Saturday, March 03, 2007

The men and women in Iraq

No, this has nothing to do with the war in Iraq.

I have a pet peeve.

It's when news anchors or the president or anyone making a press conference uses the phrase, "men and women" when referring to soldiers in Iraq. It's as if they're saying, "Oooo, look at me, I'm being so politically correct by including women in this phrase."

I hate that.

I also don't like to hear "he or she." I mean, the whole point is to be gender-neutral. I don't even like the word "inclusive" because it automatically makes the assumption that women are excluded and need to be included.

Isn't it better just to be 'gender neutral'? When one uses phrases like "men and women" they're being gender specific. Twice.


Can't they just say "our soldiers in Iraq"? Duh. And instead of "he and she" can't they just use the plural throughout?

The Hungarians have a neuter, third person, personal pronoun that they use. (I can't remember the word). We have the word "it" but it's non-personal. They have an "it" and also a gender-neutral third person personal pronoun they they use exclusively. We need one of those. (They also have a "he" and a "she" but it's seldom used).

And while I'm on it, I also don't like the term African American. I'm all for using correct and up-to-date terms, but the phrase African American makes two incorrect assumptions right off the bat:

1. That everyone from Africa is black.
2. That all black people in the U.S. are Americans.

I've got very fair skin, freckles and hair the color of Morris-the-Cat in some places. I'm just about as "white" as one can be. But if I'd been born and raised in Morocco, I'd be more African American than just about any black person here in the U.S.

So, it's an inaccurate term, that's all I'm saying.

Okay, I'm glad I got that off my back.


At 12:39 AM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Bwa to the ha ha! Right on!


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