The Spanish language has masculine and feminine words and differentiates el (m.) and la (f.) as opposed to English's gender neutral the.
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.
tod@s (everyone), compañer@s (classmates), chic@s (guys/girls)