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Gender difficulties in essays

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Introduction

New style manuals imposed on students today in English classes across the globe tell them to avoid generic "he" and rewrite their sentences in other ways. A great lesson and a leap forward in removing the very roots of our self-made patriachical society. The English language is changing whether we like it or not, and generic 'he-him-his' may not even exist in 5 or 10 more years. But what of that one book that has stayed relatively the same for generations? The one that is the basis of our legal system, our moral and ethical values and beliefs? Yes, the all important Bible. The Bible is no longer the untouchable aspect of our society. That's right, ladies and gentleman, publish this very month was the New Revised Standard Version of the book of Christianity. A New Revised Standard GENDER NEAUTRAL Version. The publicity brochure of the New Revised Standard Version sounds so sensible. At last, misleading, masculine-oriented language has been removed from the Bible. Jesus no longer says, "and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself" (rsv), but instead, "And I...will draw all people to myself" Of course, every great masterpiece has its critics, and this particular masterpiece has an evangelical convent full of them. Sometimes the retranslation result is a little strange... ...read more.

Middle

Some critics openly articulate their fear that such inclusive translations represent the not-so-thin edge of a feminist wedge that will lead next to feminine language for God (not just for human beings) and from thence to outright goddess worship. God forbid should THAT happen! The authors of this bible don't only have "feminist" convictions, but they share the goals of egalitarianism, and believe in the rights of the "evangelical feminists." Our language has been under much pressure to conform to "politically correct" patterns of speech that were first demanded by feminists in the 1960s and are now demanded by other interest groups as well. The preface to the NRSV explains exactly what led to these changes: It was a requirement from the National Council of Churches to eliminate "masculine-oriented language." And the preface to the NIVI explains that they thought it appropriate at times "to mute the patriarchalism of the culture of the biblical writers." The English language is the largest in the world. Can't we figure out how to include everyone? In a world where women in church must be assured that God is talking to them too, and where women must struggle to throw off the chains of the binding "Weaker sex" tag, and they're not just radical feminists, they're women who want to be included, its obvious that something must be done to reprimand the situation. ...read more.

Conclusion

Of course, it is impossible to calim that inclusive-language translation cannot still be substantially improved. This claim becomes difficult when translating the phrase: "And the Father reached his hand to his son and he said "He will accept you and he will love you" "And the parent reached his or her hand to his or her child and he or she said "He or she will accept you and he or she will love you." But, the importance of gender neautral language in the bible is really to burn the last and most opressive barrier to gender neautrality across our society - Religeon! To critisize gender neautral bibles for applying inclusive language is tacitly to argue that all translations must be literal and that there is no convincing rationale in any context for other kinds of translations. But, as the critics deny this logical conclusion in other contexts demonstrates that it really is not translation theory or a concern for the accuracy of God's word that most fundamentally motivates them, rather it is one particular conviction about what Scripture teaches on gender roles and the corollaries which they believe (erroneously) necessarily follow from that conviction. "Ladies and gentlemen, now that we've taken care of the bible, its time to look at the bigger picture. Lord of the Rings? Its time all popular culture got a gender neutral makeover...we've burnt our bras long enough! The world is ready...Its ready for a Lord OR LADY of the Rings, for a Monarch of the Damned, for a Person of the Flies." ...read more.

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