Should we dispose of “he” and “she” and call everything “it”?

Certainly, you have by now realized how annoying it is to be gender-wise considerate and write “he or she” each time. It certainly is agitating to me, and I find that it cuts from the flow of words. I really feel that it makes much more sense to just remove those words from language altogether and call everything “it.”

(It’s not like this has not been done before; there was a time when English had “thou” as well as “you,” but at least they were sensible enough to consolidate that; why didn’t they fix this third-person pronoun debacle? Speaking of which, this is one of the few times in which English actually is more reasonable than some other languages in the world (Chinese has a “he,” a “she,” a living “it,” and a non-living “it,” and some languages become even worse (different pronouns for levels of respect are outright outrageous (oh hey, parenthetical comment stack))). Of course, that is still no excuse to not fix this problem.)

I can imagine that someone out there is already complaining that I’m dehumanizing people by proposing to call them “it”s. One should realize that incredibly this is really only the undoing of the ridiculous human proposition to consider their species outlandishly and indubitably superior to other species, when the only thing that’s better about the human is the mind and somehow this carried the human far. (It’s still fairly confusing that humans somehow have came to the decision to highly value human traits other than thought, sometimes (I mean frequently (oh hey, parenthetical comment stack again)) to greater degrees than the value of thought, trying to run uphill against a quality clearly taken by another animal already.) I contend that the he/she/it system is degrading to other forms of life. Somehow, millions of species are indiscriminately labeled in the category of the smallest of the three pronouns and humans get the luxury of sex identification. Personally, I feel that it is much more expedient, more logical, and slightly conserving of printer ink to adopt an everything-“it” system.

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4 thoughts on “Should we dispose of “he” and “she” and call everything “it”?

  1. Well, it’s also slightly offensive to intersex or genderqueer people to call everything “it”.

  2. I think China shouldn’t call themselves 中國 because the Chinese people consider themselves “superior to other species”.

  3. @Aaron, yes the ancient Chinese were quite insular, but it isn’t as if they are the only ones with this attitude. Just listen to our president’s calls to make the U.S. “number 1 again”…

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