calling it a 'she'

November 4th, 2006

Ugh. Annoying habit. Or isn't it even a habit? I think it's more of a passion. Something people don't do without actively thinking about it every time.

I have a clear recollection of my history teacher back in high school doing it. He was extremely passionate about history, we got the impression he was up at night reading history books. When he described the Bolshevik revolution to us, he did so in astounding detail, how a bunch of guys traveled across town, what they were wearing, what route they took through St. Petersburg. *That* guy used to refer to countries as 'she'. When he did, his eyes lit up a little.

But that's not all, guys say that all the time. Yeah, *guys*. Imagine a woman ogling over a brand new car, "isn't she beautiful?". No, that doesn't happen. It's always guys, as if they're picturing whatever it is they see as a female form that they worship.

Let's set the record straight here. A car is not a she, it doesn't have a gender. It's an it. A country is an it, a plane is an it, a computer is an it, got it? Enough of this stupid wishful personification of things that aren't people.

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3 Responses to "calling it a 'she'"

  1. Jack says:


    The clock in Swedish can be referred to as a 'she' but this is not out of obsession or something, it is just that. The sun is also referred to as a 'she' sometimes.

  2. ash says:

    I never thought I was one of those people, until I started naming my most familiar possessions. And I know some people get very annoyed by it too. It's nothing to do with materialism gone mad though, or any kind of worship - I think in the case of possessions it's more to do with personalising things.
    Girls won't say 'she' for their cars, but they're much more likely to name them.

  3. Chaosite says:

    Lots of people do it here, in Israel, too.

    That, though, is because there is no neutral gender in Hebrew (not even for numbers - we have a male set for counting male things, and a female set for for counting female things), and non native speakers do the same in English.

    For example, a chair is male, but a bed is female. a window is male, but glass is female. And so on.