Man mostly deleted in UK dictionary

Hazel McCallion Senior Public School
Mississauga, Ontario

By Krysta M. (Grade 8)

Someone didn't do her homework. Margaret Doyle is a freelance writer in London, whose "non-sexist" dictionary almost deletes the word "man" from existence. The goal of Doyle's reference book is to offer alternatives to words that might be considered sexist to some women - oops! I mean wo-persons.

Had Ms. Doyle done her homework, she would have learned that the meaning of the word "man" is not only an adult human male but a human being, person, mankind and the human race. In Webster's dictionary under the word "man", 70% of the definitions have to do with mankind and not only the male species. Removing "man" from our vocabulary is a reverse discrimination, taking something to the other extreme. I don't think that when Nellie McClung fought to get the right to vote for women, she was trying to exterminate males. Her purpose was to create unity between the two sexes. Ms. Doyle has forgotten what Nellie McClung accomplished, and has tried to put one sex (the female sex) above the other, thus belittling males.

The question of discrimination and sexism when it comes to words such as "gentleman" and "snowman" is rarely ever raised. I believe women, in general, do not feel offended by the English language and how it has been used for centuries. As they say, "If it isn't broken, don't fix it".

"Gentleman" and "snowman" have been used on occasions when there is a male involved since before I can remember. And when the situation is with a female, we use the alternates "gentlewoman" and "snowwoman". If this makes sense, and it does, then no one should feel hurt and discriminated against and both sexes should live together equally. Equality is the goal, not superiority. We should not let the power struggle and insane apolitical correctness undermine the sense of equality for which we have fought so long.

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