[O]nce gender connotations have been imposed on impressionable young minds, they lead those with a gendered mother tongue to see the inanimate world through lenses tinted with associations and emotional responses that English speakers — stuck in their monochrome desert of “its” — are entirely oblivious to.
New York Times Magazine has a superb update on the claims made by the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.
I lived in France for two years, and like many English speakers, struggled with the gender of nouns. I've often wondered whether gender affects perception of the world. It turns out it does, to an extent. The language we speak does affect the way we view the world, but it isn't a “prison house.”
I also posted this to draw your to the phrase “stuck in their monochrome desert of ‘its’.” It's just splendid. It sent shivers down my spine.