Archive for Gender

Gender bending

There's a guy with brown hair who has worked as a checkout person at a store I go to regularly.  He's been there for about five years.  Of the 20 or so checkout persons at the store, all of the others except one are female, mostly between 18 and 25.

Over the course of the last year or so, I noticed that this fellow became increasingly girllike.  Finally, last week when I went to the store, there was a new checkout girl with straight, long blonde hair.  It turned out that I was next in line to go to her counter.  She was wearing a name tag that said "Karen".  I really didn't know this person, but when she spoke to me I realized it was that guy, though his / her (–> their) voice was much higher, and manner even more feminine than before, and he / she (–> they) was (–> were) wearing a skirt.  I really didn't know what to do or say.  My overall reaction was to accept her as a new hire.

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"Éditeur extraordinaire" ou "éditrice extraordinaire"

I want to dedicate a book to a female editor and decided to refer to her in French as "éditeur extraordinaire",  but then had second thoughts because I was afraid I might have the gender wrong.  On the other hand, I was concerned that "éditrice" might have the same sort of connotations as "poetess" or "authoress" in English.   So I asked a number of French friends and American colleagues with native French fluency who have lived in France for many years what they thought it should be.  Here are the results:

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