top of page

S/he – The Inclusive Pronoun

We want to protect women and children. We perceive them as weak and helpless, soft and sweet. Men are made for war so when they are maimed and killed it’s not so bad. Men are born to die! Urah! TV teaches me many things. One day on the ‘tube’ I saw a fish in a basin. It was a puffer fish, except it was not puffed up. It looked more like a limp rag.  A hand reached into the basin to pick up the unfortunate critter, at which time the critter puffed up, floated on the surface of the meager water supply in a shallow basin and then deflated again. I saw that as cruel and wished they would put it back in the ocean. If I identified the fish as “he” it was easier to watch his suffering. When I saw the fish as “she” I really wanted to get her out of there.

Male Identification

We have a habit of referring to living things as “he”. During the year that I made pottery I learned that we people do not understand the meanings of our words. A lovely woman who sat beside me called her pots “he”. Each practical vessel she produced was a boy. Archetypally speaking, vessels are feminine. Pottery is earthen, hollow and functional. I mentioned this to her one day, just to see if she “got” it. She did not. So I moved on. One must always move on when the blindfolded do not choose to peek out from under.

Every time we say “she” we include “he”. But when we say “he,” “she” is eliminated. The “s” sound is the sound of Saturn, the old crone. Without He/r (see it) wise old woman’s counsel a youth can get into a lot of trouble. Can you see it?

“Look at the cute frog, he’s so small. Wow can HE hop.” Once you get used to listening for this male identification, you’ll hear it all the time. And the strange thing is: if you say  ‘she’ they will look at you like an alien right from the mother ship.They are literally horrified and expect you to inspect the critter for a vulva.

My newest inspiration is that calling natural things by the masculine moniker allows us to be more brutal with them. We can kill, poison and generally maim because it’s all male and that means it was born to die quickly, just like a million sperm. Born to die. All except one, all too often.

The terrible conquerers of HIS/tory have brutalized women and children. It must have been the knights of England that proposed the code of chivalry that urged the sparing of women and children. Look it up, I am busy now.The cat needs a walk!


bottom of page