Bill Buckley, in his (admittedly pedantic) defense of the old style of using gender-loaded language, points out that there is actually a linguistic trope which "legitimizes" this language; i.e., the synecdoche. per Merriam-Webster a synecdoche is a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole (as fifty sail for fifty ships), the whole for a part (as society for high society), the species for the genus (as cutthroat for assassin), the genus for the species(as a creature for a man), or the name of the material for the thing made (as boards for stage). Buckley's point seems to be that such constructions will always be be warranted in literature and the arts, for the mere sound if nothing else.