Don't worry your pretty little head about mere words, dear. Of course "men" includes you. Only feminists worry about these petty details.
Despite those who fail to see the importance of it, inclusive language is now expected in academic writing and journalism. But it is glaringly absent in the revised Roman Missal. Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, a doctor based in Mumbai, has written a thoughtful blog for The Tablet called, "New Missal makes women invisible."
She provides a commentary on the New Missal from the church in India, where inclusive language has become the standard:
Making women invisible in this way is referred to as "symbolic annihilation". It implies that women are insignificant and can be wholly represented by men. Yet the CBCI Gender Policy clearly recognises the "unique experiences and insights" of women, and acknowledges the need "to make space for a spirituality that is shaped by women's life experiences and creative expression".
Here in Canada, we use the more inclusive New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Bible for our lectionary. Some revisions were requested by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to ensure "clarity of language and of conformity to the original Greek or Hebrew." The standard agreed upon was:
A backgrounder to the Canadian Lectionary on the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops website explains the history of the NRSV Lectionary.
When minds, ears and hearts have been formed to embrace and expect language that respects inclusivity, it is all the more jarring to pray in words that ignore it.