Re: gender bias in language

Sun, 9 Apr 1995 21:38:23 EDT

more widely and so am posting it to the list as a whole. Those of you
who agree with Lief (and I know you're out there -) ) consider yourselves
included in the salutation. Cheers....Denise O'Brien

----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Mr. Hendrickson: have you ever considered the degree to which your
surname reflects historically constituated practices re gender and
naming? Who was the "original" Hendrick whose "son" you are?? Who
was that original (?) Hendricks wife and thus presumably the mother of
the "son" whose name you bear??
I have read your posts re gender and language over the last few
months and still fail to understand your point of view. I do not consider
myself a radical feminist (however you might regard me) but am still con-
fused over your apparent inability to understand--let alone sympathize--
(or empathize) with persons who do think that language is important in
its labeling function. Would you continue to call a category of Americans
"nigger" rather than "African-American" simply because the former term had
etymological and historical significance/validity? Probably you wouldn't
do so out loud--nor would most Americans these days.
Whether one calls this PC (political correctness),or--what is that
delightful term?----feminazicopism??-----as an anthropologist, I assume you
are aware of the "tyranny of the informant" or the need to get it right re
the native culture. American female natives keep telling you they don't
want to be called "man" or referred to as "mankind"-----HEY, LISTEN!!!
Denise O'Brien