Monday, February 4, 2013

GENDER LANGUAGE...are we NUTS?


OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — In Washington state, dairymen, freshmen and even penmanship could soon be things of the past.

Over the past six years, state officials have engaged in the onerous task of changing the language used in the state's copious laws, including thousands of words and phrases, many written more than a century ago when the idea of women working on police forces or on fishing boats wasn't a consideration.

That process is slated to draw to a close this year. So while the state has already welcomed "firefighters," ''clergy" and "police officers" into its lexicon, "ombuds" (in place of ombudsman) and "security guards" (previously "watchmen,") appear to be next, along with "dairy farmers," ''first-year students" and "handwriting."  (Z; "Handwriting?")

"Some people would say 'oh, it's not a big thing, do you really have to go through the process of changing the language,'" said Seattle Councilmember Sally Clark who was one of the catalysts for the change. "But language matters. It's how we signal a level of respect for each other." (Z:  are they so low on esteem that a woman being called a SPOKESMAN is disrespectful?)

About half of all U.S. states have moved toward such gender-neutral language at varying levels, from drafting bills to changing state constitutions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Florida and Minnesota have already completely revised their laws as Washington state is doing.

The final installment of Washington state's bill already has sailed through the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee with unanimous approval. The nearly 500-page bill has one more committee stop scheduled before full Senate debate.

Crispin Thurlow, a sociolinguist and associate professor of language and communication at the University of Washington-Bothell, said the project was admirable.

He said that as language evolves, such efforts are more than symbolic.

"Changing words can change what we think about the world around us," he said. "These tiny moments accrue and become big movements." (Z: and there you have it...it's a MOVEMENT...to what, I'm not sure)

Clark and former councilmember Jan Drago — the Seattle City Council has long eschewed the terms councilwoman or councilman — brought the issue to Sen. Jeannie Kohl-Welles in 2006 after they came across references to firemen and policemen in the mayor's proposed budget, as well as in state law dealing with local-government pensions.

Clark and Drago's findings sparked the initial gender-neutral language law that was passed in 2007, immediately changing those terms and directing the state code reviser's office to do a full revision of the rest of the code. A 1983 Washington state law had already required all new statutes to be written in gender-neutral terms, so state officials were tasked with going through the rest of state statutes dating back to 1854 to revise the rest.

As in past bills on the issue that have tackled sections of the state code, some revisions were as simple as adding "or her" after "his." Others required a little more scrutiny. Phrases like "man's past" changes to "humankind's past" and a "prudent man or woman" is simply a "prudent person." (Z: this isn't a joke?)

Kyle Thiessen, the state's code reviser who has been working on the project along with two attorneys since 2008, said that the work was not without obstacles.

Words like "manhole" and "manlock" aren't so easily replaced, he said. Substitutes have been suggested — "utility hole" and "air lock serving as a decompression chamber for workers." But Thiessen said those references will be left alone to avoid confusion.  (Z; how about PERSONHOLE? :-)

Republican state Rep. Shelly Short, of Addy, has voted against earlier gender-neutral language bills and said she plans to do the same this year.
"I don't see the need to do gender neutrality," she said, adding that her constituents want her to focus on jobs and the economy. "We're women and we're men." (Z: ah, the voice of reason)

Kohl-Welles, who has sponsored each of the gender-neutral language bills, said that while this project hasn't been her top legislation every year, "overall, it has important significance."
"I believe," she said, "that the culture has changed." (end of article)
Z:  BROTHER (Oops...SISTER!...oops...PERSON!) you can say THAT again.  We've become NUTS.

I guess I don't have to tell you all how I feel about 500 page bills telling us we can't say MANHOLE.  What do you think?  But, hey...I still use the term ACTRESS and always wonder who they're talking about when I thought they were talking about an ACTRESS but they refer to her as ACTOR...Why ACTOR?  Isn't that sexist? :-)

Your thoughts...?
Z

61 comments:

Divine Theatre said...

Someone told women they could be effective police officers, firefighters and ground combatants . Now the joke has come full circle.
What did you expect from a 'two last namer"? LOL!
When I meet a woman with two last names I avoid them at all costs. They are leftwit caricatures.

Andie

conservativesonfire said...

Are we nuts? Of course we are. We live in an Asylum. I suppose next they will want to change "human" to "huperson".

Joe said...

cof: No, no, no. You got it all wrong. It's not Hu Man, it is Hum An.

They Hum, because they are not smart enough to know the words.

All of the words at this link: http://www.scrabblefinder.com/ends-with/man/ must be changed to end in "person." It's a sociological emergency.

Fredd said...

Canada is aleady gearing up for a change in one of it's provinces: Manitoba will from this point forward be called Personitoba.

And Coach Chuck Mangiano is filing papers to change his name to Chuck Personiano. And of course Archie, Eli and Peyton Manning have to do something about their offensive last name, for sure.

We've been doing this for a long time, Z. Remember when we used to call flight attendants 'stewardesses?'

JonBerg said...

I seem to remember, from Biology, that most earthworms have no "gender identity". It comes as no big surprise, then, that Liberalism would advocate for this in their quest for "Hum An" degeneration. They call themselves "PROGRESSIVES"????

Z said...

Great comments, everybody!
"Personitoba" :-)

JonBerg, there does seem to be some kind of weird antigenderization thing going on.....male models lately are modeling skirts and dresses...obvious use of makeup on their faces. Babies are not given gender-specific toys even though tests show the little girls DO grab the dolls instinctively and boys DO grab a truck. No, the 'experts' will PROVE THEM WRONG in the pursuit of...what?
Women are having babies with sperm banks so a MALE is sort of subliminally featured in the process. No face to the 'product'...You could say the woman had the baby all by herself.
Who needs men? :-)

VERY WEIRD, the Left. I'm sure there are politically conservative lesbians doing the artificial insemination thing, too, but do I think Conservatives would come up with this ridiculous anti genderization of words?

Consonfire..it does seem like we're living in an asylum......

What a sad thing for children, and how very confusing; we've been men and women for all these years but there are those who feel that's got to change!?

Fredd said...

Z and JonBerg:

Recall the study that provided little boys with Barbie dolls (no other options), and little girls were handed trucks, and instructed to play.

To absolutely nobody's surprise except the people doing the study, the little boys ended up pushing the Barbie dolls around in the sand pretending they were trucks. The little girls arranged their trucks around a table, and held a truck tea party.

Duh.

JonBerg said...

'Chicken or Egg' enigma of the 21st Century: Which came first, the complete demise of our society or Liberalism?

JonBerg said...

Hey, by the way, what's "Liberalmann" going to do about his anti P.C. moniker?

Z said...

Fredd, ya, I mentioned that above..
You do know, of course, that some mother (I think it was in Norway?) didn't tell anybody the gender of her child till it was 5 years old so the child could 'be free'! !! Think that's a Conservative? :-) That poor child...what an interesting thing it will be to study his shrink's analysis in 20 years.

JB....I love calling Debbie Wasserman Schultz ...Debbie WasserPERSON Schultz :) After all, we don't want to offend anyone.



JonBerg said...

Z,


"I love calling Debbie Wasserman Schultz ...Debbie WasserPERSON Schultz"


HA,HA-good one! I wish I'd have thought of that.

BRAVO ZULU!

Anonymous said...

This is happening in France too.

Even something like "motherly instinct" is being replaced with "sense of education."

Maybe the next step should be to ban first names that sound too girly or too manly.

Some intellectuals have nothing else to do or think about so they have to come up with this stuff.

FrogBurger

Divine Theatre said...

Frankly, I don't know how you guys stay so calm over all this nitwittery.
Every time I read something written by a liberal my blood pressure rises.

Andie

JonBerg said...

Fredd,

Yes [reality] is often lost in the world of Liberalism!

FB,

Perhaps, P.C. would be better served by assigning, exclusive, numerical identity thus eliminating any issues of gender. That is until the "intellectuals" come up with something even more harebrained!

Z said...

How can people think they can go against natural instincts? That's what this is all about..who really cares if they're called "..man"? Is there a woman alive who wants to be called a FireWOMAN? That's silly.

Even "motherly instinct" is off the books in France now, FrogBurger? WOW.

Will they make a new word for SOLDIER or women don't mind being lumped together in that word?

Impertinent said...

Will they change Manchester or Manhattan or Johns Manville too?

How about "man-up" for all the sissies that swallow this crap?

Z said...

Imp..tsk tsk tsk. It's "Person Up" now :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree JonBerg.

Human beings will be identified through a bar code very soon.

We should ban colors as well. Pink and blue have to be erased from our memories.

FrogBurger

JonBerg said...

DT said.......

"Every time I read something written by a liberal my blood pressure rises."

Liberalism, Big Pharma's friend-indeed!

Impertinent said...

@Frog

They way they're going in the "pink" will be a thing of the past and we'll always be feeling blue over all this nonsense.

Z said...

GET A LOAD OF THIS!:

Yahoo HEADLINE with PHOTO:

"FORMER BUSH APPOINTEE MOCKS NEW ORLEANS' POWER OUTAGE"

As if his having been appointed by Bush is important? See, if he MOCKS them, he's BAD, and see, he's BAD because he's just another BUSH APPOINTEE!>

This media bias is pretty funny sometimes, if you can still laugh at the damage it's doing our country.

Pris said...

Oh well, as I've said before. The inmates are running the asylum!

I can't wait to see which one word is used to describe all races!

All of this nonsense is to reduce the individuality of human beings. We all will be referred to as a mindless throng of mortals.

That way those in power can include everyone in their control without considering the needs of different individuals.

Political correctness is a culture killer, and reality be damned. That is for sure.

Good grief, what madness are we to face next?

JonBerg said...

Now here's a question: Liberals are always extolling "diversity" when it comes to [groups] so why ,concurrently, do they have such a monolithical tenet when it comes to [individuals]; as Pris correctly points out? As it has been said: "Liberalism is a mental illness"!

Z said...

the word ASYLUM ought to have 2 S's :-)
It'd be appropriate!

Jon..they talk DIVERSITY but it's the last thing they want. Everybody has to be the same; men/women/poor/rich...it's all unnatural, impossible to attain, and yet they're screwing with Mother Nature (okay...or PERSON Nature!) and, in the case of finances, reducing us all to rubble just so nobody will be 'too rich'.
Honestly, JB...I'm beginning to agree that liberalism IS a mental illness. I used to think that was a slightly hubristic, silly thing to say, but...man

JonBerg said...

Z,

"Everybody has to be the same"

OK, I get it; just like "earthworms"!

Rita said...

Rumor has it you shouldn't be allowed to ask, "Are we nuts?" for obvious reasons. ;)

Z said...

Rita, that is HILARIOUS.
SO, what would we ask? :-)

Jan said...

Z, I love this post, 'cause it has actually made me laugh...and goodness knows I need a good laugh. You, and my fellow commenters have a great sense of humor!

I'm wondering what they will be calling humanitarians, now? :)

If this country gets any more politically correct, I don't know what we will do. Now, we have to be constantly aware of every word that comes out of our mouths for fear that someone will be offended.

Just plain old common sense, and good manners, seem to have fallen by the wayside, or been tossed there -- and they used to do a pretty good job of not offending anyone when folks applied it to their daily lives.

But this post is about gender equality/neutrality and all I really can say about that is that I miss the days when men were men, and women were glad of it. :)

I know, I know...but, I just couldn't resist!

"While intelligent people can often simplify the complex, a fool is more likely to complicate the simple."
Gerald W. Grumet

Anonymous said...

I know some very right wing rabid women with two last names, so don't go saying they are all leftist. That is quite a ridiculous statement to make. Actually, where I come from, women do that out of honor and respect for their birth family. So, there you have it..............
Not everything is simply black or white.

Anonymous said...

You know what's funny?

It's people who come up with gender neutrality who love playing the sexist card on some "crazy christian" or conservative. Or they play the "homophobic" card. Or the race card.

So they want to unify gender in one category yet they love separating individuals when it's convenient.

The male-female difference is the most basic one amongst our species, way before race and sexual preference.

I guess we're all atoms and molecules at the end but it's still really sick.

FrogBurger

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting that all the guys here might get upset at being left out of the "normal"route for having a child conceived, yet you cannot understand why it is that many women object to being left out of the language acknowledgement. Hmmmmmmm,m............seems a bit like a double standard, no?

Anonymous said...

Why would you see equality in gender recognition as causing your bold to boil? How would you like living in one of those countries where the women have to wear those black gunnysacks type clothes so that nothing about them being a woman is seen or acknowledged? Just as I thought.......you would hate it, as would most women I know. Well, let us just pretend that the word man, when used to describe any human being, is one of those gunny sacks for women. I see their point. My father was someone who acknowledged the boys in our family but for all practical purposes the girls were not seen as being significant enough to mention. So, I do understand the point that women are making about the language issue.

Divine Theatre said...

What did they say about sticks and stones, again? Oh. I forgot that faux indignation moves mountains in this country.

Andie

Z said...

Anonymous...I think finding changing names of occupations at this late date is silly (I'm a woman and I feel secure enough to be called a FIREMAN or CONGRESSMAN, it doesn't bother my femininity one bit, why yours?)...
..and I think saying finding this silly is normal but your making the leap, the HUGE leap, to being swathed in black muslim clothing is a little nuts, frankly.
I just read your past childhood stuff and I'm sorry you were raised with that difficulty. I was raised in a house full of only girls and we were all told in a million ways that we could be anything we wanted to be.
I hope you feel that way now, too.

Z said...

by the way, "causing blood to boil"? No, it's just plain silly, that's all.
By the way, you might understand it, but understanding it doesn't make it a whit more rational or reasonable.

D
Andie..."faux indignation moves mountains in this country"..my GOSH that's well put. .. a whole post in itself!

Anonymous said...

Well, anonymous, now, a fireman will be called a fire extinguisher.

But even that sounds manly and we can't use fire extinguisheress.

As far as congressmen and congresswomen, I think we can rename them to congressidiots.

Commander in Chief has to be renamed too. Idiot in chief works as well since people on the left thought Bush was an idiot and people on the right think Obama is one too. So we can all agree on this new title.

FrogBurger

Anonymous said...

I just thought about something really interesting.

With this logic, I can now go to lady restrooms and claim I feel like my gender is female.

If someone objects, I can give the spiel about gender neutrality.

FrogBurger

Z said...

FrogBurger "CongressIDIOTS" ...you are ROCKING!!

Excellent comments :-)And yes..go AHEAD, go in the ladies room and look around....who'd STOP you? Only a decent, character-filled Conservative might say "Sir, there are LADIES in here and you should leave them to their privacy."

If he's not there to say so, HAVE A BLAST, then wait for a liberal girl who can't wait for EQUALITY to start screeching that you've raped her :-)

Jan said...

Divine Theater, it's funny you should mention about this stuff making your blood boil...I've never had high blood pressure in my entire life that I can recall, but I've recently been diagnosed with it, and I think it has everything to do with being concerned about the idiotic way our country is being run, now, and worrying about the eventual outcome of it, and how the people I love and care about will be affected.

BTW..I never did understand the thing about liberated women not wanting to be called "Mrs." but rather, "Ms."

Was that supposed to make them feel more empowered, I wonder?

Words are just words, and don't make you one thing or another, except in your own mind.

Jan said...

Divine Theatre..I made a typo in your name in the previous post, but that didn't make you any less the nice person that you are, did it? :)

I meant to say in the last post, too, that I guess stuff must make my blood boil, too.
xoxo

Ed Bonderenka said...

(Z; "Handwriting?")
penMANship.

Z said...

Jan, in Germany, EVERBODY's "FRAU" now so you spend your time wondering if this FRAU is married or not married..it's just ridiculous.
No more "frau" and Freulein...which was SO NICE before! NOBODY says Freulein for about 25 years now.
I really find that very sad.

Leticia said...

Looks like many bloggers may have to change their names!

This political correctness has gotten way out of control. It's beyond ridiculous.

beamish said...

Politruth doubleplus unsmart.

beamish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan said...

Z, I know..it's really ridiculous, isn't it?

Oh, and while I'm here, again -- I wasn't implying that Divine Theatre had mentioned anything about her blood boiling...that was implied by someone else. I was just saying that she's not alone in having all the idiocy cause a rise in blood pressure!

As for the subject of this post, I guess we do have to laugh at the foolishness of it a little bit, don't we?

Just think...BATMAN is going to be in BIG trouble, now! :)

Rita said...

It takes a special kind of woman to think changing a word from man to some neutral gender gives her empowerment. Quite honestly I have never felt unempowered because of what anyone ever called me or didn't call me. The only way for anyone to be empowered is they find empowerment within themselves.

I am oh so sick of this helpless generation of women who think being called any profession that ends with "man" hurts their feelings.

They just all need to put on their big boy pants and man up.

Z said...

Jan, no doubt about it...it is VERY FUNNY. But people actually buy this stuff!

Rita's right...who cares what people refer to us as? Nobody cared for YEARS but suddenly it's worth 500 word BILLS in STATE CONGRESSES? WHAT? Have they nothing better to DO? :-)

Teresa said...

Language neutrality? Yes, this is nuts. I'm offended. Alright, so by libs standards we can go back to words which signify the two different genders. Yeah right, like that'll happen. Never.

JonBerg said...

Well, I'm about to turn-in but I must say; with the exception of someone who is so ashamed that heshe can't provide an individual identity, none of the usual Liberals showed up. I wonder, what's with that?

Rita said...

And someone posted on Facebook the other day they just loved it when a man called her Darlin'. And I agreed with her.

Obviously she's not a liberal or she would have posted how demeaning it was to be called Darlin.

FreeThinke said...

Yes. We are nuts. Finding out how we got that way might make an interesting story, but I think we're too far even to want to learn anymore.

It's all over but the shouting -- and the weepng and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Divine Theatre said...

I make it a rule to never be offended.

Andie

Kid said...

More destruction of the family unit Z. Apparently, men Still want to marry Women, rather than 'female units'.

And they are saying "I'll Pass" in large numbers.

Destruction of the family unit is what women's lib was all about.

Kid said...

Rita "They just all need to put on their big boy pants and man up."

Lol.

Rita said...

Just stating the truth Kid.

I don't do drama. Never have. And I continue to be appalled that these so called feminist have actually set their agenda back 40 years.

The Saundra Flukes of this world and the idjits who get their panties a wad over being called by some job title that has the word "man" somewhere in it make me embarrassed to be part of their gender.

Kid said...

Rita, My Lol read a good bit of that into it.

Thank you.

Yes, as a group, the women seem to be pretty confused still. I could also say that about men or Americans too.

Damn sad.

I have no problem with a career woman, but I do believe some parent has to be home with the kid(s) especially in the formative years.
If it's dad, that's Ok, but still not ideal. I think if women want to have kids they should commit to the job of being mom. Daycare for 8 hours a day ain't gettin it.

Kid said...

Andie! Just say your comment about two last names. Man, I couldn't agree more!

Pick One!. My wife uses her maiden name. No problem for me. If she wanted mine, no problem. If she wanted to hyphen it, I'd have been gone.

There was a.. no forget that too negative and dark.

Instead:
WHEN NOT TO HYPHENATE YOUR NAME

hhahaaa

Rita said...

When I was young I might have disagreed with you Kid on the "somebody staying home with the kid" thing. Now I believe it is best to have a parent at home. As I got older and had step-kids that lived with us I believe it is in the best interest of the children to have one parent be the full time parent. That's too important of a job to work it part time.

We have not enriched our society by having both parents work. We have more things but less values.

Kid said...

Rita, I have also come to believe that a person's core values come in the first 4-5 years. No way I entrust that to day care bimbo's.

Best to you.

Divine Theatre said...

Kid,

Those names were so funny! I think "Poore-Sapp" was my favorite!

Andie