Done. Reduced. A pronoun used for animals, objects, things of no value. As a thing becomes more important it takes on gender for us. It takes on personhood. Cars and boats are known as she, as are guns. Anything dangerous and tempermental is known as female.
But before she and he there is it, the large it, the word that is invisible when you're expecting it but stands out like a snake in a tub of mice when used unexpectedly.
All of which points out that English has no real accomodation of people and things that do not fit our preconceptions of gender.