Yes, it is so valuable to ponder this issue of gender and language--
and try to uncover the sources, conscious and unconscious, of why it
carries so much energy. So Rich, if it bothers you, hit the ol'
delete key, but know, when you do, that you cannot simply disregard
the import that many women feel about this issue.
I want to support Michele and her wonderful diatribe...not
that I felt it was abusive, but that as an emotional-intellectual
menage, not all warrants were well supported... I believe, and I'll
bet, so does MG-S that we need to keep trying to communicate across
the gender divide. Her concerns are deeply felt, and to me one of the
most important is "you may not think this important, but it is," so,
like, get used to it. And realize, Dan and Rich, that the passion and
anger with which you react demonstrates the depth of your own fears.
< People who harbour feelings of inadequacy and inferiority often show
this by demanding recognition (in some cases by attempting to change
the entire language) or by lashing out at, and attacking <anyone who
I could say the same thing about "people" who fear discussion about
issues that make them uncomfortable.
If I am labeled some "screaming women's libber" for having these
concerns, then the divide widens.
So Michele, thank you for your passionate words, and let us all try to
keep channels open, cause "if we don't hang together, we shall surely
all be hung separately." (paraphrase B. Franklin)
University of Minnesota
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