|My mom has been a feminist for as long as I can remember.
One of the good ones, mind you, not a feminazi.
She drove a truck and certainly did not expect or ask any men to help her unload, and they never did.
When she got married in the 80's, she kept her own last name, which was a huge deal back then.
Of course I agree because it's just ridiculous to give up your own name just because you think you want to spend the rest of your life with someone (even if you ultimately do).
I know very few men who'd give up their last name like that, but it's expected of women.
You wouldn't believe the stuff she's been through because of it.
Like the bank simply refusing to use her name because "the system" won't allow married women to have a different name as her husband.
Or going to the bank to open an account and then my father getting a letter that the account is now ready.
That last one was in 200X, mind you, not even that long ago.
Anyway, Dutch isn't very gender neutral.
For example, we say "There were about fifty man at the party." (Yes, "man", not "men".)
My mom would ask "So there were no women?"
I kind of copied that behavior from her and now I say "There were about fifty people at the party."
My language now better reflects reality because, yes, there were women also.
Whenever we don't know someone's gender we assume it's a he (unless gender roles dictate it's probably a woman).
For example: "My boss yelled at me today." "Was he very mad?"
And: "My cleaner is on vacation." "When will she be back?"
I wouldn't mind a gender neutral word there, it would save some confusion and correcting one another.
To be fair, I've never heard of male cleaners (I have professionaly, but not the ones that clean houses for cash money), but I know plenty of female bosses.
In English you can say "they", which isn't that weird and has been done for decades, but in Dutch that's really weird and would change the whole sentence.
Why is this important?
Because study shows that language influences the way we think (and probably the other way around too).
If language stopped assuming all bosses were men then maybe so would we and more women would be hired.
I despise the woke-movement that's currently going on, especially in the USA, but I wouldn't mind some gender neutral language for the cases where you simply don't know.
Too bad this guide is in English, which doesn't help me in Dutch (I vote for language-neutral language! )