Chinese Language Learning – My idea for a new Chinese pronoun

I want to coin a new word.

In the beginning, there was only one Chinese pronoun, 他. This represented both men and women, a gender neutrality that still exists in the spoken language, but has been erased in the writing system. It was with Westernization in the 1910s that 她 was [coined](https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E4%BB%96#Chinese), and 他 was relegated to men. I find this fundamentally unfair. The 亻radical is literally just a smaller version of 人, meaning person; are only men considered people? This also means that mixed groups of men and women are referred to as 他们, a masculine they—a problem shared with French. Nonbinary people, meanwhile, have no written pronoun to refer to themselves; they’re forced to resort to the pinyin *ta.*

In English, we’ve solved this problem by reverting to the ancient singular use of “they.” In Chinese, there’s a much simpler, more elegant solution, as no change needs to be made to the spoken language at all. Instead of inventing a new gender-neutral pronoun, we can simply make the decision that the reformers of the Chinese language should have made at the beginning of the twentieth century: inventing a new pronoun altogether to refer to men, and leaving 他 to serve its original purpose as a gender-neutral pronoun. This way, nonbinary people can simply use 他, and 他们 can refer to any group, no matter its composition. Documents referring to a person of an unspecified gender can simply use 他 the way we use “one” or “they.”

Those who want to remain specifically masculine, meanwhile, can use this new pronoun:

https://preview.redd.it/q4373oowlf791.jpg?width=2000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=85e6e10b2ebf80e299e31801619d0a664b11ba6d

女 already exists as a radical in a multitude of words, but the same is not true of 男. Therefore, I chose 十 as the radical for this new *ta.* It has the same number of strokes as 他, thus minimalizing the workload for writers. 女 is literally a pictograph of a woman, a titty pic, if you will, the space in the center representing a single breast. 十 in its radical form resembles the angular figure of a man. My invented pronoun also resembles 地, and the [etymology](https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E7%94%B7) of 男 is that a man uses his strength 力 in the fields 田. Thus, the pronoun 十也.

I believe that this new pronoun can make a difference in society. I’m not sure how to disseminate it, but posting it on Reddit is a start!

Tl;dr: I invented a new Chinese pronoun, 十也, to refer to men, so that 他 can revert to being a gender-neutral pronoun.



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17 Comments

  1. hotakaPAD August 2, 2022
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