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Word Count: 729
Gender Issues In Language Todays society is filled with generic terms which can be used to address the human race However using terms like man him and his to refer to people in a broad sense creates a feeling of sexism in the language1 Because these terms have more than one meaning in todays society they are instinctively taken at the meaning of an adult male In spite of this people still use these non-generic terms even though this simple problem can be resolved easily When the word man is heard in todays society there is an automatic mental connection with a mature male When using man as a generic term there becomes an association problem and women are unintentionally excluded because of the double meaning of the word Ercongota the daughter of a seventh-century English king is described in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as a wonderful man2 When reading this statement even though it says that Ercongota is the kings daughter I still associate her with being male because she is called a man In that time however this association would not happen because this term was well known as being a generic term In the past women were not seen as equals to men so by having a general term to describe all people as a whole women were provided with a sense of pride and equality However the women of today have a legal status of equality and they create their own sense of pride through their personal accomplishments By referring to women as men it undermines their accomplishments and weakens their social position The historian Mary Beard pointed out many years ago that most historians use man in ways that obscure womens contributions to civilization unfortunately they and others continue to do so3 When speaking and writing simple solutions can be used to avoid these problems If referring to a group of people of unknown gender instead of calling them men referring
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