Ixnay to these Names

There are many names in the English language that exclude or are offensive to females. Take a look at this list of exclusionary words and their alternatives.

Exclusionary Nonexclusionary
Adman Ad writer
Brotherhood of man Humankind, human family
Caveman Cave dweller
Chairman Chair, chairperson
Cleaning lady House cleaner
Common man Human, common citizen
Cover girl Cover model
Fatherland Homeland
FiremanFirefighter
Fisherman Fisher
Forefather Ancestor
Foreman Supervisor
Founding fathers Founders
Leading lady Lead
Mailman Mail carrier, postal worker
Man about town Worldly person
Man in the street Average person
Mankind Humankind, humanity
Man-made Artificial
MannedStaffed, piloted
Manpower Work force, employees
Manpowered Human powered, people powered
Old wives' tale Superstition, folktale
Policeman Police officer
Showgirl Performer, dancer
StewardessFlight attendant
Waterboy Water carrier
Weatherman Weather forecaster, meteorologist

Gender-Specific Language

In 1984 the Minnesota State Legislature ordered that all gender-specific language, which only refers to one gender, usually males, be removed from the state laws. After two years of work, the rewritten laws were adopted. Only 301 of 20,000 pronouns were feminine. “His” was changed 10,000 times and “he” was changed 6,000 times.


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