Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh Man! Another Politically Correct Move to Howl About.

Calgary city council members are making the big change from alderman to councillor.
On the whole, I find the change sad.
Sure it's inclusive. Except that councillor isn't any more inclusive than alderman.
Oh I know it's the word "man" that's throwing everyone.  Man means person. I wish more people knew or remembered that, or at the very least acknowledged it.
An alderman, I learned in school nearly forty years ago, means "wise older person."
On the one hand I recognize steps have had to be taken because we've forgotten the definition of man over the years. Women got to feeling excluded and society reinforced it with the silly notion that some jobs were only for men.
It got to the point of absurdity at times, though. I once heard a woman referred to as "female chairperson."
I think it was back in the eighties.
It still grates.
It's changed and I agree we must be ever-vigilant, but there comes a  point when we need to stop, take a breath, and assess what we're doing.
Meanwhile, there are some titles that are exclusive. To wit, werewolf. That's a wolf who's also a man, and in this case the man is specifically a human male.
"Wer" means man as in human male. Properly we should be women and wermen.
I say we should bring back this prefix. It would solve so many problems and take care of the inadvertent exclusion. 
Getting back to the lycanthrope dilemma. Rather than go with the tortured "female werewolf," that is, a  wolf who is a man who is female, I say we call her a wowolf. I've been doing it privately for years.


the Bag Lady said...

I hear you with this one! Should we change the word "human", too? Perhaps it could become huperson.
Would make just about as much sense. Seems to me that politically correct hupeople are just poorly educated. Or overly sensitive. Or both.*shrug*

'Wowolf' makes perfect sense to me.

Leah J. Utas said...

Cousin, that's sure part of it. Then there are others who simply parrot what they've heard and take it further than it ought to go.

Maybe I should write a wowolf story.

messymimi said...

"Sentients" anyone?

At what point do we get our collective sense back?

Your way makes sense.

Leah J. Utas said...

Messymimi, I fear we may never get it back.

Reb said...

"Our ongoing mission: to go where no one has gone before" Every time I heard that I screamed at the telly that it was MAN, you idiot, you can't just change the words because you are too dim to understand. I mean seriously, if no 'one' has been there before, then why do they keep running into other life forms?

Leah J. Utas said...

Reb, great rant. Thanks. Excellent point, too.

Ron Scheer said...

Came across the word "councillor" the other day and thought, hmm, that looks wrong. And I'm already confused about counsellor and consular.

Leah J. Utas said...

Ron, not to worry. We're double ellers up here.

Redbush said...

There seem to be a lot of words like that, Leah. It certainly seems to be a man's world at times. Good points to think about!

solarity said...

I always felt that when "man" was pronounced "m'n" as in human, that a female or neuter form was unnecessary. (When I was in elementary school, the PTA used "Madam Chairman.")

Back in the nineties, I had two buttons I wore fairly often. One said "Politically correct" and the other said "Politically incorrect." I got the strangest looks from people who noticed them both.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Redbush.

Solarity, if I had those buttons I'd wear both.

Hilary said...

A howler of a rant, Leah. We do get pretty stupid, don't we?

Dawn said...

Finally...someone who thinks how I do on this matter!!!
WE ARE GOING CRAZY over things- and what stupidity.

Haha...had to laugh at "the Bag Lady's"~~~huperson and hupeople.
I say we do it- just to point out how ridiculous it all is.
They'd probably insist on it once it got going....

Thanks for this post! I need to share it!!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Hilary. Some days I wonder how humanity as a whole manages to get anything done.

Dawn, thanks so much. Nice to find others who see things my way.
You're right, you know. If we did something to point out absurdity most people wouldn't get it.
Feel free to share my post as needed with the appropriate attribution.