The University of North Carolina has dropped the term “freshman” from all their official literature and publications because it contains the word “man” in it. It excludes women (whose singular form also has the word “man” in it), and apparently offers further evidence that we live in a “male-dominated” society where even our language is affected. The UNC says they prefer a more “gender-inclusive” alternative to “freshman” such as “first year student.”
I remember when one of my older brothers was in high school in the 90’s, when political correctness was all the rage. He was encouraged to use the “his or her” grammatical convention instead of just saying “his.” So instead of saying, “Every taxpayer should submit his tax returns,” he was instructed to say, “Every taxpayer should submit his or her tax returns.” This way, we include women so as not to appear sexist. My brother pointed out the idiocy of all this in one of his assigned essays by saying that even the word “human” is sexist because it contains the word “man” in it. And if we were to change the word “human” to “huperson,” that would still be sexist because it contains the male-charged “son.” Suppose we changed it again to “huper-daughter.” This would still be problematic, because even though “daughter” is obviously feminine, the prefix “hu-“ looks and sounds an awful lot like the name “Hugh,” which is a masculine name.
So perhaps the UNC isn’t going far enough. They want to change “freshman” to “first year student.” But “student” has “Stu” in it, a masculine name. And are they going to continue to offer bachelor’s degrees, in spite of the term “bachelor,” which has come to be associated with an unmarried male?
We’re bombarded with these kinds of asinine rules to make sure women aren’t excluded from our language and that everybody is represented equally. We can’t say “fireman”; we have to say “fire fighter.” Instead of “policeman,” it’s “police officer.” It’s not “Congressman”; it’s “member of Congress.”
Is our society so afraid of the fact that “God made boys and girls different?” Men have particular roles in society that women don’t have, and women have roles in society that men don’t have. There is a division of labor. It doesn’t offend me one bit that I as a male cannot bear children or nurse babies (although some men have been documented as having lactated). Leave it to some feminists in Sweden to push for the outlawing of urinals in men’s restrooms because they say standing up while urinating is an offensive display of male dominance.
Our culture wants to blur the lines between male and female. More and more people are identifying as “transgender.” Even unisex names are on the rise. Couple all these new social mores with a study that found that male genitalia have shrunk about 10% in the last 50 years. Are we going to end up with a society of sterilized people whose genders can only be determined by a blood test, because males and females will be virtually indistinguishable? At least then, everybody will be “equal.”