Respect vs. disdain/intimacy, as with the T-V distinction in the second person, would be far more useful to me than gendered pronouns.

Also, this is fantastic:

The Ojibwe language and other members of the Algonquian languages distinguish between animate and inanimate classes. Some sources argue that the distinction is between things which are powerful and things which are not. All living things, as well as sacred things and things connected to the Earth are considered powerful and belong to the animate class. Still, the assignment is somewhat arbitrary, as "raspberry" is animate, but "strawberry" is inanimate.

Yeah, fuck you, strawberries!