Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:09 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y During the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit, Richard M. Stallman of the Free Software Foundation (and the Superfluous Introduction Award goes to...) gave a keynote speech. Said keynote speech raised a few eyebrows in the Free software community because of a number of questionable remarks regarding women in technology. David "Lefty" Schlesinger, member of the GNOME Advisory Board and active in the mobile open source community, took issue with RMS' remarks and decided to call him out on it. The response he got was... Less than satisfying.
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RE[3]: What an utter non-issue
by sbergman27 on Thu 9th Jul 2009 16:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What an utter non-issue"
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

You could always add (or she) everytime you say he.

Yeah. But what we really need is a new gender neutral pronoun which is not genderless. If it weren't for that last requirement, we could just use "it". ;)

The tough part is that to have a chance of being used, the new term has to come into common use *first* and then be picked up by dictionaries and other references. It's not the sort of thing that can be pushed down from the top.

A natural candidate would be some portmantaeu of "he" and "she". But nothing obvious enough to be catchy comes to mind. It's a problem remeniscient of the conundrum we have with the word "Free" in describing OSS software. In every direction in which one turns, there is something blocking the way to any simple and obvious solution.

Edited 2009-07-09 16:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Hmm... Man used to mean "human being" but at some point turned into a gender-specific term.

In old days werman meant "male human" and wyfman (or wĂ­fman or similar spellings) meant "female human) ('woman' which is a worn down form of wyfman).

Just reintroduce werman for male humans and man will suddenly be gender-neutral again.

That said, if you start using "it" in relation to women, you're your own. I'll sit and eat pizza and drink a beer while the women abuse you :p

EDIT: You completely forgot the parallel to Life of Brian... *sigh* Svenskere har bare ingen kultur ;)

---dylansmrjones

*** Besides that, patents should be abolished ***

Edited 2009-07-09 16:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

I'm a human not a huperson. "Mankind" is a set that includes women, and if there were women in the army back then, the grand old Duke of York would still have and ten thousand men. I find "man" to be gender neutral enough in most circumstances, and the male pronoun "he" should do for a neutral one. Obviously wouldn't say "he" when you're specifically talking about a woman, but it's good enough for talking about some hypothetical person.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"One".

Reply Parent Score: 2