language equity

J. Johnson siddo at u.washington.edu
Sat Nov 23 23:39:28 EST 1996


Hello Ellie,

I am not sure about the boys, but it's funny you bring up this topic as I
have been thinking about it lately.  I also am a woman who has never felt
really bothered by the He/mankind prevalence in the English language;
until recently.  I am in law school, and the modern editions of case
books have she/he distributed equally throughout when refering generally
to a person. I must admit that I notice it every time when "she" is used.
I am annoyed at the fact that I just took this "he" usage for granted for
so long; that I was complacent (I am not much of a complacent person, mind
you).  I have been thinking how good it is that the usage of he/she is
becoming more common - I hope that it will be a subtle way to counter the
male dominance prevalent in our society. And, I hope that this equitable
language is being used at the elementary school level, for future  women
should not be complacent like me. Equitable use in language could be 
a small and subtle step in doing great things for equality amongst humans 
in general.  I would be curious about the boys too.

Jenn




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