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Law and Gender

2010

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Gender-neutral language

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The Supreme Court And Gender-Neutral Language: Setting The Standard Or Lagging Behind?, Leslie M. Rose Jan 2010

The Supreme Court And Gender-Neutral Language: Setting The Standard Or Lagging Behind?, Leslie M. Rose

Publications

Most modern legal writing texts and style manuals recommend that writers use gender-neutral language. Gender-neutral language is achieved by avoiding the use of “gendered generics” (male or female nouns and pronouns used to refer to both men and women). For example, gender neutrality could be achieved by referring to “Members of Congress,” rather than “Congressmen,” and by changing a few words in the previous quotation from Melendez-Diaz: “The defendant always has [the] burden of raising a Confrontation Clause objection; statutes simply govern the time within which the [defendant] must do so.” As this article demonstrates, most members of the United ...