(future draft + links)
In some languages, pronouns are used not to specify sex, but rather whether something is alive or not. We don’t need to treat or think of people differently based on whether they are men or women, but we do need to treat all living things differently than objects.
In the Menominee language (and many Algonquin native American languages), living things include people, animals, and even trees. Thinking of trees, animals, and forests as worthy of respect could help us think more completely about resource use and protecting the world that is so important to us.
This article makes a case for animacy gender pronouns: ‘Nature needs a new pronoun: To Stop the Age of Extinction, Let’s Start by Ditching “It”’ (Yes Magazine): https://www.yesmagazine.org/issue/together-earth/2015/03/30/alternative-grammar-a-new-language-of-kinship/
Apparently Basque has animacy pronoun division also.
for my review and incorporation later:
Menominee grammar and animacy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menominee_language#Animacy
Algonquian languages have two genders, animate and inanimate: http://www.bigorrin.org/archive21.htm
Short Annotated Bibliography of Animate and Inanimate Cases in Basque and Algonquin Languages: https://www.sidis.net/Algonquin%20_%20Basque%20_biblio.html
Duluth Reader: “The Grammar of Animacy”: https://duluthreader.com/articles/2019/10/17/113755-the-grammar-of-animacy
“Speaking of Nature” by Robin Wall Kimmerer (originally in Orion magazine): https://www.globalonenessproject.org/library/essays/speaking-nature