Why should you use Gender-Neutral Language in your copy
Millennials and Generation Z have contributed to a profound cultural and societal upheaval by rejecting binary identities and traditional definitions. Because of these gender difficulties, we can see more and more that corporate and public organisations have adopted a more gender-neutral approach to everything they do.
Blog by Microsoft is introducing 3 concepts to create inclusive marketing:
What you promote
Who do you promote to
How do you promote (Gender-neutral language)
Gender-neutral language is a language that doesn't show favoritism for either sex or any kind of gender. In other words, it doesn't use words or pronouns that are gender-specific. Instead, it uses words and pronouns that aren't gender-specific at all.
It is also called gender-inclusive language, but that's not the only name.
Some might say this isn't very important: masculine terms can be used for both men and women. However, there are still some situations where gender-neutral language isn't the best to use when writing for work.
Furthermore, it is good to use gender-neutral language if you are writing for a group of people, such as a workplace. And the practice of using gender-neutral language is gaining ground.
It can make your writing more accessible to a broader audience. In addition, gender-neutral language can help people of any gender communicate with each other and feel more confident and accepted in their environment.
Why gender-neutral language?
Gender-neutral language is thought to be polite and considerate to others. It can also be a fantastic option if you want to be more inclusive.
There are several words in a gender-neutral language deemed to be gender-specific. For example, a word like 'man' is gender-specific since it implies that men are more significant than women.
The same is true for 'women, "mankind," mankind," mankind,' and 'mankind.' These terms are considered gender-specific because they reflect a preference for men.
On the other hand, words like 'people' and 'person' are considered gender-neutral. This is because they don't have a preference for either sex or gender.
Examples of gender-neutral language:
Several job titles have traditionally incorporated the word ' man' or 'woman' or had male- and female-specific variations. But nowadays, these terminologies have mainly been replaced with gender-neutral terms.
Stewardess: Flight attendant
Use plural or "they" or avoid using gendered pronouns and terms:
For example, "To go where no man has gone before" can be rephrased as "To go where no one has gone before."
"Today, the typical student knows what he wants to do when he graduates" can be rephrased as "Today, most students know what they want to do when they graduate". (Source)
People prefer the gender-neutral language.
The Female Quotient collaborated with Google and Ipsos to survey almost 3,000 U.S. customers of diverse backgrounds to better understand attitudes toward diversity and inclusion in advertising. And here is what they found:
"People are more likely to consider or even purchase a product after seeing an advertisement that they believe is diverse or inclusive (in terms of gender identity, age, body type, race/ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, skin tone, language, religious/spiritual affiliation, physical ability, socioeconomic status, and overall appearance). In fact, 64% of those polled claimed they took action after viewing an ad they thought was diverse or inclusive."
It is, in my opinion, a wonderful thing that language is constantly growing and that new concepts are coined daily. This is because the language has always reflected and will continue to reflect cultural changes and offer us with means to describe and express unique things and ideas.
Being respectful and inclusive towards people of different genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and physical abilities is one of the most important things that we can do as human beings.
To learn more about gender-neutral language, check out the following resources: