We may need a gender neutral word for people

Germaine Greer has said “I don’t think surgery will turn a man into a woman.”
We may need a gender neutral word for people

Some consider this view to be offensive to transgender women and thus propose silencing Greer on the public stage.

Isn’t the problem here the meaning of the word “man” and “woman” and the use of the gendered words “he and she”?

If there was a gender neutral word for humans (er, let’s say “human”) and a gender neutral replacement for he/she (such as “he-she”) then the argument would be dissolved.

We all have both a male and a female energy — some of us leaning more to one end of the spectrum than the other.

The female energy is traditionally more associated with caring, empathy, consensus and gentleness and the male energy more associated with power, objectivity, logic and leadership (for example).

Where I would be with Greer, though, is in the following scenario.

If I was presenting myself to a genito-urinary surgeon, for genito-urinary surgery, then I would like him or her to know in advance whether I was chromosomally an XX or an XY.

Alison Hackett

Crosthwaite Park East

Dun Laoghaire

Co Dublin

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

Execution Time: 0.244 s