16 September 2011


I offer this brief essay by Emily L. Hauser for your consideration ~ particularly the next time you overhear (or are tempted to utter) a verbal put-down which references the other person being female (whether or not they are), or references female body parts. I've been a feminist for forty years, and minored in Women's Studies for a time as an undergrad. It amazes me that we still allow insults like "you throw like a girl", or calling someone a pussy, to continue. What are we thinking? Women scientists, police officers, political leaders, musicians, astronauts, pilots, chefs, artists, physicians, attorneys, and actors have proven that there is no field of endeavor (with the possible exception of childbirth) at which either gender can claim superiority.

Any negative expression which denigrates an entire group of people, whether it is based on gender, race, religion, sexual preference, or nationality should long since have been purged from our rational brains, not to mention from the lexicon. An insult which reduces a woman (or a man) to her/his genitalia is simply witless.

And puh-leaze, do not come at me whining about having to be politically correct. That's a cop-out. We are responsible for our thoughts, our assumptions, and our words and behavior. Most of my best friends are women, with good reason. They are less burdened than men are by the testosterone-driven need to make themselves feel better by making someone else feel worse. If you are male, disenthrall yourself of the assumption that you are inherently better than women. If you are female, never put up with that nonsense. It is up to each of us to claim the best parts of both gender stereotypes, and discard the rest. Doing so is seeking out androgyny, in the sense of seeking out equality. Our better natures demand no less.

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