The 'new' CoC isn't actually that different, and I don't think we need to change many things here. Remember even the old CoC already had a clause about 'language likely to alienate people'. Writing like you don't know someone's pronouns, while they are known, can have an alienating effect. In the same way, using he/she pronouns when talking about people whose gender you don't know can have the same effect. (see also a bit further in this post about generic he/language barriers)
When a question refers to someone using a specific pronoun, use that to speak about this person in your answers and comments too.
We've always been doing this, including correcting people through edits. Usually, an edit summary that states 'the boss is referred to as she in the question, so I've matched the pronouns in your answer to that' does the trick.
If a question uses 'he', don't insist answers or comments refer to that person as he/she, (s)he, he or she. The edit was a good one, in this case, it removes some obscurity and makes the answer ever slightly easier to read.
I would also recommend against gender-neutral pronouns in answers/comments in cases like this, as it might obfuscate important details. When pronouns are known, use the ones that were used by the person asking the question.
As an added measure of conscience: If you're adding back up to your answers, consider if an indication of the gender of the person you're talking about is useful. If it is, please make sure we know, either through pronouns or fictional names. If irrelevant, feel free to use gender-neutral language.
Consider gender-neutral language when a question doesn't give you a hint who you're talking about, or when gender is irrelevant.
There are many dynamics that are influenced by gender, and stereotypes. But if you think it's not relevant, feel free to leave it out. We'll ask you in comments if we think our answers would benefit from knowing these details, or (ideally) disclose these dynamics in our answers if we feel they should be taken into account when applying our solutions to your problem.
In cases where gender is irrelevant or unknown, use neutral language. Singular they/them are the best option for neutral, English, pronouns.
As a community though, do consider there are actually older people out there who may not know what you know, who have always been taught to default to generic he. There may also be people whose native language defaults to male pronouns, and ESL speakers that get taught English this way too.
If you do decide their posts need editing, please be kind to these people, and try to structure your edit messages in such a way that these people won't feel chided or accused of being uninclusive/unwelcoming. You can use the same message I used above: "The question refers to X as 'they', I've made your answer match" will work better than "Making your post more inclusive/welcoming".
Using neutral language is also about more than just neutral pronouns!
In a lot of languages without neutral pronouns equivalent to singular they, neutral language simply means:
- you can avoid gendered nouns (fireman vs firefighter),
- you can avoid he/she in favour of using nouns or names. (Dear Sir/Madam vs. Dear Customer vs. Dear Alice)
- you can avoid he/she in favour of restructuring your sentence to avoid pronouns or make it plural. (The average student is worried about his grades vs. The average student worries about grades vs. Students worry about their grades)
- you can avoid structures that emphasize sex-role stereotyping (Male nurse, woman doctor > both imply that the 'standard' nurse is female and the 'standard' doctor male).
I think as a community, everyone has always been doing well. The 'new' CoC shouldn't cause much reason for change here :)