion, or de-gendered pronouns, first included in the OED update. Including "hir", which was first used in the Baltimore Daily In 1910. Zir, on the other hand, is a relatively new word that began in 1993 and was used in the discussion of Usenet.
The March 2019 update by OED has once again included a gender-neutral pronoun for the following explanation:
- hir, pron.: "Used as a gender-third neutral singular singular objective pronoun; cf. hir adj. In later use use will will to the one bethepronoun ze (see ze..."
- zir, pron.: "Used as a gender-neutral person singular singular singular pronoun, preto to the pred. onoun ze (see ze pron.). Cf. zir adj."
"As a gender-neutral third-person singular synoun, corresponding to the third-person singular main grid synoun ze. 」
In addition to the English synostic she, in the past, including female practitioners are often behind negative words, such as female waiters (waitress), actresses (acrtres), is also gradually reducing the use of.
The first voice: "you" and "she" in life are forever hers
This wave of discussion is not confined to the English world. In the context of Chinese, we are also often aware that Chinese pronouns have a gender context. When we refer to a man, we use "you" and "he" on the head of the "person" department, and when we describe a woman, we use "you" and "she" for the head of the "female" section.
Why are women less likely to be described as "people"? Aren't women human, too? When it comes to the gender context of language, to deliberately distinguish identity, does it imply that a woman is always the "other person" who needs to be highlighted? Or, it is thought that the head of the female character department: "slave" "rape" "jealousy" ... How many gender-based derogatory terms exist in the history of the word group.
We often say that gender equality is about the way people are treated, not because of gender preferences or discrimination. In the bright vision of gender equality, one day, people will no longer emphasize the "female" president, "female" director, "female" actors, because they are the same as men. If we look forward to a gender-neutral and equal society in the future, should we try not to deliberately describe the "physiological sex" of the object in the context, but to focus on what they are doing?
Another voice: When "she" grows a negative vein
However, there is another voice in the community who points out that before the achievement of this beautiful blueprint for gender equality, "you", "she", "women president" or "female writer" still have their symbolic significance at this stage. The former provides a clear gender narrative, while the latter opens up the way for other women and provides important learning role models.
Then look at "you" or "she", a gender pronoun that has long been embedded in people's daily lives. Language is always flexible, "she" may get rid of the original context meaning, divert or transform a new narrative and meaning, become the embodiment of "female/negative experience."
Let's say, here's the sentence. When we talk about "she" believes she can do it, the meaning of female self-empowerment in the sentence is self-evident. But if you change to a neutral pronoun, you may need more indirect depictions to make the reader feel the same power.
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For example, in women'sfans, we have launched the "Herstory" module to talk about the story of a woman whose history has been forgotten. "Her name is" has also been written, and the names of women who should be known to the world but are still unknown. We wrote"AGirl", which depicts asian girls with different looks, and "HandsomeLady",dedicated to a soul with a mixed gender.
The voices of the sex are so diverse and noisy that they are more important to keep writing. Her story, her body, her dreams, her lust. With "she" to tell the story, let us escape from the boy's growing experience, grow their own female narrative, expand the roots, spread out the leaves.
End: When language is written into gender, we want everyone to be free to choose
But this discussion, in fact, is not in the race to win or lose, nor is it boring at all.
On either side, what we want is a world where people have more choices. It is not to limit what words everyone can use to describe themselves, or to be formalistic, while ignoring personal experience.
Language cannot be gender-free. When the OED dictionary incorporates more gender-neutral words, when a woman writes "her story" in a pen, I speak, and I want the world to listen.