Re: gender bias in language

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Fri, 7 Apr 1995 10:45:50 -0400

When I was just starting to learn about anthropology (mid '50's) ther
word "man" was used all the time, and specifically, in the early '60's
when I embarked on graduate studies in human evolution, "man" to me meant
all of humanity, males and females. It wasn't until the 'early '80's (in
my case) that I was aware that some small segment of my classes found the
use of the term "man" as in "man's" evolution" offensive. I stopped using
"man" and replaced it with "human", and that is now very close to second
nature for men. Still, I don't care how many dictionary quotes we may
the offensive slight taken is almost always in the eye of the beholder,
and I would accept the argument that that audience is mostly radical
feminist. How much more of our lives do we want to spend on this issue?
Most of us, in good faith, try to accommodate on this issue. R.I.P. Ralph