Gender in Spanish

I’m fascinated by the debates about the use of gender in language, and the question on how sexist Spanish is. My novel explore  the point of view of female, the female language in a language that so clearly separates both,  and so far I cannot really pin point the subtleties. Just an instinct, a shadow. I was doing some research and found that El País had an interesting debate about masculine and feminine in plurals. To give the non-Spanish speaker an idea, we used the masculine version for most plurals, something like saying boys for all your children regardless of the girls.

Some said if the cultural use accept it, roll with it, others trust in the performative capacity of words to frame reality and frown upon it. The debate brings out valid points on the early self-identification with symbols that words emanate. Also, points out the limits of what is politically correct or the lengthy non-sense that will be to include both the masculine and feminine acceptations. Things get complicated if you go country by country, e.g. In Mexico, the computer is a female, in Colombia, a male.

English is lucky, no need to determine whether new things that come to life are a he or a she. The It! a reason for innovations and inventions to happen faster.

Advertisements