Merav Michaeli changes the Hebrew language

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

What an interesting fact:

Michaeli has long lobbied for action against sexual harassment and sexual assault, and has urged Israeli women to refrain from getting married until civil marriage is an option (in Israel, the rabbinate has jurisdiction over such matters; women married under Jewish law cannot get a divorce unless their husband agrees to it); she recently passed legislation creating alternative dispute solutions for couples seeking divorce. Perhaps most interestingly, she has had a remarkable influence on the Hebrew language itself.

“We are educated from a very early age to talk about ourselves in a general plural male form,” which “disturbed me from a very early age,” she told me. As a TV anchor, she began using both the masculine and feminine plural pronoun to address groups; she continued doing so in the Knesset, to the chagrin of certain prominent male voices. “But ever since then, it’s been spreading,” she said. “Now, there’s hardly anyone who will publicly speak without turning to both sexes in the language.”

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