This chapter examines how gendered language became a site of linguistic and sociopolitical debate in modern Chinese history. In doing so, it discusses how different sites of linguistic gender marking in Mandarin (lexical, morphological or syntactical) have been deemed problematic by a variety of actors (linguists, translators, feminist activists, etc.) from the eighteenth century up to the present day. Moving through late-Qing missionary linguistics, Republican-era attempts at building a national language and various feminist critiques of sexism in the language in the early PRC, this chapter sheds light on the importance of taking into account Chinese linguistic history for historicising contemporary debates on gender-inclusive language in global perspectives, in a field where European languages still remain overwhelmingly the focus of enquiry.