Semitic sexist gender pronouns are the exceptions in the world of lingvistics, not the rule!
Astonishing ignorance about linguistic sexism and its deep roots in Mideast
Acknowledgement: It never ceases to astonish Klevius how ignorant and poorly informed so called educated people often are. However, what astonishes him even more is the poor interest in his sites and blogs (barely over 150,000 visitors - most of whom are supposedly way above the average though). If people need education why don't they turn to the best, especially when it's for free? But now it has become evident that people in their deeply biased ignorance just underestimate Klevius as one in the mass of "opinioners". Well, stop that. Nothing could be more detrimental to your educational potential than dismissing Klevius. You need Klevius but Klevius doesn't need you. Just take a look at the total lack of adds on all of his sites and blogs for over a decade! Moreover, consider that Klevius has no economical or personal* ties whatsoever to what he is writing about! I.e. he's lacking a personal agenda other than striving towards a better world for both him and you.
* True, Klevius lost his "manhood" as a teenager when a sexy teenage girl told him "it's so relaxing to be with you when you don't try to push me in bed all the time". From then on Klevius has treated women as equals. And it has paid off perfectly. However, he has also continuously encountered women who don't want to be treated as equals which fact astonishes him. Women's bodies look better than men's bodies for most men. However, the "male gaze" isn't equivalent with the female person although those two may meet, albeit preferably on the woman's terms. It's not rocket science but prejudices from the past - often kept alive from mothers to daughters.
From comments on The Economist's article on gender neutral pronouns:
CUJzRmUw5b Apr 19th 2012, 14:46 In Finnish there is no singular genders and it works just well. Only overly sexist societies need constant reminder of the sex of the subjects.
Reluctant Polluter in reply to CUJzRmUw5b Apr 19th 2012, 23:25 It has nothing to do with sexism, just with some features common for all Ugro-Finnic languages. In the words of respected commenter Nirvana-bound, don't become obsessive-cumpulsive... . .
Klevius comment: It has everything to do with 'sexism'! And much more than you can even dream about with such limited knowledge/understanding. Btw, it's absolutely not "just some features common for Ugro-Finnic languages". In fact, it is and has always been the main rule in the majority of the world's languages! Keep on reading!
Finland in the borderline between non-sexist and sexist languages
Is it a coincidence or a logical consequence that Finland has been the most progressive when it comes to women's rights? Arguably, most of the individuals behind it back then were Finland-Swedes. However, these bilingual people were heavily influenced by non-sexist Finnish 'hän' (meaning both he and she) culture in this rare borderline between Indo-European and Uralic linguistic domains (also consider Origin of the Goths).
A gender-neutral pronoun is not associated with a person's sex. This designates two distinct phenomena, the first being that genderless pronouns occur naturally in most human languages. Most languages do not have gender distinctions in personal pronouns.
The other phenomenon regards pronouns that have been assigned nontraditional meanings in ancient times out of concerns for keeping up inequality and in modern times out of a concern for the very opposite namely defending equality in accordance with Human Rights.
Semitic Mideastern monotheist sexism after the fall of the world's oldest civilization, the non-Semitic Sumerians
In some languages - notably most Indo-European and Semitic languages - third person personal pronouns intrinsically distinguish girls/women from boys/men. History proves there's absolutely no need for such linguistic apartheid, quite the contrary.
However, it seems that the very culprit is to be found back in history in the Semitic language family. Proto-Indo-European lacked such gender divide but got it sometimes after the Sumerians were replaced by Semitic groups sometimes at the time and place of the mythic Abraham. So it wasn't Abraham that created sexist religions but sexism that created Abraham.
The very simple but extremely important bottom line is that all physical differences, whatsoever, are already included in the most important of Human Rights, i.e. the so called Negative Human Rights. Just like in traffic. We can't have different rules for different sex or sexual orientation, skin color, religion, atheism etc. Or affirmative lanes/rules for certain races or ethnicities.
Astonishing ignorance about linguistic sexism in the Bay Area
The Difference Between 'Equity' (not same rights, i.e. like Sharia) and 'Equality' (same rights, i.e. like Human Rights)
Klevius example of today of misled girls/women
Listen to this crap!
Lara David from Bay area wrote:
There's this activity I do in my class. All the students sit in a circle, and I ask everyone to take off his or her left shoe and throw it into a pile in the center. Once the shoes are all piled up, I begin re-distributing them, one to each student, completely at random. Then I tell everyone to put on the new shoes. And inevitably, there begin the complaints.
I wanted to treat you all EQUALLY." I point to a boy with somewhat large feet, and a nearby girl with smallish feet. "He'll have more shoe than you will," I note. And without a doubt, someone unknowingly gets right to the heart of the issue:
"It doesn't matter who has more shoe, Miss David. It matters that we all have the right shoes for us."
And THAT, my friends, is the difference between equity and equality. Equality means everyone gets exactly the same outcome - two shoes - without regard to individual differences - large or small feet, for example. Equity means everyone gets the same quality of outcome - shoes that fit their individual needs.
A lot of feminist arguments are either poorly worded, claiming to desire equality for women in situations where they would actually prefer equity, or misunderstood as demanding equality when they are, in fact, demanding equity. This has become remarkably apparent to me in the recent barrage of posts about women bloggers and how they earn - or fail to earn - respect for their work. Catherine wrote this in her MamaPop post:
What is radical about it is that we push on, demanding to be heard, and demanding recognition of our worth as mothers, women, writers, business-people, innovators, people, against the ignorance of those who would keep us down.
Some have interpreted this as a half-hearted and hypocritical demand for equality, when it is actually anything but. Demanding recognition as mothers and women sort of fundamentally requires an expectation that we will not be treated exactly the same as a man would. Why would we want to be treated exactly like men anyway? In case you didn't notice, WE'RE NOT MEN. What we're demanding is not equality - it's equity.
We demand respect for doing a damn hard job and doing it well. We demand respect for creating a community that inspires and uplifts in the face of some of life's greatest challenges. We demand respect for refusing to compromise our femininity in the face of professional obstacles. We don't demand the EXACT SAME RESPECT that men receive - that's like demanding everyone wear the same shoes, regardless of size. We demand the respect that is most fitting to our stations, but damn it, we still demand the respect. We are women, and we should be treated as women - to do otherwise would be to ignore plain facts. But being treated as women should not automatically mean being treated as less serious or less important, and that's the problem with having an article about our work in the field of blogging - which really is primarily a technological field - placed in the "Style" section of the New York Times.
We are not screaming our heads off to be placated with promises of equality. We are not men - do not treat us as men. We are women, and we demand equity.
Klevius clarification for Lana and other misled people: Apart from lacking even essential logic - that's dictatorship! Why weren't they allowed to pick their own shoes?! This is communism. You intervened as a social state (see Angels of Antichrist - kinship vs social state) instead of respecting their individual freedom in accordance with the Universal Human Rights declaration. This is why USSR collapsed. They got their wrong shoes because they had to obey central dictates. And because of communist "equity" they couldn't build up financial equity either.
What if a girl or a woman likes to do something not appropriately "feminine"?! Per definition "feminine" can't be a man in your usage of the word here. In effect that means that humans with a female sex lack rights outside "femininity". Rights that the other sex possesses!
Why are you so afraid of individual freedom (equality) and why do you want to contribute to the suppression (equity) of your sisters?!
The Human Rights declaration (equality) gives you freedom to be both "feminine" as well as "unfeminine" if you like. Sharia (equity) doesn't!
'He/she' apartheid signals and determines limitations due to your sex - Finnish 'hän' doesn't!
I can't believe it. Such deep confusion and ignorance (or?!) about sex in the Bay Area, i.e. where my beloved San Francisco resides.
Feminism started more than hundred years ago as a movement opposing the right for women to vote. Women shouldn't be like men, they should therefore be "feminine". Where 'woman' is biology 'feminine' is culture.
Today many would call Klevius a feminist although he is precisely the opposite. True feminists have their true friends among islamofascists, chauvinists etc.