Friday, October 8, 2010

Gender-conscious language

The Spanish language has masculine and feminine words and differentiates el (m.) and la (f.) as opposed to English's gender neutral the.
For example:
la mesa (the table), la casa (the house)
el gato (the cat), el teléfono (the phone)

It is a masculine-dominated language in the sense that a group of girls is chicas, a group of guys is chicos, but a mixed group (even if it's all girls and 1 guy) is chicos --the masculine form.

It's very interesting to me to see the approach people are taking for a more gender conscious language. I've now seen on various advertisements and almost all the emails from my program and classmates the use of "@", which can be an "a" and "o" at the same time -- therefore including both the masculine and feminine versions of the word equally/simultaneously.
For example:
tod@s (everyone), compañer@s (classmates),  chic@s (guys/girls)

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