Request for books/articles on gender words

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 9 15:35:49 UTC 2010

Thanks, Amy.

It occurred to me after I posted that homophobia/heterosexism might also go
into the mix.  The subject is so often limited to the overtly physiological
sexes and the  traditional grammatical genders that only they came to mind
immediately to mind when "sexism" was mentioned.


On Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 8:56 AM, Amy West <medievalist at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Request for books/articles on gender words
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I would be very lucky indeed to get a response such as yours from one
> of my students after giving the reading. These are all excellent
> points, and the topic is one of those that relates to that nebulous
> concept of the interaction of language and the culture. I'm going to
> be giving my students the reading along with a bunch of others on
> related topics when I assign them the research proposal, hoping that
> they will spur some controversy, curiosity, or inquiry.
> Like you, Jon, I'm one of those who wonders if the move to "he or
> she" really does result in real-world equity. And given McWhorter's
> conservatism, I was surprised to find that he finds the use of "he"
> as a generic pronoun sexist.
> If we return to the examples that the student gave, I agree with you
> that the insult of "throwing like a girl" imposes cultural
> assumptions on the boy just as much as they do on the girls.
> ---Amy West
> >One reason the entire subject of "sexism" bugs me so much is that in
> >addition to serious and valuable research and thought on the subject
> (mostly
> >by sociologists and historians), there seems to be a sea of foolishness,
> >generally accepted and promoted by the news media, that all "sexism" is
> one
> >thing, that identifying "sexism" in language is of tremendous importance
> >and shows how smart the identifier is, that all possible sexism flows in
> one
> >direction, and that all "sexism" (including the Chicks and the Rams) by
> >definition requires "fixing."
> >
> >I'd just make considerations like these clear to students.
> >
> >JL
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