Now, you may not think that identifying all bridges as being female ("die brucke") would have any ramifications for ladies who speak German, but this is Cracked, and we pretty much only bring things up if you're wrong about them. It appears that bridges were designated female because they are things that people walk all over, and yes -- societies where gendered languages are spoken tend to be male-dominated. Not only that, the effect increases with the number of gender markers present in the language.
It's been posited that being forced to assign a gender to all objects gives more importance, in the mind of the speaker, to people's gender than if they were using neutral language. And the effect isn't negligible. In countries where the dominant language employs a sex-based system of gender identification, female participation in the work force drops by about 12 percent, whereas in countries where the language uses a non-sex-based gender system, female work force participation actually increases slightly, by about 3 percent.
"Non-sex-based gender" instead discriminates against the poor, the elderly, the undead, etc.
So there you go: Want to boost the economy? Quit insisting that all bicycles are girls because you can ride them as much as you want and then leave them in the street.