Some suggestions on How to Use non-sexist language
1. Eliminate the generic use of He, His or Him unless the antecedent is obviously male by:
a) using plural nouns
traditional: The lawyer uses his brief to guide him.
Suggestion: The Lawyers use their briefs to guide them.
b) deleting he, his and him altogether, rewording if necessary
Traditional: The architect uses blueprint to guide him.
Suggestion: The architect uses a blueprint as a guide.
c) substituting articles (a, an, the) for his; using who instead of he
Traditional: The writer should know his readers well.
Suggestion: The writer should know the readers well.
d) using one, we or you
Traditional: As one grows older, he becomes more reflective.
Suggestion: As one grows older, one becomes more reflective.
e) using the passive voice
Traditional: The manager must submit his proposal today.
Suggestion: The proposal must be suggested by the manager today.
2. Eliminate the generic use of Man, instead, use People, Person(s), Human(s), Human being(s), Humankind, Humanity, The Human race.
Traditional: ordinary man, mankind, the brotherhood of man
Suggestion: ordinary people, humanity, the human family
3. Eliminate sexism in symbolic representations of gender in words, sentences, and text by:
a) Taking the context of the word, analyzing its meaning, and eliminating sexism in the concept
Traditional: feeling of brotherhood, feelings of fraternity
Suggestion: feelings of kinship, solidarity
Traditional: the founding fathers
Suggestion: the founders, the founding leaders
Traditional: the father of relativity theory
Suggestion: the founder of relativity theory
4. Eliminate Sexual stereotyping of roles by:
a) using the same term for both genders when it comes to profession or employment
Traditional: salesman, stewardess
Suggestion: sales agent, flight attendant
b) using gender fair in lexical terms
Suggestion: highest ideals of fair play
c) treating men and women in parallel manner
Traditional: I now pronounce you man and wife
Suggestion: I now pronounce you husband and wife
d) avoiding language that reinforce stereotyping images
Traditional: a man’s job, the director’s girl Friday
Suggestion: a big job, the director’s assistant
e) avoiding language that catches attention to the sex role of men and women
Traditional: working mothers, spinsters o old maids
Suggestion: wage-earning mothers, unmarried women
Traditional: busboys, chauvinist pigs
Suggestion: waiter’s assistants, male chauvinists
5. Eliminate sexism when addressing persons formally by:
a) using Ms. instead of Mrs.
Traditional: Mrs. Smith
Suggestion: Ms. Smith
b) using married woman’s first names instead of her husband’s
Traditional: Mrs. John Smith
Suggestion: Ms. Karen Holmes-Smith
c) using the title of the job or group in letters to unknown persons
Traditional: Dear Sir
Suggestion: Dear Editor, Dear Credit Manager, Dear Colleague