I came across this interesting little ditty today; a couple of women had written to a local newspaper requesting that the council stop using ‘alderman’ and replace the word with ‘councillor’. What on earth do we do with this?
Here is the answer:
Please, ladies, with all due respect, it’s enough! This is the English language; do you “mandate” to change the word “manager” as well? There are so many words in English starting with “man,” we wouldn’t like to re-write English for personal satisfaction. Changing alderman to councillor would be an utter waste of time and money for council and for everyone. How do the ladies feel when they come from Manitoba? Do they want to change the name of the province of Manitoba? Certainly, the people from Manchester, U.K. couldn’t care less about changing their city’s name.
How do you feel about this apparent patriarchal manipulation of the English language? Should we change everything to be gender neutral? Do we change names so that everyone has a gender unspecific name?
We’ve already doctored many jobs: firefighter, post-handler, chairperson, but, for a bit of fun, what words would need to be changed in order to have a gender neutral language?Manager, manipulate, manifold, mangle (!) … add your words with suggested alternatives to the list.