How to Make Your Writing Gender Neutral
The British might substitute one and one’s for you and your, but that’s one way to avoid sexist language: #1: USE THE SECOND PERSON, YOU. Here’s another sentence from The Elements of Style 1959 . . .
A deeply troubled person, composing a letter appealing for mercy or for love, had best not attempt to organize his emotions; his prose will have a better chance if he leaves his emotions in disarray . . . .
. . . and how the 2000 version deals with the sexist language:
If you are deeply troubled and are composing a letter appealing for mercy or for love, you had best not attempt to organize your emotions; the prose will have a better chance if the emotions are left in disarray . . . .
In this example, besides substituting your for his, the editors also #2: REPLACE HIS WITH THE ARTICLE THE:
his prose will have/the prose will have
and #3: WRITE IN THE PASSIVE VOICE:
if he leaves his emotions/if the emotions are left
The editors turn another of White’s sentences into a non-sexist statement when they #4: REPEAT THE ACTOR:
Only the writer whose ear is reliable is in a position to use bad grammar deliberately; only he this writer knows for sure when . . . .
Where White uses a singular noun and he/his, the editors #5: MAKE THE NOUN AND ALL RELATED PRONOUNS PLURAL:
The reader needs Readers need time to catch his their breath; he they can’t be expected to compare everything with something else . . . .
If one of those solutions does not solve the problem, do what the editors do frequently in the 2000 version—#6: REWORD THE SENTENCE TO ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR A PRONOUN:
The reader will become impatient or confused if he finds upon finding two or more versions of the same word or expression.
I know that a few of you will still insist that he is a perfectly good pronoun to represent both sexes, that over millennia, writers everywhere have accepted it as universal. Don't believe it; the women are just being polite.