by Milla. Most of the time she is used as a gender neutral word for third person singular in this blog.
It was a young woman in Finland who came up with this. In Finnish there is no s/he divide. There’s only one word: hän. So she got really frustrated with having to make that difference in other languages, and came up with she.
I think it’s brilliant for so many different reasons.
1) It turns the current power system on its head: in most languages the gender “neutral” word is masculine. for instance in Spanish, where a group of women would be called “ellas” – feminine form of they – while a group of men would be “ellos” – masculine form of they.
a mixed group of men and women will always be in masculine form – “ellos” – even if there would be an overwhelming majority of women and only one man.
2) For the same reason as the above, it’s nice to question what feels “natural” (habitual!), by using she as the gender neutral. For most people it feels very strange and uncomfortable.
3) Woman is always pushed into second place, and made invisible. For this reason it’s nice to create a shift with more visibility towards the word she.
4) It’s about time we stop perpetuating the segregation between the (artificial) construct of male/female [human behavior separated in two categories – or: gender – expectations on a person’s behavioral patterns from birth, mostly based on the arbitrary occurrence of cunt or penis]. We don’t use different words for brown or blond haired persons. So why should we think it’s important to know the sex (cunt or penis) of the one that’s being talked about? Unless we think it’s important to maintain this system called patriarchy.
5) The current bipolar (“One or The Other” – Two Options Only) system ignores the fact that many humans are born intersexed. If the word ‘he’ or ‘she’ is supposed to be a reference to the biological sex of a person, then intersexed persons are excluded from existence within the current use of language.
After getting some comments on this page by intersexed persons. I will now add the quote below to make it clear that I am not speaking for a point of view generally accepted within the intersex community. Click here to read more:
Does ISNA think children with intersex should be raised without a gender, or in a third gender?
No, and for the record, we’ve never advocated this. We certainly would like to see people become less freaked-out by people who don’t fit sex and gender cultural norms. But there are at least two problems with trying to raise kids in a “third gender.”
First, how would we decide who would count in the “third gender”? How would we decide where to cut off the category of male and begin the category of intersex, or, on the other side of the spectrum, where to cut off the category of intersex to begin the category of female?
Thank you Ronja, for thinking outside the box.
Human being: emotional, learning, creative and free.
If we only have the knowledge and will to be.
LOVE IS: seeing, listening, caring for.
+ equal space to: speak, think, act.
according to Milla.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense.”
Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi