In order to promote gender equality and simplify the language, Hilinqwo strives to eliminate all unnecessary use of gender. However, the language also recognizes that there are distinct differences between masculinity and femininity, and trivializing those differences in the name of equality causes harm to both concepts.

Esperanto derives words that explicitly imply femininity such as "mother" and "sister" not from common roots such as *mater- but rather are formed from the masculine equivalents patro and fratro, using the feminine suffix -in (resulting in patrino and fratrino). In this author's opinion, this neither promotes gender equality nor respects the differences between the genders. Rather, it is inherently sexist; it makes feminine concepts cognates of their masculine counterparts and takes away their unique characteristics.

In Hilinqwo, an element is epicene (i.e. is gender-neutral) unless that element explicitly belongs to the masculine class or the feminine class. Some roots have explicitly declared gender. These include the bases for genders themselves (vir* and qwen*) and the gendered familial-class roots. Any base can be given gender by appending the suffixes -ir* for masculinity and -iß* for femininity.

Since Hilinqwo treats gender as a specific and important quality of a base, it is gramatically incorrect in general to use terms of different genders to describe the same object. It is gramatically incorrect to use a gendered element to modify a base that already has a gender. The only exception is where it is absolutely necessary to do so for expressive or figurative reasons.1 However, it is always incorrect to use viro or any other masculine noun to refer to a feminine person or creature, or vice versa.

Examples of Gender Bases

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