The fixed idea forced by language rapists upon a whole generation of students, that “he” can refer only to a male, is (in short) wrong. It is applied with nonsensical inconsistency, too. The same feminist warriors who would never write “he” where “he or she” will do would also never write “the author or authoress” where “the author” will do. They hate such words as actress and waitress; in these cases they insist that the masculine form be used for men and women.
My two cents
Excellent point. I always hated how universities have allowed this politically-driven inconsistency to infect their discourses. (Linguistic) equality my foot!
Gelernter, D. (2008). Feminism and the English Language: Can the damage to our mother tongue be undone?. Available: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/783lvmtg.asp?nopager=1. Last accessed 23rd Feb 2011.