Men's Articles

The Battle Between The Sexes

I'm sure most guys these days think women should be treated equally. I'm one of them In the history of mankind, I'm certain that women have had to put up with enough discrimination, and it's time they got their fair shakes in life, but did you spot the way just did something very sexist in my last sentence?

Look at the words 'history' and 'mankind'. Most of us don't notice it, but the language we use everyday betrays a sexual biasness in us that probably goes back all the way to Adam and Eve. Just look at the way we always say "boys and girls", "men and women", "mister and missus", and "he or she". In word pairings like these, the women always follow the men.

The one exception can think of is "ladies and gentlemen", and wonder how that came about guess its because of an old adage that goes 'ladies first'. In all other cases, however, women seem to come second to men, literally. Even with words that don't seem to have anything to do with sex or gender at all, bias pokes its ugly snout into our language.

'History' and 'mankind' are good examples of such words. People have suggested using alternative forms of these words, like saying 'humankind' or 'humanity' in place of 'mankind', and perhaps 'handmade or 'synthetic' for the word 'manmade'. That seems like an easy enough way to do things, and it's a small courtesy we can pay to the cause of gender equality in language.

But what about a word like 'history'? We'd end up with a funny-sounding version like 'herstory', which is hardly gender-neutral, or 'theirstory', which is so clumsy-sounding that no one would want to study the subject anymore. But it gets worse from here. These days. If I called a girl a whore, I think I'd get slapped and kneed where it hurts automatically. The word means 'prostitute'. In fact, the word 'whore' was originally used to mean a lover of either sex. I wonder how it came to apply only to women these days, and how it picked up such a negative connotation?


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