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Wordsmith.org Forums General Topics Q&A about words political correctness
>Do other languages have this problem or is the "Man" - man problem confined solely to English?
We have a different problem that, sometimes, can be exacerbating. Every Spanish noun has a definite gender, for example a clock is male and a towel is female. But nouns or adjectives that define persons, animals, professions etc. can be made male by ending in “-o” or female by ending in “-a”. And the sexist question arrives when we use plurals. Conventionally is established that “-os” termination must be used when referring a group or mixed sexes and only if the whole group is composed of female members we can use “-as”.
Modern PC usage, mainly in administration, is forcing us to use the cumbersome termination “-os/as” instead of the old “-os”. So when writing a school program a teacher must write “Los alumnos/as, los niños/as, los profesores/as”.
This is definitely cumbersome but the alternative is definitely sexist so we are waiting for some ingenious invention that can solve this problem.
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