#JJReport: A Gender Neutral Language for a Gender Non-Binary World

#JJReport: A Gender Neutral Language for a Gender Non-Binary World
#JJReport: A Gender Neutral Language for a Gender Non-Binary World

Conversations around gender are going through a revolutionary change around the globe. The widely accepted binary around gender in a post-imperial world is being questioned and broken down. Another addition to this process is a change in marketing patterns of major brands in the west. Recently, Google announced that it was going a step ahead in its promotion of the inclusive language.Now, Google Docs - popular free word-processing software - will start nudging people away from potentially sexist language. That means in case you use “chairman” it will offer you a replacement with “chairperson”.What is Gender Neutral Language? The English language has a great reflection of its imperial past. For a long, there existed cultural and social discrimination against genders in imperial history. Leave alone the conversation around non-binary, the language has in fact ignored professional titles for females, especially at a position of power. The examples of such discrimination are clearly visible in the words like - Chairman, Armyman, Fireman, Manforce, etc. Gender-neutral language, argues that there should be replacement of such gendered titles to make the language more inclusive and non-discriminative. In a non-binary world, where genders are not restricted to just two categories, replacing word like Chairman with Chair or Chairperson, Fireman to Firefighter, Manforce to workforce brings a positive outlook towards inclusion. Will Gender Neutral language lead to inclusion? A gendered title, such as Chairman, gives an immediate reflection that a “man” is in charge, which is problematic. To understand the impact of the gender-neutral language we reached out to Patna based Gender Activist Sushmita. Ms Sushmita welcomed the steps toward gender neutrality, however, she said, “Although it's a good step, its impact is limited. The change will only be seen in the mindset of people who already want to get out of the binary structure, for those who are rigid about the conservative idea of binary its is hard to reflect the acceptance.” She further added that “Change in mindset depends on the local culture, Culture has a direct impact of reflection and vice-versa. A greater impact can be expected when the culture and language both accept inclusion.” Difficulties around Gender Neutral Languages? Gender Neutral Languages are still developing, and it requires great research and revamping of how we have been using languages for ages to finally be inclusive. Some of the major Difficulties around acceptance of Gender Neutral Languages are: Binary vs Non-Binary: Culturally many individuals still believe in the conservative idea of binary, to them directly jumping to a gender-neutral language can be a rough trek. Hence, a cultural sensitization towards gender can help in the acceptance of Gender-Neutral Language.Language Policing: Forcing someone to use a certain non-binary title can be seen as language policing, hence, a stuble way of awareness might help. Still Gendered: Many Gender Neutral titles are still gendered towards man. Such as Doctor, culturally it has been used for a Male Health Professional and Nurses have been used for Female health professionals. Again signalling that a female health professional is a mere assistant and not incharge. Although there are difficulties, corporates in the west are going ahead with a non-binary use of language. Gender activists around the globe are working and promoting the development of language to make things more inclusive. A change is definitely awaited, we need to see how long it takes to penetrate our proximities. 71.png

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