Gender equitable/free/neutral

From: Gerry Yokota-Murakami (
Date: Tue Jun 29 1999 - 20:54:46 EDT

Dear Friends,

What would be our best source to clarify the difference between the
terms gender free, gender neutral, and gender equitable? Here in Japan,
gender free is used to mean gender equitable. I personally prefer the
word gender equitable because I think it's clearer, but when someone
says gender free, I have always understood them to mean gender
equitable. The only place I recall ever hearing the term gender neutral
is in discussions of grammar, i.e., about ways to refer to all human
beings other than the masculine pronouns he/his/him.

Does anyone besides myself have the feeling that
(a) the original poster meant gender equitable when she said gender free
(b) that is indeed the primary meaning of the term gender free?

If not, where can we find an authoritative source that can tell us
what the primary definitions of these terms are?

Yours in the Spirit of Peace and Understanding,
Gerry in Japan

Gerry Yokota-Murakami
Faculty of Language and Culture
Osaka University
1-8 Machikaneyama
Toyonaka, Japan 560-0043

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