Thursday, June 5, 2014

Watch what you say

When somebody mentions their doctor, do you automatically picture a man? How about secretaries, do we picture a woman automatically? If a man says he wants you to meet his spouse, do you immediately think he is referring to a woman? We need to change the way we think and they way we say things! If we really believe in equality, we should think about things like this.

I remember a television commercial for a deodorant, many years ago that talked about an airline pilot. Viewers were thinking of a man flying the aircraft, but in the last frame we see that it is actually a woman. Even those of us who fight every day for equality, can't get those images out of our head that we have been conditioned to see. When reading someone's biography, when we see that they are married, most of us still assume the opposite sex.

With Pride Month upon us, I was thinking about terminology and how we often speak with words that are outdated.  With that in mind, Pronouns that refer to gender are often misused out of ignorance.  Our transgender sisters and brothers should expect that they will be referred to with the gender they have transitioned to.  It is ignorant to call a man "she" and just plain mean to say "it."

I was thinking that we need to watch what we say.  Perhaps we also need to watch what we think.  Is it conditioning or prejudice? Can we open our minds to see a bigger picture?

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