gender-free

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English[edit]

Alternative spellings[edit]

Adjective[edit]

gender-free (comparative more gender-free, superlative most gender-free)

  1. Free of gender; not having or not attaching relevance to gender.
    1. (of people, not gradable) (Identifying themselves as) having no gender, as being neither male nor female nor any third gender.
      • 2002, John Barth, Coming Soon!!!: A Narrative, page 294:
        When we rendezvous shortly thereafter, I learn that the box office is being manned, if that's the right word, by an odd-looking grizzled entity unknown to my wife but whom I infer from her description (and soon after confirm) to be the genderfree or ambigendered "Ditsy" from Maintenance, [...]
      • 2008, Sara Schwarzbaum, Anita Jones Thomas, Dimensions of multicultural counseling: a life story approach, page 369:
        Individuals holding these views challenge the existing Western binary and categorical sex-gender system, increasingly identifying as bigender, gender blender, or gender-free.
      • 2011, Genny Beemyn, Susan Rankin, The Lives of Transgender People:
        I began thinking of myself as a gender-free person.
    2. (of objects, options, etc) Socially acceptable for and available to any gender.
      • 1988, The Connoisseur, volume 218, issues 912-915, page 108:
        He got the idea of transforming the traditional sashiko — quilted-cotton worker's pants and jacket fabric — into a modern leisure fabric, a homegrown equivalent of denim, which became another early source of gender-free clothing.
      • 2007, Tom Brokaw, Boom!, page 482:
        Sometime in the early Seventies, gender-free toys were briefly a popular idea. So at Christmas on the California beach in 1972, we downplayed the dolls with frilly dresses and loaded up Santa's sack with toy trucks and earth movers for our three daughters.
      • 2008, Gail Rentsch, Lynn Sherr, 'Smart women don't retire — they break free:
        Well, liberation has made retirement a gender-free option, and we are facing not only the notion of fixing lunch every day, but also of eating it alone. Which is a large part of the problem.
      • 2011, Ellen Bowers, The Everything Guide to Raising a Toddler, page 39:
        Gender-free toys. Let children of either sex play with the dolls, houses, tea sets, blocks, trucks, and fireman's hats however they choose. Your little girl may grow up to be an engineer or an anthropologist, and your little boy may become the most exquisite chef.
    3. (of a society, gradable) Which does not define people in the basis of gender; in which gender is not present, or is insignificant or irrelevant to people's lives and choices.
      • 1996, Karen Warren, Duane L. Cady, Bringing peace home: feminism, violence, and nature, page 215:
        So once the notion of a gender-free society is clarified, there should be widespread agreement [...]
      • 2004, D. Stanley Eitzen, Maxine Baca Zinn, In conflict and order: understanding society, page 325:
        Many argue that we must build a gender-free world, that is, a world in which society does not define and organize all people on the basis of gender categories.
      • 2006, Andrea Doucet, Do men mother?: fathering, care, and domestic responsibility, page 23:
        The underlying argument is that if gender relations were altered at the level of social structure (ie, in the social institutions of the family, workplace, state policies, the courts, and media), a more gender-free world would eventually lead to gender-free parenting.
      • 2007, Spencer A. Rathus, Childhood and Adolescence: Voyages in Development, page 257:
        Do you think a child raised in a relatively gender-free environment will develop differently from other children?
      • 2009, Raewyn Connell, Gender, page 89:
        Japanese reformers speak of ‘gender-free’ situations as the goal of reform. [...] A gender-free society remains a useful conceptual benchmark for thinking about change.
    4. (of words) Appropriately used of, or perceived as being appropriately used of, any gender.
      • 2001, Alison Ross, Jen Greatrex, A2 English language and literature for AQA B, page 130:
        The term ‘engineer’ is apparently a gender-free term - there is no single word meaning ‘female engineer’ - but it seems to contain an invisible male marking. ‘Nurse’ works in the opposite way, [...]
      • 2003, James William Walters, Martin Buber & feminist ethics: the priority of the personal, page 111:
        In the German, Buber often used the term Mensch, a gender-free term, which is best translated as person or human being. In contrast, the term Mann does refer to a male person.
      • 2006, Lisa Miya-Jervis, Andi Zeisler, BITCHfest: ten years of cultural criticism from the pages of Bitch magazine, page 77:
        During the same decades in which feminist critiques of generic uses of “man” and “he” led to widespread changes in usage — no mean feat — "you guys” became even more widely accepted as an informal and allegedly gender-free phrase.
      • 2007, Ingrid Jordt, Burma's mass lay meditation movement, page 160:
        Tabyi-daw, Hiroko Kawanami observes, is a gender-free term of self-address used when speaking to monks.

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