Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pulling back from the politically correct

I run a mile when I hear someone say 'political correctness gone made'. It is usually a cover for some outrageous opinion. Goes with, I am not racist/sexist/homophobic but...

However, I have made a decision tonight that revokes a previous one. At some point perhaps twenty years or so ago, I read that it was silly to use gender specific terms when referring to someone's profession. I agreed with the sentiment.

So, I stopped using the words conductress, actress and waitress. They became a conductor, an actor and a waiter. If the gender of the person was important to what I was saying, I would add female. Male was assumed already by the listener if the above profession titles were used.

Forgive me, but I have been reading celeb gossip again. I said to R last nnight when Curtis Stone, who I know well enough from when he and a colleague, male, had a cooking show on ABC tv. Ah, break sentence and start anew.

I said, 'Curtis has a new girlfriend, a somewhat famous actor'. Did that momentarily confuse you? Did you for a millisecond think that maybe Curtis has a new boyfriend?

It is odd that some profession titles can identify a person's gender and others not. Regardless, I have decided to now use job titles that sound natural to my ears. So therefore, actress, waitress and no need to worry to about conductress. We don't have any of those any more, nor conductors. Ok, maybe on trains and heritage rail transport we do.

9 comments:

  1. Andrew, I chop and change on this one. Actor I use for both, but I use waiter and waitress. Another pair that have almost disappeared - seamster and seamstress. In fact, I have never heard anyone use the word seamster. In my experience, men prefer to be called tailors.

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  2. What about a bullocky LiD? The US term I think is teamster. I wonder if a woman was called teamstress. Maybe they did not have any, but we certainly had some, one Agnes Buntine who I was finding out about not so long ago. I did not actually know there was a word seamster.

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  3. As an archaeologist it's not something I worry about.

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  4. An agency I worked at a few years back pitched for Curtis Stone's PR/Advertising work. I remember that he had a rather large something in his overly tight jeans. He loved watching the girls in our office notice it too.

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  5. Yes, very neutral term for you Brian.

    You trying to excite me Evol? I try to not like him and tell myself if his hair was its natural colour, I would not be interested but I don't convince myself. He didn't notice you watching too?

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  6. How about teacheress and workeres?

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  7. Altissima, it is odd as to why some professions need have a gender and others not. Quite silly really, but it is quite fixed in most people's heads.

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  8. Female Bullocky - I have never thought about a female version of the word. Fascinating. Are we getting a post on Agnes? She would have been a very tough lady.

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  9. Good idea LiD. Interesting character. I have a back up of posts, so in a while.

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