As a linguist, I've studied English for (let's say) approximately fifteen years. No kidding.
What about English could possibly enthrall a linguist that long? So glad you asked. Even if you didn't, it's time to realize that some aspects of English appear to be (at least) unkind to those of us who aren't men. You haven't noticed?
If not, you're not reading some of the recent books by both (wo)men and men--books like: Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language, by Amanda Montell; Unspinning the Spin: The Women's Media Center Guide to Fair and Accurate Language, by Rosalie Maggio; 'Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men' by Caroline Criado Perez, 'Outspoken: Why Women's Voices Get Silenced and How to Set Them Free' by Veronica Rueckert, 'What's Your Pronoun: Beyond He and She, by Dennis Baron or 'All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister.
I have read these and more. Each one takes a unique approach to the issue of how overwhelmingly men control our lives, and yet, none of these takes on what I believe is a fundamentally core issue: how English uses words against those of us who aren't men. In fact I've written a book about it titled 'Breaking The Bias of English'.
Why? Because English has over 10,000 words that adulate men and less than a dozen that refer to us and believe me, 'adulate' is not a word I'd use for what English does to words for us. In fact, quite contrarily, English likes to attach words for us to 'he' words, like, 'woMAN', woMEN, sHE, HEr, feMALE, etc.
It occurs to me that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for us to rise to equal standing in English if we have no words of our own.
Fear not; I'm not suggesting we rewrite English...I am however, going to suggest that we change SIX WORDS. That's all. Really, you ask? How can I claim that we can equalize an entire language in just six words? Just watch. It's all in my book.
'Breaking The Bias Of English' is an e-book costing about $1.99. I didn't write it to make money--I wrote it because English is now our world's most commonly spoken language and we need words for those of us who aren't men. How can we have a 'we' world if most of our gendered words are 'he' words?