Good heavens, Michael, after all that fear and trembling, I
would have thought you might have signed off "Ominously yours"! I for one don't think of you as some kind of monster or something. I do think you have very strong opinions, and tend to stick by them!
>>For me, "too far" is simply when people try to change the language for frivolous reasons<< I agree, Dear!
>>"frivolous" is somewhat in the eyes of the beholder<<
Here, Babe, you have hit the bull's-eye. And no, it isn't an accident that I used that particular term of address.
I used it as one example of just what you were talking about, not because I think of you as one! Some people wouldn't mind it, others would be aggravated or worse.
There are quite a few (okay, a lot of) things that irritate me beyond all reason, that others aren't bothered by at all.
The only thing I can think of that would make these
occurrences throughout the world less frequent calls for one very basic precept:
BE CONSIDERATE! BOTH parties! The offended one, rather than say something like, "You're an ignorant fool and a jerk to use that word", would get a lot further by an,
"Excuse me, that term really bothers me, because..."
The offender is less likely to give a defiant response,
and even if he/she is not willing to give up using the term,
hopefully will at least not belittle the person's concern or deliberately continue to provoke by use of the term.
I have never thought of myself as a real feminist, so
perhaps my opinion of the word 'women' or 'woman' is not
that of the majority. I see nothing wrong with them. I do
think "womyn" is ridiculous--to me it fits under that
frivolous category you mentioned.
But, on the other hand--I do know that there is still a very
great deal of discrimination against women, I'm pretty sure
worldwide. We are perceived, sometimes even by ourselves,
as less able, less worthy, than men, in many scenarios. It is less obvious here in the U.S. than it was a generation ago, but it still exists. (Glass ceiling, for ex.) If the
"radical feminists" hadn't been so radical--demanding the
stoppage of discriminatory terms, for one thing--women here
would still be under the same overt, widely-accepted and
VERY limited regard that we were held in back then.
This all goes back to who has the power, I think. Not only
women, but black people as well, had to secure special laws
just to be able to vote. Why? Because the ones who enacted the laws denying them this right were white males.
It is human nature for the "haves" not to want to give anything up, whether it be power or money. I am thinking here of salary discrepancies. Theoretical situation: the
owner of a company, a man, knows perfectly well that his
female vice-president is doing as good a job as his male one, but if she doesn't get paid as much, he won't offer her a raise to equalize the two salaries. He knows that the company's income is limited, and if he gives her more
money, there will be less for him. This is a NOT-frivolous situation, wherein the female will need to speak up for
It is in situations where the "haves" refuse to either listen or change that the "have-nots" might just decide to
And, there are ALL KINDS of minorities (have-nots) whose
concerns are just as important to them. Foreigners and the mentally ill come to mind. Just who is "acceptable",