I hope it's okay to link this article. Even though it focusses on German, it raises some interesting universal points. I remember there being quite a bit of media hype (and some good but also some truly awful discussions) throughout the country when the university's decision became public.
What do you think about using the female version only because of the "rotation principle" (=it's now women's turn, as decribed in the article)?
What I found interesting/ironic in this article is that even though this linguist proposes a imo good idea about using the already existing neutral article for nouns whose grammatical gender is male or female, which wouldn't even be that tricky to implement, he doesn`t go on about how this would work with pronouns. Ironically, neutral pronouns are the same as the male pronouns in German.
I understand that languages differ and these particular examples don't quite apply to the English language. But it's an international issue applicable to many if not most or all languages.
However, I already tried to point out in another thread that since this is an international platform with most of its user not being native English speakers, I think that users who might actually be concerned about the issue in their first language might also have difficulties implementing it into the second (English). So while I appreciate that the issue is being rased and an effort to raise awareness is being made, I don't like the instances where people are simply rounded on for their use of male pronouns only, without any constructive support or guidance.
I find this principle ridiculous: unless the person, as in the case of pre-op transgender/some transvestites as being a different gender to the one they were born into, then they should be addressed by their biologically-determined sex.
The idea is, anyway, based on a false premise. At no point in pre-feminist times were women ever identified as men, in fact quite the opposite was true. I am currently working on a thesis that only uses feminine pronouns, and like every other thesis I've seen that does this, it's a terribly written self-indulgent mess. [N.b not on Upwork moderators, so not insulting a client here!]
P.S I am not fanatically attacking non-native speakers and shaming them into gender neutrality. If you had seen this poster's subsequent comments I think they spoke for themselves about what kind of person he was.
I didn't mean to say that you are (fanatically attacking...). I think in that particular thread it wasn't even clear to me whom you meant, without taking a closer look. I guess it could have been read as "you know who you are" to the particular person, and "feel free to feel addressed" to anyone in general.
I find it interesting how languages develop every day, new words being invented/introduced by the minute really, one language taking from others, mixing etc. on the one hand, which is (or should be viewed as) a normal/natural process, yet forcing, influencing or even just guiding this process turns out to be rather difficult.
I don't really know how I feel about the rotation principle myself, as I haven't really seen it in action yet (apart from the university example since it's local and the uni I attended), but I think I would like to see it more often. It's probably not a good or even ideal solution, but it might contribute to awareness and change.
I tend to think of academia as a void whereby intellectuals simply disseminate information amongst themselves to no wider purpose. Most English universities are now anyway largely drinking dens where immature, not particularly bright, young people are given 3 years extended adolescence and do the minimum required to get a meaningless low 2.1. Therefore, in terms of England at least, I do not think anything enacted in universities has wider significance.
On a broader level, there are, anyway, more significant things that could be done to make universities more female friendly. Tackling the huge level of sexual harassment and aggression the drinking culture produces would be one, stopping the gender stratification of some religions that's allowed under the tattered banner of 'equality' would be another.