Questions tagged [gender]

For questions about using gendered words or phrases in English.

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97 views

Is emasculated a sexist word?

The dictionary definition of emasculated is "(of a man) deprived of his male role or identity." or "made weaker or less effective" So, I'm a guy, and I'm not entirely sure what it ...
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2answers
48 views

Referring to female college age students while writing a novel

I am trying to write a novel. I want to write in a manner that will be respectful toward gender. I have not yet figured out how to refer to female college-age characters quickly and smoothly without ...
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1answer
44 views

Gender of Bosom - Is it neutral?

Is "bosom" a gender-neutral word? Can we use it to describe the chest/breast of a man? Eg: She embraced his bosom with passion.
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2answers
3k views

Why sister [nouns] and not brother [nouns]?

I have noticed this quite often that other (closely) related common nouns are called sister [common noun]. For example: This question is off-topic here, but is on-topic on our sister site. This issue ...
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1answer
87 views

Is a reader feminine like the moon or ship?

Is a reader feminine like the moon or a ship? Here I present a few examples from an academic lecture on how to write a good scientific paper. The audience are aspiring authors of future scientific ...
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1answer
103 views

Are there any differences in the ways of speaking English by men and women? Any typical examples?

In Japan, my home country, men and women speak slightly differently in terms of word choice and how to end a sentence, to give you just a few examples. This is especially true in informal situations. ...
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1answer
53 views

Which one is more acceptable? [duplicate]

Which one is more acceptable? 1. Each boy and each girl has done his duty. 2. Each boy and each girl has done his or her duty. 3. Each boy and each girl has done their duty. Edit: Here ...
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2answers
766 views

Is using gender-specific language when talking about inanimate things can be wrong in any sense?

Talking about a game called Starfinder and comparing it to an older game by the same publisher called Pathfinder, I used words "older brother" implying the latter: Starfinder also reduces the list ...
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7answers
9k views

Can “he” and “man” refer to all genders?

All men must die, but death can vary in its significance. The ancient Chinese writer Sima Qian said, "Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a ...
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2answers
100 views

Kimono Master or Mistress for a lady?

Suppose there is a lady who is a skilled practitioner of Kimono (着物), which is a Japanese traditional costume. Which expression (or title) for her is better (appropriate), Kimono Master or Kimono ...
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1answer
230 views

Is Bob gender neutral?

Recently a question on Stack Overflow meta was edited by a moderator to remove the name Nancy with a gender neutral name Bob. His exact words were(emphasis mine) Jon suggested Bob would work too. I ...
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2answers
438 views

Why a truck or a plane is “she”?

In trucker forums, I can see drivers referring to their trucks by pronoun “she”. Similarly a site about an older airplane writes about “restoring her”. I would expect using “it” for all things (...
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3answers
286 views

Using “her” to refer to the word “child”

I have confusions about a single sentence The pedagogical view is that the pre-school phase is crucial to stimulate a child’s curiosity and help her prepare for schooling at age six. Can her be ...
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1answer
595 views

Can “Am I the bad guy here?” be said by a girl?

In an interactive story (that's why it is impossible to quote the text), the main character said to herself: Am I the bad guy here? when she was questioning a bad action, which has been done by a ...
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1answer
86 views

Use of “she” for a general person in a scientifical paper

In this scientific paper published in 2007, the authors wrote (page 684): Note: you don't have to understand the technical part of the following paragraph to understand my question. The set of ...
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2answers
300 views

Personal pronoun (when the sex is unspecified) [duplicate]

Trade allows each person to specialize in the activities she does best. Why exactly she (and not he)? Don't we use they in such cases (unspecified sex)?
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3answers
97 views

How we use 'child and parent vs parents'? [closed]

Which one is correct? The small child does whatever his father does. The small child does whatever its father does. The small child does whatever its parent does. The small child does ...
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4answers
13k views

The meaning of “half woman, half girl”

"It was the same mirror I'd gazed into as a child, then as a girl, then as a youth, half woman, half girl." Educated by Tara Westover What does "half woman" mean? (For example: A ...
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9answers
6k views

How to deal with unknown genders in English?

When I start a sentence with words like "someone" or "somebody", I don't know how to choose the right pronoun at the end of the sentence. Examples: If anybody asks you about the money, tell (Him - ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the gender of newspaper? What is the grammar behind the term “sister newspapers”?

Recently while I was searching for the information of one of my favourite newspaper I came across an interesting thing about the gender of newspapers. For every newspaper that was owned by a single ...
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1k views

Why do they use “her” for Titanic?

I was reading the Wikipedia's page on RMS Titanic and just noticed numerous references to the ship by possessive her. Why don't they simply use "its" for Titanic?
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2answers
647 views

Which adjective to use for a personification of living being (her/his or its)?

Which adjective to use for a personification of living being (her/his or its)? Nature offers its/her lap to one who seeks it. Death completes its/his course, no one can stop it/him. I was ...
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1answer
2k views

Can I use “She” and “her” for an animal? [duplicate]

Can I use "She" or "her" for an animal? For example, Suppose I have a dog that is of the female gender. How do I refer to it? "It" or "She"? Also when I am talking with someone about an animal (for ...
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1answer
2k views

Everyone, he/she/it?

Is there a possibility to form the following sentence "gender-independent" in English? Everybody sees, what he/she wants to see. What can I use instead of he/she? Additionally: How can I give this ...
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1answer
150 views

The usage of “she” and “her” in neutral cases

I am reading an article now and facing some strange usage of pronouns: An agent’s probabilities are defined by her willingness to place or accept any bets she believes to be favorable to her on the ...
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0answers
705 views

What use when I don't know the gender of a person? [duplicate]

When I don't know if a person is male or female, what word shall I use? I don't know but in spanish we use the male form: he. PD: I know that I could say He/She but I don't want.
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1answer
33 views

If I refer to 'the being' (a noun), do I have to use 'he' or 'she', or 'it'?

If I refer to 'the being' (as a noun) do I have to use he / she / it, or something else? To add to my confusion: I am talking about a painting, where 'the being' is a woman. So the body has the shape ...
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3answers
579 views

Is “singular they” widely used?

I often use singular they to keep my sentences gender neutral. Many of my friends (none of them are native speakers), however, consider this to be grammatically incorrect, and suggest me not to use it ...
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1answer
204 views

How do I translate this sentence and keep the translation free of any reference to the person's gender? [duplicate]

In Italian, I can use the following sentence without revealing the gender of the person I am talking of. L'utente preferisce mantenere protetta la propria identità. (The user prefers to keep [...
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4answers
10k views

The female equivalent of “don't break my balls”

We all know that someone who can never be quiet, who criticizes, moans and nags until your patience wears thin and snaps. Some men will intimidate the nagger by saying: Stop breaking my balls! I ...
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1answer
751 views

Is there a feminine equivalent for the word “houseman”?

There are lots of words ending with the masculine suffix -man. So far, I haven't had any trouble with their feminine equivalents (most of them can be easily found in dictionaries). Now I am having a ...
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1answer
2k views

Can we use “him” for an animal in this sentence?

Can we use "him" for an animal for the passive form? Please check my below sentence and kindly let me know if I used "him" at the end of the sentence. "When deer saw the lion running at him, he ...
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2answers
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I'm confused with the use of 'herself''

The customer can serve herself, and then pay for the goods with the minimum of delay. In the sentence, the customer can be a male or female. But the pronoun 'herself' has been used. I'm confused with ...
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1answer
192 views

Feminine pronouns for countries

Context: Just days after the fall of Paris, General Charles de Gaulle, In one of the most important speeches in French history, told his fellow countrymen: 'Believe me...nothing is lost for France....
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1answer
897 views

“sister-site”: noun gender

After spending some time on the English SE, I noticed that everytime someone referred to ELL, they always did so by saying "our sister-site ELL". As I understand, there is no grammatical gender in ...
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2answers
160 views

Getting he/she intuitively right if native language has only gender-neutral pronouns

At times I can speak English fluently enough. The biggest issue bothering me is that when not carefully speaking, I mix 'he' and 'she' pronouns randomly. Example: "Jane's not here today. He's on a ...
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1answer
3k views

What is the possessive pronoun for a person whose gender we don't know? [duplicate]

If I speak about a neutral sex person, what can I say to exprime a possession ? Example: The student will use his or her pen to write. Is it better to write every time his or her or is there a ...
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11answers
9k views

Use “him” or “her” in this sentence about a hypothetical gender switch?

What should I use in this sentence? If he were a girl, I would have kissed him/her. Should I refer to the real gender of the person or the one I'm assuming the person to be and why? Edit : Recent ...
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1answer
8k views

Are feminine nouns ending with -ess the only proper option for females?

When we have a specifically feminine version of a noun which ends with the -ess suffix, like in huntress, sorceress, anchoress, etc. Is it always wrong to use, like, hunter for a female hunter too or ...
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9answers
8k views

Does the English language have a grammatical gender?

If we are talking about animate objects, like people and animals, defining a gender is easy in most cases. But for inanimate objects, like a chair, a tree, the sky and so on, gender can be a built-in ...
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6answers
43k views

Grammatical gender of the word “child”

I've been taught that a child is gender-neutral noun. But in the textbook on linguistics I've been reading, the noun is used as feminine. For example, a sentence in the book goes like this: The ...
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2answers
251 views

It or Him when talking about Regime

I heard in the media: Russia was behind the Syrian regime since day one: arming him,... I am confused if I should refer to regime as it or him or her. What about other words like machine, ...
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1answer
116 views

Why do ESL speakers sometimes use “sir” to women?

When I use a website with a large numbers of users for whom English is not their first language (specifically, fiverr.com), I often get addressed as "Sir", even though I am a woman. How come? My ...
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2answers
2k views

Can I refer to an ant as “she”?

In a long text about a foraging ant, would it be correct to refer to the ant always as "she" instead of "it"? For example, She wanders aimlessly until she finds a pheromone trail. A foraging ant ...
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5answers
4k views

'Manhunt for three gunmen' vs 'womanhunt for three gunwomen'

Some time ago, Paris police launched a manhunt for three gunmen. But, what if there are three women who carry guns, shoot and escape, is it still appropriate to say "manhunt for three gunmen"? Will ...
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7answers
28k views

A “user” is “it” or “he/she”?

I'm not sure what is right and what not. I've searched on Google and could not find an answer to this. How should I write this: I'm speaking about a user. It is the main problem. The question is. ...
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5answers
702 views

Do you perceive nouns ending with -a as somewhat feminine? [closed]

In Russian, most nouns ending with -a are considered feminine and decline accordingly (with -a considered an ending). But English has no declensions and no -a ending. So I wonder whether you perceive ...
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1answer
114 views

Indefinite pronoun

If a piece of information goes over someone's head, [they] do not understand it. My teacher explained to me that it is informal usage for an indefinite pronoun, the formal usage should be "his or her"...
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2answers
498 views

Parliament - a she?

I've just come across a very strange phrase: Parliament internationally surrendered HER sovereignty to the primacy of European Community law. My question has nothing to do with politics! I just ...
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2answers
2k views

Is there a way to refer to a person (using a pronoun) without mentioning a sex? [duplicate]

I just found myself in situation that I am telling about someone who added to me in Skype: because of the nickname I think that it is a girl and used all the time the word «she». But as she didn't say ...