How do you define 'sexist language'? (words like man, himself, the worker, etc.)

How far do you agree with the statement that using man meaning people or the worker provides work for himself is offensive?

I am just reading an encyclical which favours this usage and I do not know how I should tackle this issue in my translation. Will women feel offended if I write the worker provides work for himself?

You will get lots of opinions on this, twin. I personally think that good style overrides political correctness.

Try to cast the translated sentence to avoid possibly sexist language if you can (for instance, casting it in the plural: workers provide work for themselves).

If that is not possible, use himself of herself (him- or herself) if you need it only once or twice in the piece; more than that makes the text turgid and clumsy.

Another clever option is to use the distaff pronoun instead: the worker provides work for herself.

Thank you. I used his or her three times and took advantage of the other tricks suggested.

I really like The worker provides work form herself. Honestly:-)

You have to be careful about switching back and forth between masculine and feminine pronouns to describe people in general. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that people who do this use a masculine pronoun more when they are talking about something bad, and a feminine one more when discussing good qualities. For example:

“The student who studies hard and has good behavior should be rewarded for her efforts. If a student is a psychopathic killer, he should be reported to authorities immediately.”

I’m exaggerating here, but if you watch, you will find that people actually do this a lot, and it’s more offensive than using a masculine or feminine pronoun all the time.

Secondly, if you’re translating an encyclical, you should preserve the conservative tone of it and use traditional grammatical distinctions.

I will tell you that in a linguistics class I taught at an American university, I told my students (all female) to stop using slashes between pronouns, such as “his/her”, “him/her”, etc. I consider this sloppy writing. I assumed these young women would be offended, but it turned out quite the opposite. They were tired of professors jamming politically correct pronoun usage down their throats, and they said that using the masculine pronoun “he” DOES sound gender neutral to them. They claimed that anyone who takes it literally and thinks it doesn’t include women has to be an imbecile. These were not conservative students either. The one who argued this point most adamantly was a radical, body-pierced bohemian type that any boy would be scared to bring home to Mom and Dad.

Hi Jamie, that seems to be the wish of exaggerated feminists, isn?t it? Or is this a quality of English? :roll:

Please let me remind you that some years ago listening to the weather report you always could say what weather is comming after hearing the name of the weather front. Female names were for bad weather, male names were for good weather. I?m sad that this had been changed because the try to equalize the female and male genders. :? :lol: