Analysis: In Defense Of Gender

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"In Defense of Gender", written by Cyra McFadden describes—in a satirical fashion—the nonsensical, all too often ubiquitous neutering of the English language across the country, both spoken and written. McFadden brings to light the issues that arise, as oppose to lessen, when gender-specific components are removed. I found myself in agreement with the author on many, if not all, of the points addressed within the article. To disassemble the English language—both written and spoken—and then re-manufacture it to be genderless only muddles our already languid dialect. All good intentions aside, gender neutering is hit-or-miss as you will not be able to make everyone happy. The author 's goal is to address the illogical removal of gender from spoken …show more content…
Mailman, waitress, and chairman are just some examples of common everyday titles that will need to be neutered in order to indulge everyone and not offend. These roles can be held by both men and women alike, yet the titles can appear gender specific. Unfortunately, at this point, there are no options to achieve neutrality without division between the sexes as an outcome. McFadden illustrates her dismay in the lack of efficacy, later adding, "there must be a better way, and I wish person or persons unknown would come up with one" (McFadden, 1981). This excerpt shows how the removal of male or female gender from a title can appear to change the title all together. A man—or woman— could have wanted to be a chairman of a fortune 500 company some day, but unfortunately that is to gender specific. Congratulations. You are now a “chairperson”, sorry about the death of your lifelong dream. Removing gender from one individual can create animosity towards the opposite gender to which this change was made to satisfy. The author 's goal was presented with vague black and white examples and could have benefited from a deeper dissection of why she felt there must be a better way to convey titles without neutrality. The phrase, separate but equal came to mind while reading this portion of the article because both parties are in fact separated physically by gender, but now bolster a title that makes them the same. This, in …show more content…
McFadden tells us of one friend’s experience with a church that has gone so far as to alter passages of the bible in order to remove gender as this verse from I Corinthians illustrates: "Though I speak with tongues of persons and of angels". Within the same church the clergy also no longer refers to God as a He but as He/She. This goes for all individuals in the bible except those of whom bare children. The reasoning behind this being that when the bible was originally written, "male persons do not give birth to babies" (McFadden, 1981). Removing gender within religious texts, such as the Bible, is taking neutering of writings too far. Of all things—written or spoken—religious material of this variety should be regarded as protected from the act of neutering. Some have built their lives and spiritual beliefs on the words from these writings and changing them can be seen as blasphemy. The author’s goal in this writing is to show how genderless writing has permeated our world. It has even go so far as to infiltrate an area that you would assume takes a strong stance against the blurring of genders or any changes for that matter. Granted, the bible itself has gone through changes in the past. The fact that it has been translated in many different languages and dates back to 5000 B.C., changes or alterations from the original, can only be expected.

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