sex, not gender

To: <>
Subject: sex, not gender
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2013 11:57:49 +1100
This until now seemed to me so peripheral that I was replying individually
to only those interested. But as now we are getting several responses I
don't see the point to be so restrictive and will broadcast my opinion to
the list. I see two issues, the bit about being masculine or feminine and
the phenomenon of some languages assigning gender to things, regardless of
whether they are biological............ 

Useful link but that ( ) mentions things
that society or culture delineates as being masculine or feminine gender.
Because we cannot know what society or culture of other animals or plant
species that have separate individuals of each sex, so delineate, I take it
that this only refers to humans. Therefore it is of limited relevance. Many
things other than humans also show masculine and feminine features, indeed
many species have sex differences hugely greater than we humans do. Given
that these differences may be huge, surely they are also masculine or
feminine gender features.

This is what I sent to Denise & Jonny (on 13 January) and have not had a

Hi Jonny,

How do you figure that? That is one of the strangest comments I have seen.
Gender is assignment of sex, so of course birds and most other animals
(except hermaphrodites) and some plants, and also humans have a gender. The
word is also used in weird form as gender in grammar (such as calling a boat
or a cyclone female) but that is only a minor use of the word in English,
even though it appears to be fundamental in some other languages. To that
extent a boat or a cyclone has a gender but not a sex. Though logic tells me
that is just silly. 



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