and chairperson --
these terms began
appearing during the last quarter of the twentieth
person (in place of man), one
of the loony, counter-productive
ideas that come along now and then.
Under the influence of Friedan and
Greer, Smeal and Steinem,
women had become acutely sensitive about both the
'man' and 'woman' forms
of words. They fought to jettison gender altogether.
must have been thought to assure opportunities for
females more than their
male-dominated precursors. If nothing else, women have
succeeded in persondating
changes in the English Language.
Apparently unnoticed in the fray is the
'son' in person,
else by now we would have endured the fomentation of
'Actress' became just plain 'actor,' which
did little to
affect casting practices. Every 'poetess' became a
'poet' with negligible
impact on literary content. Whatever employment gains
result from changing
'best boy' to 'best
person' will be
offset by losses from 'script girl' becoming 'script person.'
'Stewardess' became 'flight attendant' and, as a matter
of fact, gave up
some routes to men. Women moved into the 'flight deck,'
though, which once
was called the 'cockpit,' you may recall.
Pronouns, too, were slashed to
sexlessness [he/she, his/her(s),
himself/herself] and storms are now named for
men/women. For all one knows,
a woman boards a ship before he sails, a bastard can
wear a dress, and
an SOB can be somebody's daughter.
English will become genderless, but
hardly better. Behold
the dismal inhabitants of no-man's land:
And what of this personifest
Women may intend -- but can only hope --
will reveal these verbal personipulations
one means for female epersoncipation
not as just so much personure.