Many languages have grammatical gender, according to which every object has a gender that determines what form of articles to use with that noun, how to decline adjectives modifying that noun, etc. These genders are grammatically the same in the language as the genders of people, although there are some surprising cases like the German word for girl (das Mädchen) being grammatically neutral rather than feminine.
There are political movements to change the way we use language surrounding gender to make it more inclusive. The details of these movements differ from one language to another, not just in the particular words, but in the structural features. But one common feature across many European languages is the move to add more pronouns. One area where they differ is coming up with gender-neutral ways of saying certain things, which in English is either straightforward to do or was never an issue in the first place.
Things are a little simpler in English because of the lack of grammatical gender. The existence of grammatical gender in other languages usually strikes native English speakers as strange at first. But to the native speakers of Spanish or German or Russian, it seems normal and without philosophical import, to the best of my observation.
My question is about the possibility of critiques of grammatical gender itself, based on the motivation of progressive ideas about gender. The argument would be something like the male/female dichotomy is too centralized in human thought, not only in creating social norms and excluding deviations, but that people have gone so far as to impose this dichotomy on the whole framework for talking about the world, applying it to domains where it doesn’t make sense. People talk about sex and gender being on a spectrum. Well there are also many ways of being a table, and we should not try to fit tables into a narrow masculine category with “der Tisch.” Does this argument make sense, and have versions of it been put forward by philosophers before?
EDIT: I’m not saying that grammatical gender actually causes German speakers to think of tables as boys and French speakers to think of them as girls. The argument I’m putting forward is that the gender dichotomy has been so structurally ingrained in some languages to make speaking outside the dichotomy somewhat tricky, when it comes to non-binary-ness or inclusivity. It all started with those forgotten ancestors who couldn’t stop themselves from using their animal urges to frame everything they saw…