RebeccaRGB wrote:el mañana - tomorrow
When does anyone ever say "the tomorrow"?
Nobody does, which is why the word mañana often requires clarification: "Mañana de hoy o mañana del día que viene o mañana de la?.... AYE 'tomorrow'"
Linguistic clarifications are far easier in bilingual communities.
As for gender among nouns... much like the use of animate/inanimate codification in languages, such as Euskera or the Vasque language: These codifications *used* to correlate to the things they discussed. In the history of the language, all living items were animate, just as all non-living were inanimate, but as the language evolved and new metaphors were formed and slowly converted into dead metaphors, etc... the distinction became arbitrary.
The same has happened with gender, to the point that it's so arbitrary that the gender changes based on dialect: Northern Spain sometimes says "el mar," while Southern Spain tends toward "la mar."
Unfortunately, though, for those who wish to 'correct' the language to gender neutral, much like those who advocate the flow-disruptive "his/her," they'll find themselves ambiguating many nouns: "el manzano" is a tree that produces apples, while "la manzana" is the apple produced by the tree; "el cafetero" often refers to a coffee maker on a plantation, while "la cafetera" often refers to the coffee maker in your kitchen.
Personally, I think that gender's still around so that speakers of gendered languages have more ways to play with their language; yesterday my female coworker said I could be my own "jefa" (the feminine of "boss"), so I told her that as my own "jefa" I'd have to be "trabajadora" (the feminine of hard-working). Oh, worth noting that I'm male.