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The power of “she”. March 12, 2007

Posted by kblack10 in Uncategorized.
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Today when I was sitting in my econ lecture listening to my professor, I noticed something that I had never really heard much before. When giving an example, he referred to the individual as “she”, contrasting the typical use “he” often used to represent a person in an example. Perhaps many may think this is miniscule and not worth mentioning, but I find it rather empowering that the use of “she” is becoming more mainstreamed. I then noticed that in my major textbooks for psychology and economics, whenever an individual is referred to in a hypothetical situation, the individual is of the female sex. Has anyone else noticed this or know exactly when the primary gender in textbooks became female?? I clearly remember being in grammar school with older textbooks that specifically were very male oriented, particularly science books. I find the usage of “she” in recent books to be liberating and enjoy knowing that “girl power” can be found in places that I hadn’t originally noticed!

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1. sindhub - March 12, 2007

I noticed that too!

I haven’t found it in textbooks, though; rather, I’ve found that textbooks try to be ambiguous, e.g. not using pronouns and instead using the noun repeatedly (‘buyer’ ‘seller’ etc.), but this is also meant for the purpose of being as clear as possible. And I’m not sure that using ‘she’ instead of ‘he’ is the best option.. yeah it’s gender-bending, but when it comes to textbooks and the like, I do think clarity is the best choice.

2. marinaw - March 14, 2007

I’ve also noticed that some writers attempt to avoid it by using the gender-neutral “they” even though the word is technically plural. There’s another pronoun, too, that i was introduced to in PA training, which is ‘zhe’, (zee) a pronoun used by some transgender, transexual, or gender-queer people to indicate that they transcend the gender binary.


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