Gender ideology in languages

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Gender ideology in languages

Post by Squall » 01 Oct 2016 21:24

Gender ideology is a concept that claims that gender is a cultural concept imposed by the society, the differences in the body are meaningless and all genders are equal in psychological aspects and capabilities. In this ideology, the definitions of man, woman, gay, lesbian and genderless are cultural bullshit and no differences really exist.

In Swedish, the natural third-person pronouns are 'han' (he) and 'hon' (she). They invented the pronoun 'hen' to disregard the gender. 'hen' is used when the gender is unknown and it is often used for homosexuals. It is also used for children, because they have not chosen their gender.

In my opinion, although the gender ideology is weird, the presence of a neuter third-person pronoun is very good.

English is not consistent in rules:
"A boss must be nice to [his/her/their] subordinates."
Some dialects use 'he' and other dialects use 'they'. The word 'someone' use 'they'.
In the radical side, feminists support the use of 'she'.

A language that has mandatory gender in the noun is strange. That occurs in Romance languages, but there is an example in English:
If we do not know if the gender or we include both genders, we use the masculine form:
"I want to meet the best waiter." (I do not know the gender)
"Invite all waiters of the restaurant." (includes waitress)

In a generalization, the masculine form is used:
"He is the first waiter that we hired." (before all waiters and waitress)

If we used the feminine form, we would have ambiguity:
"She is the first waitress that we hired." (before all waiters and waitresses OR the first female one?)
"She is the first waiter that we hired." (ungrammatical)

Most words in Romance languages have that problem. If a word ends with -o, it is masculine; if it ends with -a, it is feminine.
So, if we want to say "all friends", we have to say "todos los amigos" (masculine words), and the listener knows that females are not excluded. If we want to exclude females, we use an adjective as in "all male friends".
On the other hand, "todas las amigas" will always exclude males.

Supporters of the gender ideology sometimes use invented forms:
"todxs lxs amigxs" (only for writing, but it is bad to read)
"todes les amigues" (will not be understood when spoken)
Last edited by Squall on 02 Oct 2016 15:04, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Frislander » 01 Oct 2016 22:17

This is a European 'problem'. For most of the rest of the world such concerns just do not apply. Perhaps the theory does have some truth in it, but up until very recently when gender-reassignment surgery became an option such differences were pretty much intrinsic, and thus a reasonable basis for a gender system. The implication of the theory is that the choice is completely irrational, but there is a reasonable biological basis for it.

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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by GrandPiano » 01 Oct 2016 22:34

Squall wrote:Gender ideology is a concept that claims that gender is a cultural concept imposed by the society, the differences in the body are meaningless and all genders are equal in psychological aspects and capabilities. In this ideology, the definitions of man, woman, gay, lesbian and genderless are cultural bullshit and no differences really exist.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that "gay" and "lesbian" are sexualities, not genders.
Squall wrote:In Swedish, the natural third-person pronouns are 'han' (he) and 'hon' (she). They invented the pronoun 'hen' to disregard the gender. 'hen' is used for children, because they have not chosen their gender.
So do most Swedish children have no idea what their gender is? In the US virtually all children know what gender they are, although they might decide to change it later in life.
Squall wrote:A language that has mandatory gender in the noun is strange. That occurs in Romance languages, but there is an example in English:
If we do not know if the gender or we include both genders, we use the masculine form:
"We want to meet your king."
"Invite all kings of the continent." (some rulers are female)

In a generalization, the masculine form is used:
"He is the first king of that land." (before all kings and queens)
Some rulers are female, but all kings are male. "All kings" does not include queens, and there very well may have been a queen before the first king of the land. The gender-neutral ways of phrasing those sentences are "We want to meet your ruler", "Invite all kings and queens of the continent", and "He is the first ruler of that land." ("ruler" could also be replaced with "monarch" if you want to be more specific)
Squall wrote:If we used the feminine form, we would have ambiguity:
"She is the first queen of that land." (before all kings and queens OR the first female one?)
Not exactly ambiguous, just doesn't specify whether there was a king before her. It's no more ambiguous than "He was the first king of that land."
As for whether gender is nothing but a social construct, I don't have too much to say, but I do think that there are some differences between genders beyond the obvious anatomical ones, e.g. guys and girls have different hormones and therefore probably have some behavioral differences. I don't think the differences are as great as society makes them out to be, though.
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Ahzoh » 01 Oct 2016 23:16

If gender is completely fake, where do transgenders relate in that?
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Squall » 01 Oct 2016 23:33

GrandPiano wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that "gay" and "lesbian" are sexualities, not genders.
I mean they do not distinguish gender and consequently sexuality is not subject of distinction.
So do most Swedish children have no idea what their gender is? In the US virtually all children know what gender they are, although they might decide to change it later in life.
There are schools that encourage the use of 'hen' instead of 'han/hon'.
Some rulers are female, but all kings are male. "All kings" does not include queens, and there very well may have been a queen before the first king of the land. The gender-neutral ways of phrasing those sentences are "We want to meet your ruler", "Invite all kings and queens of the continent", and "He is the first ruler of that land." ("ruler" could also be replaced with "monarch" if you want to be more specific)

Not exactly ambiguous, just doesn't specify whether there was a king before her. It's no more ambiguous than "He was the first king of that land."
I see. I tried to exemplify the problem.

So, are actor, god, singer, waiter, sorcerer, wizard and hero always male? Do I have to find another word when I want to disregard the gender?

I think the genders are really different, but it does not mean they should not have the same rights. Gender ideology is a radical idea.
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Ebon » 01 Oct 2016 23:46

Squall wrote: There are schools that encourage the use of 'hen' instead of 'han/hon'.
And this is a problem... why, exactly? Serious question. I'm not seeing a problem with referring to everyone with ungendered pronouns, as long as it actually is applied fairly and equally.

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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by imperialismus » 02 Oct 2016 00:33

Ebon wrote:
Squall wrote: There are schools that encourage the use of 'hen' instead of 'han/hon'.
And this is a problem... why, exactly? Serious question. I'm not seeing a problem with referring to everyone with ungendered pronouns, as long as it actually is applied fairly and equally.
Trying to enforce an ideology via language from on high is a problem. It's an encroachment of government ideology over the natural tendencies of language as spoken by most people. It's a different case with a language like Finnish, which lacks gendered pronouns.

In a languge like Swedish or English, both of which have gendered 3rd person singular pronouns, most people will use the pronoun that most obviously aligns with the looks of a person, but most people will also be happy to switch to a different pronoun if a person indicates that they wish to be referred to by another gender. In a world where ~0.3% of people are transgender, trying to artificially enforce a gender-neutral pronoun when using the natural pronouns is correct in 99.7% of cases is just wrong, IMO. I'm not generally a fan of trying to enforce top-down reforms, especially of spoken language. It honestly reeks of elitism and totalitarianism.

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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by GrandPiano » 02 Oct 2016 01:43

Squall wrote:
GrandPiano wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that "gay" and "lesbian" are sexualities, not genders.
I mean they do not distinguish gender and consequently sexuality is not subject of distinction.
The fact is, though, that sexuality is a subject of distinction. Most people (heterosexuals) only feel attraction toward people of the opposite gender. Some people (homosexuals) only feel attraction toward people of the same gender, and others (bisexuals) feel attraction toward both (there are other sexualities too, of course). This attraction is a real thing that can't be controlled and not just something made up by society, so I guess the concept of sexuality actually demonstrates that gender is a thing on some level other than just the societal level.
Squall wrote:
Some rulers are female, but all kings are male. "All kings" does not include queens, and there very well may have been a queen before the first king of the land. The gender-neutral ways of phrasing those sentences are "We want to meet your ruler", "Invite all kings and queens of the continent", and "He is the first ruler of that land." ("ruler" could also be replaced with "monarch" if you want to be more specific)

Not exactly ambiguous, just doesn't specify whether there was a king before her. It's no more ambiguous than "He was the first king of that land."
I see. I tried to exemplify the problem.

So, are actor, god, singer, waiter, sorcerer, wizard and hero always male? Do I have to find another word when I want to disregard the gender?
Those words are all usually gender-neutral, even though they do have feminine equivalents. "King", on the other hand, can only refer to a male. Any dictionary, as well as probably any native speaker (including me), will tell you that. (If any other native speaker disagrees, though, feel free to say it)
Squall wrote:I think the genders are really different, but it does not mean they should not have the same rights. Gender ideology is a radical idea.
I agree, but who's arguing that men and women should have different rights? That's just sexism. (Unless there's an actual biological reason for it, but I can't think of any case where there would be)
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Khemehekis » 02 Oct 2016 01:55

So, are actor, god, singer, waiter, sorcerer, wizard and hero always male? Do I have to find another word when I want to disregard the gender?
"Singer" has no gender distinction, does it? I remember in the two-page spread for occupations in the original First Thousand Words books, one of the few women shown in the pictures was to illustrate the word "singer".

A god, lower-case g, usually means male, but God, capital G, can be either male, female or androgynous, depending on what you believe the monotheistic deity is.

A wizard, in fantasy, is always male, right? (I read in an article on the Harry Potter books that the boys were called wizards and the girls witches). In its sense of "genius", however, the word is gender-neutral.
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by imperialismus » 02 Oct 2016 02:02

GrandPiano wrote: I agree, but who's arguing that men and women should have different rights? That's just sexism. (Unless there's an actual biological reason for it, but I can't think of any case where there would be)
Best example is abortion. It takes a man and a woman to create a baby, but only the woman has to carry the fetus in her belly for 9 months. Accordingly, the woman's preferences wrt. abortion should take precedence, even if the man wants her to carry the fetus to term.

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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Ahzoh » 02 Oct 2016 02:13

imperialismus wrote:
GrandPiano wrote: I agree, but who's arguing that men and women should have different rights? That's just sexism. (Unless there's an actual biological reason for it, but I can't think of any case where there would be)
Best example is abortion. It takes a man and a woman to create a baby, but only the woman has to carry the fetus in her belly for 9 months. Accordingly, the woman's preferences wrt. abortion should take precedence, even if the man wants her to carry the fetus to term.
Yea, and it also goes into the territory of bodily autonomy (which we also apparently give to dead people).

As far as who's arguing that men and woman should have different right, well, actually I've argued with people who be like "Woman shouldn't complain until they can get drafted into the military and die like the rest of us, and also take up shitty dangerous jobs like us men do."
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Squall » 02 Oct 2016 02:18

GrandPiano wrote:The fact is, though, that sexuality is a subject of distinction. Most people (heterosexuals) only feel attraction toward people of the opposite gender. Some people (homosexuals) only feel attraction toward people of the same gender, and others (bisexuals) feel attraction toward both (there are other sexualities too, of course). This attraction is a real thing that can't be controlled and not just something made up by society, so I guess the concept of sexuality actually demonstrates that gender is a thing on some level other than just the societal level.
The gender ideology claims that there are no distinctions between heterosexuals, homosexuals and bisexuals. If there are no distinctions in gender, the type of attraction is only a pattern. The preference for biological men would be a pattern like the preference for blonde people.
Those words are all usually gender-neutral, even though they do have feminine equivalents. "King", on the other hand, can only refer to a male. Any dictionary, as well as probably any native speaker (including me), will tell you that. (If any other native speaker disagrees, though, feel free to say it)
I was unlucky with the choice of example. [:(]
I replaced king with waiter in the example.
I agree, but who's arguing that men and women should have different rights? That's just sexism. (Unless there's an actual biological reason for it, but I can't think of any case where there would be)
Supporters of the gender ideology use that radical idea to combat the male sexism and the homophobia.
Khemehekis wrote:"Singer" has no gender distinction, does it? I remember in the two-page spread for occupations in the original First Thousand Words books, one of the few women shown in the pictures was to illustrate the word "singer".
The feminine form is 'songstress'.
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Axiem » 02 Oct 2016 02:32

Squall wrote: The feminine form is 'songstress'.
"Songstress" is the feminine form of "songster", not "singer". "Singer" is gender-neutral. For example, this page, which lists a number of singers.
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by imperialismus » 02 Oct 2016 02:35

Ahzoh wrote:
imperialismus wrote:
GrandPiano wrote: I agree, but who's arguing that men and women should have different rights? That's just sexism. (Unless there's an actual biological reason for it, but I can't think of any case where there would be)
Best example is abortion. It takes a man and a woman to create a baby, but only the woman has to carry the fetus in her belly for 9 months. Accordingly, the woman's preferences wrt. abortion should take precedence, even if the man wants her to carry the fetus to term.
Yea, and it also goes into the territory of bodily autonomy (which we also apparently give to dead people).

As far as who's arguing that men and woman should have different right, well, actually I've argued with people who be like "Woman shouldn't complain until they can get drafted into the military and die like the rest of us, and also take up shitty dangerous jobs like us men do."
Well, obligatory military service for one sex only is indeed sexist, so I'm not sure what you're getting at.

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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Ahzoh » 02 Oct 2016 02:41

imperialismus wrote:Well, obligatory military service for one sex only is indeed sexist, so I'm not sure what you're getting at.
Drafting shouldn't even be a thing. And said person whom I was debating did make implications of their beliefs in women's inability to fight.
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Khemehekis » 02 Oct 2016 02:44

Squall wrote:
Khemehekis wrote:"Singer" has no gender distinction, does it? I remember in the two-page spread for occupations in the original First Thousand Words books, one of the few women shown in the pictures was to illustrate the word "singer".
The feminine form is 'songstress'.
So would you accept a sentence like "Amy Lee is the lead songstress of Evanescence"? Or "Tori Amos is a songstress-songwriter"?
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by imperialismus » 02 Oct 2016 02:53

Ahzoh wrote:
imperialismus wrote:Well, obligatory military service for one sex only is indeed sexist, so I'm not sure what you're getting at.
Drafting shouldn't even be a thing. And said person whom I was debating did make implications of their beliefs in women's inability to fight.
I agree, but as long as it is, it should be equal for all genders.

I do find it particularly silly that we (by which I mean my own country, can't speak for others) allow women in the military, but allow them to fulfill more relaxed restrictions as to physical fitness. I would think if the enemy is shooting to kill, they wouldn't let a woman escape just to be fair to her sex. And if on the other hand it really isn't necessary to be more fit than the women's requirements, why are men held to a higher standard?! Makes no sense to me, unless you apply macho sexist theory.

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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Squall » 02 Oct 2016 03:18

Axiem wrote:"Songstress" is the feminine form of "songster", not "singer". "Singer" is gender-neutral.
The dictionary says that "singer" and "songster" are synonymous and both words are gender-neutral.
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Ahzoh » 02 Oct 2016 03:28

imperialismus wrote:I agree, but as long as it is, it should be equal for all genders.

I do find it particularly silly that we (by which I mean my own country, can't speak for others) allow women in the military, but allow them to fulfill more relaxed restrictions as to physical fitness. I would think if the enemy is shooting to kill, they wouldn't let a woman escape just to be fair to her sex. And if on the other hand it really isn't necessary to be more fit than the women's requirements, why are men held to a higher standard?! Makes no sense to me, unless you apply macho sexist theory.
Now isn't that a problem:
1) People want women to be a strong as men (and generally, this is not biologically possible for most women, unless they go through more rigorous activity than is needed of men)
2) People want more women to be in the military, drafted even (generalization)
3) Women want to serve their country just like men do (another generalization)

I was watching a video regarding female draft and these were the kind of arguments made:

"Women should not run for president until women start signing for the draft."

"How about making a platoon of all men and platoon of all women? If the women became ass draggers the only people they will put in harms way is their own demographic. Prevents white knighting and maximizes woman casualty (lets close the combat death gap). Also makes a good case study about women being equal with men. Let's see how it will stand-up to harsh reality."
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^Exactly. Feminist keep crowing that women can do anything a man can do. Time to see if it's really true."

"Then have women start making compnies compose of women. let see how well they do. they've been bitching about fewer CEO then have them start their own."

"Then they better rise up instead of pulling men down. remember we have affirmative actions and quotas. remove those shit and have them face reality instead of hiding behind state power."
"I say let women go off to war, let them be mutilated, shot, burned, have limbs blown off, and suffer the mental effects of War. they want an 'equal' society, let them bleed for those values as men have done in two world wars..... about time they suffered for the very freedoms that men have died for to give them..."

"The army is open to females and yet only around 15% ever go. Yea, women want equality, but only when they can cherry pick. They want equality, draft them."

You'd think Return of Kings dominated that video's comments section.
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Re: Gender ideology in languages

Post by Axiem » 02 Oct 2016 05:07

Squall wrote:
Axiem wrote:"Songstress" is the feminine form of "songster", not "singer". "Singer" is gender-neutral.
The dictionary says that "singer" and "songster" are synonymous and both words are gender-neutral.
They have distinctly different connotations. "Singer" is the word almost everyone uses for "a person who sings", and it is decidedly gender-neutral. The only time I hear the word "songster" is when referencing wandering/folk musicians. Wikipedia agrees with this assessment. (Or, when someone is intentionally using obscure vocabulary in an attempt to sound erudite, but that applies to a lot of words).

To my (native English-speaking) ear, you can't replace "singer" with "songster" without grossly changing the meaning of a sentence. "Robert Plant is a singer" is a correct statement, as he is the lead singer of Led Zeppelin; "Robert Plant is a songster" is not accurate, because he is not a minstrel nor folk singer in campgrounds.

Or, to make the point via machine learning, let's look at the first page of search results from Google:
Robert Plant Singer has 3.5 million results, and the front page repeatedly quotes articles/pages that refer to him as a singer.
Robert Plant songster wants to refer to a guitar tab site that calls itself "songsterr", but if you click through to indicate that no really you mean "songster", all of the top results out of 113 thousand refer to a benefit concert for a person named "Lead Belly", that the same articles refer to as a "songster" (Wikipedia agrees that his genres include "songster").

There may be some point to make about "songster" being used in a more gender-neutral fashion, but as a word that's fallen into complete disuse in general discourse, I think it's an extraordinarily terrible one to use to make a point about gender-marking in English words for occupations.
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