(Despite the way this thread begins, this is NOT a political thread about the current situation in the Middle East, please.....or even an anti-Bush thread) Recently I heard President Bush speak of Israel as "she". I general speak of a country as "it", or, sometimes when referring to my own country I say "we", or, when referring to another country, I say "they". In my mind (if I were to think about it) I would think that those plural pronouns are neuter (or inclusive of both genders)--English does not have, after all, a "he" or "she" plural (like French "ils" and "elles"), or a plural "we" that can be identified by gender without other words being added (e.g. "we, the men present today, demand...."). I do not consider President Bush an authority on language usage, and I also wondered if he might be describing Israel as "she" to create a feeling of sympathy for Israel. But it also got me wondering...... Do you think of countries as having gender? If so, is the gender usually feminine? Might it be more common in another culture/language to consider a country a "he"?