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    #1

    She/he confusion

    Hello,
    In a number of textbooks I've encountered the following use of the pronoun she when the general reference (gender neutral) is meant:

    If an individual is offered less food, then to be made equaly well off she must be given more cloth. (from an Economics textbook)

    So, why is she used here?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: She/he confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by undeddy View Post
    Hello,
    In a number of textbooks I've encountered the following use of the pronoun she when the general reference (gender neutral) is meant:

    If an individual is offered less food, then to be made equaly well off she must be given more cloth. (from an Economics textbook)

    So, why is she used here?
    You'll find this in some recent academic textbooks. It's a 'positive discrimination' tactic. Instead of rearranging the sentence to be gender neutral, the author will sometimes choose 'he' and sometimes 'she'. It's meant to redress the past tradition of always using 'he' as a "gender-neutral" pronoun. It's arbitrary.

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