Showing posts with the label gender expression

On Reading The National Inquiry Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

The National Inquiry Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual peopleReactions to Reclaiming Power and Place, the title of the National Inquiry Report, have ranged from angry sarcasm to pious platitudes.  I thought there would be lots of room in the middle ground for a reasoned, dispassionate if sympathetic reading.  I had heard numerous declarations that all Canadians should read and educate themselves from this report.  I, therefore, gave myself the task of reading the 1200-page report, the 300-page Quebec supplement, and the 50-page executive summary.

When I was done, my immediate reaction tended toward angry sarcasm.  I had to remind myself of the experience of working on a large research project (though nothing in the order of magnitude of the National Inquiry) where the end result was a hodgepodge which failed to satisfy anyone's vision of what the project was meant …

The Pronoun Wars

Pronouns and antecedents When I first heard about "the pronoun wars," I assumed the debate was about the old problem of the correct pronoun to use when "everyone" was the antecedent.  This is the related question that I put on the mid-term exam for the course on Applied Grammar I was teaching in 1994.

You have been asked to edit an official government document.  You have to decide what to do about the following sentence:"In the future every university student will be required to pay 51% of the cost of their education."If you decide to change the sentence (or not to change it), you will have to explain your decision to three people:  Mr. Boyle,  who is a strict grammarian; Ms. Doyle, who is a proud feminist, and Mrs. Murphy, who likes to see problems solved in a practical, common-sense fashion.Explain the problem with the sentence, and give your decision and justifications.  

Traditional grammar versus feminism The traditional grammarian would insist that t…