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Does androcentrism perpetuate gender roles?
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Efforts to dispel androcentric language go too far

Replacing words like "mankind" with "humankind" is simply a form of political correctness that censors people. There is no need to change anything because there are more important issues.
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The Argument

It is simply common sense - "mankind" and words like it refer to all humans, not just men. Claims that these words are sexist and should be avoided merely because they contain "man" are pushing political correctness too far. The movement to change the "androcentric" language showcases radical feminists attempting to change how people speak, effectively censoring them, and taking away their right to free speech. Words like "mankind" have been used to talk about all people for a long time, and there is no need to change that by using another gender-neutral language. There are far more pressing issues--both in terms of gender relations and the world as a whole--than simply people's choice of words.

Counter arguments

It is important to recognize and combat sexism and prejudice in all forms, and this includes androcentric language. The word "man" is no longer completely synonymous with "person," which many dictionaries and writing guides acknowledge.[1][2] Many studies show that generic male-oriented language (such as using "he" as the default pronoun) makes listeners perceive a man as the default person, too, instead of a woman or gender-nonconforming person. This perpetuates the notion of men as the norm and anything else as the (potentially deviant) exception and can result in a number of detrimental effects primarily on non-male individuals.[3] Sexism is incredibly pervasive in society, so it is therefore essential that all people do what they can to eradicate it.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

Further Reading

Research articles analyzing resistance to changing androcentric language: https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550620937188 https://rdcu.be/b6qGk https://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X14538638

References

  1. https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/gender-inclusive-language/
  2. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/man?s=t
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Janet_Parks/publication/240281299_Explaining_Age_and_Gender_Effects_on_Attitudes_toward_Sexist_Language/links/5527cce90cf2e089a3a1dd5a/Explaining-Age-and-Gender-Effects-on-Attitudes-toward-Sexist-Language.pdf
This page was last edited on Sunday, 6 Sep 2020 at 00:55 UTC

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