This paragraph will be the last paragraph of a blog post here on The Progressive Midwesterner in which I use the words “actress” and “comedienne”. From this point forward, a person who plays roles in movies, television shows, and/or plays, regardless of gender, will be referred to as an “actor” (plural: “actors”), and a person who is a practitioner of comedy, regardless of gender, will be referred to as a “comedian” (plural: “comedians”)
There are two reasons for this change:
- In a non-scientific poll that I conducted on Twitter, two-thirds of respondents voted for using “actor” as a gender-neutral term (although only six people voted in the poll).
- I use words like “hero” as a gender-neutral term, even though there are many people who do not (example here).
As a general rule, with the exception of pronouns, I’m not going to use gender-specific terms to describe someone.