Gender neutral language is key issue! Really?


I was just sitting, minding my own business when Lenny the Liberal (aka Captain PC) decided I looked like I needed to be annoyed. As he plopped down on the next stool, he said, “It’s nice to see the Legislature is taking action on something important for a change. I was beginning to think there was no hope for this state.”

“What action are you talking about? Are they finally taking on unemployment? Will they balance the budget? Are they figuring out how to manage the new pot law?”

LL: No, no. None of those things. This is really important. They’re going to de-sexualize all the state laws.

Me: Really? I didn’t realize we had that many sexy laws. Maybe I need to read more.

LL: Pardon me, Mr. Literal. I should have said they’re going to make the laws gender neutral. For instance, the word dairyman would become dairy farmer; freshman becomes first-year student; and penmanship will be handwriting.

Me: I think I get the idea. Policemen have already become police officers, mailmen are letter carriers and so on. So now the legislators are wasti . . . I mean, taking the time to change every law in the state so no one will ever again be offended in a gender-biased manner. Is that about the gist of it, Boy Wonder?

LL: That’s it in a nutshell, except Boy Wonder would need to be changed to something less offensive, like Young Genius.

Me: What about a word that is sort of a double-gender word. For instance, would the word cowboy need to be changed at all since cows are female and boys are male. Wouldn’t the clashing genders sort of cancel each other out, rendering the word non-offensive?

LL: Huh?

Me: Never mind. I like watching your eyes roll around like that. We should change it to something more appropriate like bovine management specialist. Then both the cowboys and cowgirls would feel better about themselves. I don’t know. I think I agree with Rep. Shelly Short, who says she doesn’t see a need for gender neutral language and that her constituents want her to focus on jobs and the economy. Otherwise I think I have a new name for legislators after the next election.

LL: What’s that?

Me: Unemployed.

Dan Glaspell

Walla Walla


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