I challenged the notion of introducing nonsexist clauses as part of contemporary speech on the basis of an example given in the textbook for the class I’m taking; where it suggests substituting the word mankind for humankind.
Human, although a gender-neutral assignment, still retains the root word man essentially the masculine assignment. In my opinion, this can be viewed in the same light as drilling down from Asian-American (human) to Chinese-American or Japanese-American (which one is man/woman, you choose). Although we identify such collective as “Asian-American” (as it is the most PC means) however, if when known, they absolutely wouldn’t mind the more specific assignment.
Hence, the wo– in woman (and thus this need for propogating nonsexist speech) is tied into the perception (or an absolute conviction for many) of this… thing… that has been promoted over the entire existence of our history. Thus, it reeks of a misguided feminist agenda; in their pressing need to be recognized as “equal”— the very definition of which infers that they desire to be a carbon copy of a man.
Not to further digress, however, allow me to interject that I personally believe we should keep things as is, but explore the reasons for the need to be “equal.” I do understand that it has much to do with the noted history of oppressive, second-class citizenry that was indeed based on gender, disseminated from (who else?) men; which— although, here we are, a far cry from past times (at least in the Western world)— only evolved into many of the modern day (some less desirable than other) conventions we have adopted.
In short, women don’t want to really be viewed as equal, they just don’t want to be viewed as inferior; and any differences expressed— most notably within the so-called ‘sexist language’— is a glaring reminder of those differences. I believe, just like the very nature of the concept of diversity in and of itself, a woman’s differences should be celebrated and encouraged; which would eliminate what has become an age-old whipping out of the measuring stick. Thus, one can refer to a “mail lady” free from PC policing.
So, what do you think? Am I right or way off base?