First I should say that this is not meant to solve all the issues. This is just one piece in a larger framework, a piece which is both linguistically relevant and an improvement easily accessible to native and new speakers.
Currently, we take a person who chairs and we call that person a chairman or (if we are confronted with gender) chairwoman or chairperson or some other ad hoc well-intentioned solution. They usually sound clunky by comparison. Kludgy. Inelegant.
And that doesn’t even address the pluralization issue. Chairman, chairmen, chairwoman, chairwomen, chairperson. Confused? Let’s simplify.
Most folks never actually articulate chairmAn or even less so chairmEn. It’s softened to something more like chiarmIn (like chair-in with an m). So let’s just roll with that. We can use it as a non-pluralizing noun (like sheep or fish) so that it’s one chairmin, two chairmin, red chairmin, blue chairmin. If we move forward with this -min suffix as both gender and number neutral we get a host of words such as follow here:
You get the basic idea. Take it forward: the suffix -min is gender and number neutral and means (roughly) one who.
Here is a great analysis of the odd shape of gender bias in certain visions of the future. Read it well. There are a number of worthy points to take away and cherish like shiny beads.
Fear of a Feminist Future (The alt-right hopes to be saved by the apocalypse)
All of it!
Good read on how not to seek equality between the sexes.
Let’s Call Men’s Rights Activists by Their True Names
Don’t be that guy.
Something I point out repeatedly is that masculine images are pointed toward a mountain peak where no oxygen tank can take us. Please read this article discussing certain clues a piece is sexist against males:
I think the assessment of Scott Pilgrim is the only flaw in the article. Pilgrim fights males and females, is more capable of expressing his emotion than is the female he pursues, and of course the female certainly does not fall into Scott’s lap.
Aside from that the article is flawless.
Share your thoughts? No pressure.
Looks like female students in the US and male students in France may be unfairly judging teachers based on a gender bias. Please read this article by NPR:
It is of course tantalizing to speculate how this research may play out, but it is also important to remember that a bias can be very difficult to locate and even harder to eradicate.
In case anyone is wondering how men and women ought to be viewing one another in this post-feminist world, here is a fine rough sketch.
Seeing a Woman: A conversation between a father and son