[Smt-talk] Gender Terminology in Music

Olli Väisälä ovaisala at siba.fi
Wed Apr 30 22:58:10 PDT 2014

Nicolas Meeùs wrote:

>     Gendered categories do exist, I think, in all languages and all  
> cultures.

Actually, however, languages are quite different in this respect. In  
Finnish, for example, there is no grammatical gender, and the same  
pronoun means both "he" and "she." There are also gender-neutral  
words for "human being," "mankind" etc. Hence, no problems of  
inelegance caused by expressions like "she or he" in Finnish.

I have a wonderful suggestion that would solve so many problems: Why  
don't we all abandon languages with dated built-in sexism, such as  
English and French, and adopt Finnish as the primary language of  
scholarly discussion!

Olli Väisälä
ovaisala at siba.fi
Sibelius Academy
University of the Arts, Helsinki 
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