- Grammatical Gender Languages:
Le grand garçon est allé.
La grande fille est allée.
- Genderless Languages:
- Natural Gender Languages:
Waiter, Actor, Steward, Emperor, Landlord
Waitress, Actress, Stewardess, Empress,Landlady
Over the years, studies have been done in English language to understand if gendered noun or gender-centric suffix such as -ess and -man had any impact on the way children (the target of those studies) think and see society, at they have shown that children were more apt to associate men to a profession with the suffix -man, such as "mailman", and women to professions with the suffix -ess, as in "stewardness". Based on these studies, we could argue that children may choose their future profession because of gender-centric professional titles, showing that, at least in this case, language may limit children's professional choices psychologically speaking. Although we have become more aware of how language can and does impact our lives, changing gendered words isn't an easy task because, as said before, in some cases it'd mean the whole structure of the language would have to change, as some not only associate all nouns with a gender, but also accompany indefinite and definite articles, associate adjectives, and past-tense verbs to gender.
Do gendered languages contribute to gender inequality?
Despite the various achievements made over centuries against gender inequality, this is still a problem that is very much present in our society, since factors such as culture, history, religion, traditional patriarchal societies, and many more, are its bases of support and what keep gender equality issues fueled; then language can't be removed from this list. It is believed it shapes how young girls and women perceive their educational, professional opportunities, and even how they position themselves about economic and politics. In countries which the dominant language is gendered, statistics show that fewer women work outside the house, a key of measure of women's financial independence and bargaining position withing the household, which reflects support of gender inequality in employment. Gender plays an important role in outcomes regarding education, pay and corporate leadership.
So, considering this, language does play a role when it comes to gender inequality, but as this issue becomes more clear and is credible as yet another factor in inequality and discrimination in regards of gender, the more countries are trying to find a way to change their languages' structure within what is possible, and so, as the time goes by, we adapt and make our languages more gender neutral, and this, consequently, will improve and help us, as a global society, to achieve gender equality, step by step.