As a native speaker of British English I would most likely use author for male or female. However, I am surprised the use of authoress is marked wrong when the Spanish clearly uses the feminine and use of author does not demonstrate that the translator has picked this up.
As a native English speaker, I've never heard anybody use the word “authoress.” It may be a perfectly valid word, but I've always heard female authors just referred to as authors. While the use of a lot of words ending with “-ess” is declining, I doubt it will ever completely go away since people aren't going to argue that a “prince” and a “princess” should be the same word.
The word is just a distinction between male and female. It is society and the way the word is used that is sometimes sexist. If you change the word and society's view of women remains unchanged you have achieved nothing except for causing more confusion. The same is the case with other words like actress - if women are still paid or respected less all you do by banning the female form is to impoverish the language - fortunately in Spanish the reverse is happening. Words that are masculine if not being changed themselves are being used with the feminine article when referring to women doing the same job.
It may be considered sexist and insulting by you, but it is not considered sexist and insulting by society as a whole. Nor is it an outdated term...Merriam Webster's says that authoress is a female author and it does not say that it is an archaic word.
But what would you expect other than attempts at forced redefinition of what is acceptable language on a website that uses a picture of HRC for politician and Rahm Emanuel for mayor, and that for president shows a presidential seal with the word CULT overlayed in large type?
I just wish that they would spend more time making sure that all valid translations are accepted, and less time trying to SJW strongarm language into the form they think it should be.
skepticalways - I do not know how to respond to a profile, only how to reply here. Tried the other, but no success. Is it something you can ask here? Because, don't ask me why, I am still getting all the replies to this thread, both crazy and not crazy.
And not that I am trying to hide anything here, as I am quite proud of what I have accomplished re: la lengua española, but I am sure there are people here who would prefer to remain known primarily by their DuoLingo name instead of there IRL one. I know such info can be discovered with some digging, but no reason to "brak the fourth wall" when corresponding here. At least none that I can see. So either please post your question here or post another way that we can have a one to one conversation if you feel that that is necessary.
/f/ El Capitán Alatriste
It should be accepted - changing these words does nothing but cause confusion. There is also an annoying tendency to make women's names more like men's and we already know that that ends in the presumption that those who achieve great things are men. Women end up being thought of as men or missed out of history all together. The opposite of what those who seek to abolish these words desire to achieve.
Hello Nolan.Reh.24: Thanks for fixing it! To illustrate- think about the word exception-(a person or thing that is excluded from a general statement or does not follow a rule). And look at except: (not including; other than). So now look at accept: 1.(consent to receive (a thing offered). 2.(believe or come to recognize (an opinion, explanation, etc.) as valid or correct.)
So in a very real way if duolingo excepted something, it would not be accepted.