Gender Neutrality

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2 thoughts on “Gender Neutrality”

  1. Right. Though I think it’s okay to ask if the gender is boy or girl. I think it turns off many students when you get too political correct. Let students come up with other identifiers and celebrate that. The cognates masculine and feminine are always nice. “¿Es un chico masculino o feminino?” But again, I think it can get dry or presumptuous if we use the same terms all the time. Some novelty here is good, and recycling terms students came up on previous occasions (recycling terms from students as always being a good thing, if we can remember them, lol).
    Good topic. It’s one that speaks to me about the need to be careful not to run to the ground certain words or phrases when we are asking students for details. Like, I’ve noticed I often kill the mood when I ask students if the character is intelligent or stupid. I need to be sure I’m asking with sincere interest or asking from a compelling angle related to that particular line of conversation on that particular day in that particular class.

    1. I remember the ole saying of “ask the next compelling question” Lately I have not been asking gender questions about OWIs. I have only been asking names. My students prefer names like Riley, Toni etc… that have been used across all genders. I also refer to “it” whenever I refer to the OWI or by Name. Example: What is its favorite color (when writing on the board)… in French you have to use a subject: like Il (masculine) or Elle (feminine). I often highlight that it means “it” and that objects have grammatical genders.

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