lundi, janvier 23, 2006

Two Things Which Prove I'm Pro-Woman

Initial Proof:

Did you see the Gloria Steinem profile on CBS Sunday Morning? She's so cool. One of my favorite Americans. Perhaps I should try to compile a list of my ten favorite living Americans. Hmmmm... It might be too much work. But, I'm a huge Gloria Steinem fan. You should be too.

Additional Proof:

Fe•male (fee-mayl) adj. 1. of the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs. 2. (of plants) fruit-bearing, having a pistil and no stamens. female n. a female animal or plant.

Wom•an (wuum-un) n. (pl. women pr. wim-in) 1. an adult female person 2. women in general 3. (informal) a female servant.

So, I have my share of grammatical, syntactical and usage pet peeves. I’ll admit it. And yes, that means that something is wrong with me. I’ll admit it. There's just too much evidence for a credible denial.

But man oh man, I hate to hear people refer to adult women as females. As near as I can tell, military types (who also like to say “vehicle” in reference to a car – another example of an overly broad appellation applied to an item with a more popular and more specific appellation), police-types and thugs.

Examples of misuse:

“I arrived to the scene and noticed two females who appeared to be intoxicated.”

“That’s what I don’t like about females, they’re always trying to take somebody’s man (notice 'man' not 'male').”

It always makes me think of a photo where a woman is standing in a field with a doe, a cat and several flowers. Were one to say “what a lovely ‘female’ in reference to the photos, one might be chided for one’s imprecision. Is one referring to the deer (or rabbit or hare – female rabbits and hares are also does methinks), the cat (BTW, The Gardener can tell a cat’s gender somehow just by looking at the cat!) the woman, or the flowers? If one speaks of the female person in the photo, should not one refer to said person as a 'woman'? I think one should.

Somehow I also find it derogatory/offensive. It just rubs me the wrong way. "I arrived to the scene and noticed two egg producers who appeared to be intoxicated." I'm sure that in many instances the intent to offend is not there, but...

Anyway, should I check my prescription (and either double my dose or cut it in half), or should we start a movement? Am I on something or onto something?

Holla at ya' boy!