For the record: I have a very strong opinion that language-based separation is all in your head. Talking about “the writer” is not biased unless you want it to be biased – writer or reader, sender or recipient. Specifying a gender for a neutral term which just happens to have a male article IS separation, not integration.
Same with every other form of so-called “political correctness”. Those who use “political correct” terms are the ones discriminating, as they clearly mark differences in otherwise homogenous groups.
I see “the writer” as neutral term, no sex, no face, no high- or low-pitched voice. If you see a male person behind that term, frankly, it’s YOU overlooking the females in that group.
Also, in German, we usually have endings to specify genders for general terms (such as writer). It’s like appending the english “ess” or so: Writer, writress, hehe. This has led to the very confusing habit of combining the two versions in written text, such as…
…resulting in unnecessarily long and hard to read texts and papers. But of course la intelligencia has come up with a great way to deal with this all-out generated “problem”: We are now forced to use a more general term, even if that new term has a somewhat different meaning.
E.g. we have “students”, which covers boys and girls, men and women, but are now forced to talk about “those who study”, even if that’s NOT what the students in question may be doing, he.
Of course, these two techniques are only used for positive terms. We still read about terrorists and murders, killers and car-bombers. We also continue reading about soldiers and unemployed, fetishists and idiots – even though all these terms do have a female counterpart in our language.
Also, at least (but not only) to me, “the writer” is a purely conceptual term, and not a group of men actively and currently penning short stories. The student is (all latin roots aside) a conceptual term, as is the “staffer”, the “pensioner” or the “worker”. You don’t need to work to be a worker, do you?
Those who oppose need to free their minds of their segregational thoughts, and not vice versa.
PS: Sorry, got long…