I was reading an article on the net regarding gender neutrality which reported that an MEP of the EU was handing out pamphlets that called for a complete change in the way members of the European parliament addressed their women counterparts and called for the same to be implemented throughout the EU and all its nations. The European Parliament has already prohibited the use of the terms 'Miss' and 'Mrs' in case they upset female MEPs. So from now on, we get to call all women MEPs, “yo dawg…wassa!” or “ hey babe…” or even “sup sista?” (kidding) . Anyway, he has requested abolishment of terms like sportsmen (now to be called athletes), fireman, airhostess, headmaster, policeman, salesman, manageress, cinema usherette and male nurse and a whole host of other gender specific terms.
Alright! My first question is what are you going to replace them with? Fire-person, the air-tray-table hosting person, the person who shall show me to my seat in a theater. (The first sounds like an X-men). We have these terms to clearly define a male or female person in that profession. We’re being made to sound as though it’s a crime to call a woman a woman. ( I’m unsure why I’m getting annoyed….. I’m not part of the EU…and in India, we are allowed to beat up women….) What do you do with terms like mistress or hooker? I don’t think we can find a gender neutral term for such words. Just try it…gender neutral term for a hooker and a gigolo? ( Stumped ????)
The request has been made to replace terms like 'man-made' with either 'synthetic' or 'artificial' . I can live with that. We already consider Pamela Anderson’s assets to be artificial….Why would I go about saying they were man-made? At least we’ve found a suitable replacement for the term that some might find derogatory. Many women also consider the word ‘semester’ to be an indication of male dominance. Don’t ask me to explain. We’re already referring to actresses as actors, which I still find little hard to accept. Maybe we ought to refer to them as thespians. But like my friend put it, it’s terrible to be calling Govinda a thespian. Hell!! By that order, even Himesh “the howler” Reshamiya is a thespian. I can see Shakespeare shudder in his grave.
The EU is also looking to ban titles like Madame and Mademoiselle, Frau and Fraulein and Senora and Senorita. This is absolutely stupid. Titles like this are part of a country's culture and definitely isn’t worth the effort just to satisfy a few hardcore feminists. Imagine if the same was done in India. Shri Shri Shri Ravishankar would be left with no titles. And what is to become of the old TV serial named ‘Shrimaanji, Shrimatiji’. It’s just wrong. What about SRK in DDLJ? What would he call Kajol? He isn't allowed Senorita !!! OMG, I can see it now; this is where anarchy comes into the picture. All hell breaks loose. SRK CANNOT call Kajol Senorita!!!!! And what about all those other movies that follow DDLJ and have the boy and girl meet in Switzerland and can't have the boy call the girl 'senorita'? OMG !!!! What is to happen to all those cliches???? What?!?!?!????? Armageddon is here!
We need to draw the line somewhere. There are some places where gender neutrality just doesn’t work. Very soon, we’ll have some hardcore feminists saying we should stop differentiating between man and woman. We shall be known as the race of the ‘indeterminates’. (I can see a lot of mathematicians thinking this is funny…. 'indeterminates' ...lol)