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Forced to use (gender) language conventions in university

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Arent11, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    What a *****
     
  2. gangleri2001

    gangleri2001 Garbage day!!!

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    Why don't you just tell them that the usage of asterisks triggers you?
     
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  3. Gori the Grey

    Gori the Grey The Poster

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    The thing is I know word you've represented in all asterisks there, and that word makes your joke a double joke.

    Your cleanest one-liner ever, I think.
     
  4. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I don't think anybody cares that women are called "hero" (or heroine) is because the word "man" is not a part of the word, such as in the case of salesman.

    I also don't think it's fair to expect students to use these gender neutral words in their essays, when nobody in society is using them yet. Unless it's some gender issues class that is. Students should be using words society uses IMO, and not words that we'd like society to be using. It's not like students writing essays like this will be a catalyst for change in society. That's not how language works.

    However, I do agree that respectful words should be used in the case of you not knowing the gender of the person. So police officers, etc.

    Wait, they have to use actual asterix? I thought that was just a wildcard character replaced with others.. like Police* -> Policeman or policewoman
     
  5. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    In some cases changing words makes sense, like when "fireman" became "firewatcher". That is clearly a gendered aspect to it, and if changing the word is all that's necessary, then why not? I do think most arguments for why these words must actively be sought out so they can be changed are rather dumb, but once the can of worms is opened and people already feel like it should be changed, then why not.

    Problems however come in when you can't just swap out words easily. The German language is entirely gendered. The phrase...

    "Alle Schüler dürfen in der Pause zur Kantine." (roughly translated: All students are allowed to go to the canteen during break)

    ...is something people would say and mean all the students, not just the male ones, however, "Schüler" is the male form, the female form is "Schülerin(nen)".

    That's normal in the German language, if a word has a male and a female form (and most words have), you use the male form as the default, with some exceptions, mainly when you're addressing groups of people directly, or talking about a specific group of people that contains individuals of non-male individuals. So because there is no gender-neutral term for student, to make that sentence more inclusive, you'd name both:

    "Alle Schüler und Schülerinnen dürfen in der Pause zur Kantine."

    Of course, that makes the sentence a lot longer than it was before, so people started shortening:

    "Alle Schüler*innen dürfen in der Pause zur Kantine."

    (Alternatively Schüler_innen or SchülerInnen would also work.)

    Great, we're being very progressive. However, now that you have a form that is acceptable for male and female students... what's with all the 0.X% of nonbinary people? Well, to take gender out of the word completely, we should change it again:

    "Alle Schülex dürfen in der Pause zur Kantine."

    Great. We're now already very inclusive. There's one problem though, "Die Kantine" is still a female form, and because kitchen + woman, that's a nogo, and "Die Pause", that's female as well, and that might associate us with laziness, so we should definitely invent a new word for that as well. This will take some time however, and for now, we'll just use x-es to make sure everybody knows that breaks and kitchens are things that all genders have equal access to.

    "Alle Schülex dürfen in das Pausx zu das Kantinx."

    Great! I think we've fixed all the problems in that sentence.

    And no, that's no joke. While most mainsteam activists stop after turning Schüler*innen into Schülerx, there are people who push towards replacing all gendered language.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
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  6. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    To make the point with hero/heroine, the equivalent would be hero*ine


    I'l also calling bull on the story, unless someone independently confirms that this madness is actually happening in RL in Germany.
     
  7. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    :ack:

    At this point, I'd be tempted to call the thing "Mai esseh, rited bai meh", translate everything else into lolcat as well, and conclude with "teh end, plz to nawt gibs meh a F, kthxbai."

    It would make a lot more sense, in my not even slightly humble opinion.


    As for the professor in Ontario, I'm on his side. If somebody tells me to use "he" or "she," that's one thing. But using made-up words or "they" when referring to one person is something that makes no sense to me.

    "Protagonist" works nicely.
     
  8. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    Because of the persistent gender inequality in payments for the same job, I think that words related with jobs have priority.
     
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  9. tuckerkao

    tuckerkao Prince

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    The simplest genders related words are Mr., Ms. and Mrs., almost all middle and high school students call their teachers beginning with these 3?
     
  10. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    I'll get to it right after you have proven that those differences result from discrimination and not statistical differences between men and women.
     
  11. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It did, in German? I used to be fluent in German but am really rusty.. If that happened in German and people use it, then that's what students should be expected to use when writing essays.

    How do you pronounce Schüler*innen?

    Why not just come up with a gender neutral word for "students" instead? I mean obviously the German language is broken. And firewatcher was a great fix for fireman/woman. But inserting an asterix (???) to the alphabet doesn't seem like the solution to me.

    I can't even figure out how Schülerx would be pronounced.

    And I can see how people might have a problem with occupations having male or female names.. but other things? Who gives a crap if a table is male or female or neuter?
     
  12. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    You don't. That's why I think it is a dead end which will never catch on except for academics, feminists and the Green party.
     
  13. dutchfire

    dutchfire Deity

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    Keep the Maths, drop the French.
     
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  14. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I don't get it. How is this new word supposed to be a part of the vocabulary when you can't even say it?

    If a student uses this word in an essay and has to read a part of his/her essay to class.. how would that work?

    Or if the school wants to announce something about all students in the school over the intercom.. how would they do that if this word cannot be pronounced?
     
  15. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    No, that was an example for the English word. In German, it's still Feuerwehrmann, and instead of being replaced by a new word, it is simply substituted with the female version: Feuerwehrmann/-frau.

    That depends on the speaker. You can either take a short break after "Schüler" and then add "rinnen" with an emphasis on the first "rin" so the rhythm is different from when you would just say "Schülerinnen", or you just say "Schüler und Schülerinnen".

    It's mostly a thing for written language though, so "Schüler und Schülerinnen" is something most people who use the * in written text would say in a conversation.

    Woops, silly me. That must of course be Schülex, not Schülerx, as the intent is to replace the r, leaving it in is of course completely nonsensical. You then just pronounce it like the German x (which is like the ix in fix for those, but takes on the sound of the Vowel before it).

    Yeah, like I said, it's sort of an extreme thing. Die green party was made fun of when they wanted to push the gender-x into the mainstream in 2015 or whenever it was, so... not even that has entered the mainstream yet. Which is good.
     
  16. Arent11

    Arent11 King

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    That's a good example.

    Well, I can safely disclose that it is the institute of romanistics in Leipzig, part of the university Leipzig. Of course I won't go into detail about the names of the involved people.

    Apart from that I already cited the example of the canadian professor. So there is independent confirmation that something like this at least
    happens in canada. So, it should not be too unbelievable that it also happens in Germany.
     
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  17. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Firewatcher? In English? I have never heard of this word before. Everyone says "Firefighter", isn't that gender neutral? Is that what you meant?

    The professor got in trouble because he was asked by a student to use certain pronouns, instead of "he" or "she". Like "they" or "xer" or whatever, and he refused.

    It seems a completely different scenario than changing the spelling of the word "students".
     
  18. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Ah yeah, obviously. My bad.
     
  19. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    "Firewatcher" gives the impression that the person just sits back and watches the fire burn everything up, instead of actually doing something about it. Or another interpretation could be like the people in the fire towers, out in the middle of nowhere (think of the character in Red Green, who's a little nuts from sitting out there day after day, year after year).
     
  20. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Okay that makes sense! I don't exactly follow the trends, and English is my 3rd language, so I wasn't sure if that was a regional thing or if I was just out of the loop or whatever.

    The transition to Firefighter seems like it happened organically. Or maybe that word was always in use? I have no idea. Either way, don't linguists say that language evolves how it wants, and you can't really control it? If we now use firefighter and that's normal, it's because people decided to start using that word and it caught on, not because schools started teaching it that way or bureaucrats started writing memos..
     

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