Re: 'Human' and its inclusivity

Faybienne Geenhuizen (fgeenhzn@IU.NET)
Fri, 7 Apr 1995 08:06:30 -0400

Language change advocated by feminists is resisted because it is
arbitrary and non-natural? This distinguishes it from what?

All language is arbitrary and non-natural. It is an artifact
created by our ancestors and modified in each generation.
In this time and place the artifacts "man" and "mankind", when
used to denote our species, are becoming an awkward fit with
the changes that are taking place in our society.

With the suffix "-kind" meaning "type," then humankind means persons
of the human type, as was stated, but mankind means persons of the
man type, which requires the female listener to remind herself that,
in this particular application, she, too, is a man.

Faybienne Geenhuizen