Gender Language: Man, He, Him OR Woman, She, Her?

The use of "man", "he" is not necessarily gender-biased or patriarchal. In fact, it is more honorific towards the feminine gender, in that it protects her gender by letting man stand in front. Take, for instance, the following quote:
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (Gen.6:5)
Isn't that better than the following?
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of woman was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of her heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made woman on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (Gen.6:5)
Or
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of humans was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of their heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made humans on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (Gen.6:5)
Now, one might say that the "humans" version is better. Why not both share the blame? Of course, both do. But, doesn't the masculine representation suggest honor towards the woman?

Take again this quote by Mark Twain:
Of all the creatures [man]...is the only one--the solitary one--that possesses malice....He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain...all creatures kill...man is the only one...that kills in malice, the only one that kills for revenge.
How would this look like?
Of all the creatures [woman]...is the only one--the solitary one--that possesses malice....She is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain...all creatures kill...woman is the only one...that kills in malice, the only one that kills for revenge.
Obviously, it is more advantageous and preferable to retain the older practice of letting man represent humans and thus treating the woman with honor, and not using her name for things that he is also or mainly responsible for. To take the whole blame, though euphemistically, is more honoring towards the other, after all.

Comments

Popular Posts