Home > Uncategorized > Gender in Language…I don’t mean anything by it.

Gender in Language…I don’t mean anything by it.

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.

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