I am not a guy.
Yesterday I watched Sunday Morning, a CBS television magazine. As they flashed pictures of events from 2013 on the screen a picture of Margaret Thatcher appeared. The word used to describe her career was, "Statesman." I was very disappointed. I thought they knew better.
I am not a kind of a man!
I also watched part of a program on The History Channel called Mankind: The History of All of Us. If they mean all men than the title was appropriate. During the time I watched the program I saw many women feeding children or killed by invading armies but there was no mention of the contributions of women to history. Maleness is not the normative gender for the human race.
Language creates reality. Male generic language erases femaleness from our vocabulary and our consciousness.
Not Counting Woman and Children
Each of the four gospels record an event where large numbers of people were fed. The story of the loaves and the fishes is found in Mark 6:32-44, Matthew 14:14-21, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:8-20. John says it was people who were fed. Luke and Mark say it was five thousand men. Matthew also says five thousand men were fed. But Matthew adds the phrase, "Not counting women and children." If Matthew had not added that phrase we might be left to believe only men followed Jesus. Male generic language erases the presence of women and their children. We look for ourselves in Paul's writing to the brothers and we add sisters believing that we must have been included. Every time we call women "guy" or "dude" or assume that women are included under the umbrella of mankind we diminish and erase ourselves, our mothers, our daughters, our sisters and our friends. I think women are too wonderful to be erased.