While we’re on the subject of whether ‘man’ is an inclusive term, and whether we’re being too sensitive when we object to it, let’s consider the single most pervasive use of the term “man” or “men”. It’s one most people see a great many times in the course of the day.
Walk down the hall where you work, folks. Somewhere there are two little rooms full of plumbing. One says ‘Men’ on the door. Go ahead, somebody, tell me that includes ‘women’. Try and convince me it’s an inclusive term when the most common use is to exclude.
Repetition makes familiarity. When “men” means Keep Out: This Means You, and everybody knows it, thinking gets conditioned.
Sorry about the length, but the subject has me pissed off.
Virginia Bemis @ http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/inclusive_lang.html
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