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Sunday, 21 February 2016

Has Feminism Gone Bonkers?

We female authors have a sacred duty to wipe out every vestige of sexism in writing. We need to go through not only our own writing but we need to set up a Sexist Writing Police Squad to monitor every writer, journalist, Hallmark card et al, so make sure that sexist writing is eliminated forever. Be on the look-out ladies! It is all around you.
We owe it to every woman, er, sorry, wo-person, on the planet to change, massage, even person-ipulate words and so strike at the very heart of male dominance.
I’m all for changing chairman into chairperson (although I had always understood that the ‘man’ bit was from the Latin for hand - manus - therefore ‘the hand on the chair’ but, heck, why let a small fact like that get in the way of a good rant). What about changing fisherman into fisherperson and seaman into seaperson. And what about man-eating tigers? Don’t we wo-persons have the right to be eaten by tigers? Of course we do. In fact, I de-person-d it!
All this word changing just doesn’t go far enough, in my humble opinion. What about cities (Person-chester, for example), or countries (Ru-person-ia) and even book titles (The Third Person, Of Mice and People) and names (Person-dela). Surnames can be tricky but there’s a way round that too. For example, the surname Williamson is insulting to wo-persons. It needs to be changed to Williamson-or-daughter, don’t you think? From now on please address me as Jenny Harrison-or-daughter. Thank you.
The ways we can change the world are endless. We just have to get to it! I’m having banners made as we speak!
As a hu-person-being of the female gender who writes fiction and non-fiction, I’m convinced we can completely root out any sexism in our language. Once we do that all wo-persons will immediately get equal pay. All Moslem wo-persons will be instantly free to drive cars and baby girls will no longer be forced to play with dolls.
It’s a noble cause and I urge you to join me in this crusade. I’m certain that with a bit of effort we can person-age it.
Yeah, right.
Jenny Harrison-or-daughter

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