For those of you who don't know Richard Stallman, he's the founder of the Free Software Foundation and the father of the Free Software movement in general.
I read a lot of his writings, as well as watch his videos, I even had the pleasure to attend one of his speeches about a month ago. There's one thing I noticed: whenever he mentions someone else without specifying the gender, he always uses the feminine pronouns.
Explicit examples are not easy to search for, I'm posting them as soon as possible:
"[...] After I sang it, someone else in the room said [...] She said, [...]"
"[...] I was taken to an office, introduced to a lawyer [...] She didn't really dig much [...]"
"About half the time, the beggar accepts this offer. [...] I invite her to choose the food, [...]"
"She said it was a binder 3,000 pages long [...]"
"At dinner at a Japanese restaurant, the person next to me said she wanted to work with abused children. [...]"
"A friend once asked me to watch a video with her that she was going to display on her computer using Netflix. [...]"
"Another tourist in the group offered me her arm to hold on to so I could continue walking [...]"
I thought of a few possible ways to explain it:
- it's a contracted version of "he/she" or "s/he" (however he seems to be the only one who uses it)
- there's some grammar construct I'm not aware of, similar to the feminine third person in Italian (again, I don't know of anybody else using it in English).
Is he just using some polite version?