I was writing some goofy prose on a website and though I won’t share it here I will share this thought about what I have written:
My words are daft and oft obscene but i must stick to my rhyming scheme.
I’m on a job hunt right now and had a question for my wife about how to word my status as a jouneyMAN welder; government sites often say I’m a journeyperson and it sounds wrong to me. My wife is the the feminist in the family and often my conscience too so I asked her to weigh in. This is what she offered: Journeyman is fine and journeyperson will make me sound like a mush-head….she also added that no confident woman should be afraid of a masculine default.
My experience is that the masculine default in English is often regarded as some patriarchal tool of oppression. I was taught to use a masculine default when I learned English at home and it caused me trouble a few times in school and later in life. I also remember when I was in secondary school there was a debate about using a neutral pronoun in Swedish(hen) that paralleled the criticism of English. I don’t know what direction that eventually took.
What’s funny is that I have never heard a complaint about the masculine default in French…ever.