SSi Forum

Gender neutrality


I understand your point of view and to a certain extent I agree with it, except that Wales is a part of the United Kingdom, which is where I live, and that most of our culture is shared. There is no hard border, physically or culturally, between Wales and England. I, in fact, live more or less on the political border between an English and a Welsh county. Wales is not ‘foreign’ to England, in the way that a country on mainland Europe is, and we do not expect to treat each other differently. We have equal expectations of each other in matters of employment and conduct, and equal awareness of any hint of sexism.
Perhaps it is ultimately a question of priorities.
Regarding your other point on British politeness, it would be unnatural for a British person to force themselves to appear (in their own estimation at any rate) less polite than usual when in a (genuinely) foreign country, and I do not think the people of that country would expect the British visitor to alter their natural behaviour. All of which does have a bearing on the central issue.


In your initial post, you asked if calling a female actress an actor in Welsh is acceptable. As a native speaker from a predominantly Welsh speaking community. I’ve answered as best I could based on my experience, which could be summarised as ‘ydd’ is cool and useful, but it depends.

You speak of culturally shared expectations, conduct, and awareness of any hint of sexism…which is why I’m a bit perplexed why you asked if it’s acceptable at all. You seem to have already made your mind up not to do anything that doesn’t align with your personal beliefs (fair enough) so what was the point in asking? You may as well have typed - 'I have an announcement to make…I am going to do ‘x’.

From what you’ve written, I would guess that we are actually very similar (politically speaking), but I don’t agree with asking a question if you don’t seem open to answers that don’t align with your views.


Sadly, you have misunderstood me, but let us leave it there.


Ok. I maybe I have. Maybe your question did not refer to acceptability in the wider sense.


Gender neutrality is always a tricky one to get involved with from a male point of view in this still largely male dominated world we live in. But, I have to agree with this.

But not the language, which is Caren’s point I believe.

Being overly polite wouldn’t be a problem, surely, but there are places where normal ‘british’ things are seen as impolite or embarrassing. Learning another country’s ‘norms’ should be seen as standard and, surely, adopting their language seen in the same way.

As previosly stated I’m a man so anything I say on how a woman wishes to be addressed (or anyone for that matter)is none of my business. :joy:


I met my first person who prefers to be referred to with the pronoun ‘they’ (in English) today. The person in me that has done a language degree has mixed feelings, though the English as first language me can see the logic and a certain consistency. We are pretty happy with a royal ‘we’, we accept use of ‘you’ (which, I guess, was originally plural) for a person in the singular, so why object to “they are” used in lieu of both “he is”, and in other instances of “she is”, in addition to what I think is a very common & accepted current usage of “they are” about a hypothetical person, not a specific person who might consider themself (?) ‘non-binary’ - oops, I think I’ll go for “might consider their self” non-binary. As you can see, I’m still thinking this one through…


This is an interesting question, that has perplexed people in other languages, particularly the romance languages and I can’t see what if any the concensus is. I thought I’d sidestep what is right and wrong and just look at it analytically. I wondered about the effect that gender in language had on gender equality in various countries and it’s hard to draw any correlations from what I can see (I don’t think there probably are any):

I looked up the world economic forum gender equality report and in order these are the top countries from best to worst for the top 15, with the UK coming out at 15, France four places higher and a spanish speaking country in the top six.

Iceland Norway Finland Rwanda Sweden Nicaragua Slovenia Ireland New Zealand Philippines France Germany Namibia Denmark United Kingdom

The largest English speaking country, the USA is down at 97 on the list and is that down to language? - I suspect that would be far too simplistic. There are a large number of French and Spanish speaking countries above the USA in terms of gender equality. Iceland comes top and has a policy of using the correct grammatical gender for job titles, irrespective of the persons gender and I suspect that wouldn’t work in many other languages.

Gender equality is a complex issue, and I imagine it’s linked to lots of things including culture, wealth distribution and power. Maybe language plays a role, I imagine it probably does to some extent, but how big a role, I think it’s impossible to probably prove anything, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real either and perception is something that really matters here. I know this is a very important/sensitive/emotive issue and I’m not female so happy to be put in my place, if I’ve over-stepped the mark.


I think it would be best to use (real) words as you think appropriate, unless you are requested to use another term by the person you are talking about/referring to, as has started to happen in certain areas of the world. If it’s in a dictionary, great. As Gareth pointed out, there ain’t no such word as actorydd. Although in a few years time, who knows?
I have a theory that “would of” will replace “would have”, simply because of common-enough usage - it will become the norm simply from weight of use.
Guidance from an older, respected member of the (First-language Welsh) community would settle things for me.


I have a theory that “would of” will replace “would have”

After I’m gone, I hope. :worried:


could of allredy


Toff…cer i grafu :hushed:


we was dreddin that “moving forward” :face_vomiting:


myn yffern! So “sick”, real badass - wasn spectin that


At work yesterday, we were discussing how someone had spelt greatful in that way. Great-full would have made more sense…

Anyway, all of this goes back to writing stuff down instead of spreading the message by telling stories. And of course, at one stage the only writer in each village being responsible for 15 ways to spell Smith, etc… ie the local monk/priest/other nomenclature…


Iawn…out of left field. Thank Cariad@Iaith (2012 I think) for that one…Ioan Talfryn used it and then I heard it in English when watching How Green Was My Valley the other night.


“wasn spectin that” sounds better in my best guess at trying Gwenhwysig Welsh mind - d’on i ddim yn erfyn 'ny, butt.

I came across this yesterday - don’t know if you seen it before - an old PhD thesis, full of colloquial Welsh - Dawn Dweud - “gift of the gab”. There’s two downloads.


Diolch! Mae’n gwych!

Thanks, that’s great!


Purleeees stop guys. This is hurtin :rofl::joy:


Someone needs a cwtch


Then I guess this hurts you too…it nearly killed me :wink: