I was going to continue the writing on the Spirit of the Rebel - I’m fully going to continue those thoughts, but noticed something creeping in as I spoke of a theoretical rebel. Now, in my mind, my anyone can potentially be a rebel - all it takes is speaking truth to power, standing against power, not blindly accepting the dictates of the status quo (which, usually, is bunk).
But as I walked up the road on an errand hashing out the ideas for that post (which will come, I promise!) While yes, I don’t necessarily cite evidence in my blogs, they’re intended as more anecdotal musings or rants on issues, but still, a lot of thought goes into some of them.
Anyway, So there I was, thinking about this rebel. And I noticed something I’m a little ashamed of. I was trying to phrase them as gender neutral - they in my ideas. But as I spoke (yes, I think out loud and no, it’s not a sign of madness, I just remember stuff a bit better that way). But almost every time it came to speak of this rebel, I’d slip and say he.
Seems like a small thing, right? Not really. “But,” you say, “That’s how english works! generic terms refer to ‘he’, usually.” And you would be correct. And that’s exactly what’s wrong - it diminishes the role of women, or those with a gender other than male or female (and yes, douchebag trolls, there are people who identify as such. Deal with it). But I’d bought into that narrative all these years. Now, when I say it, it sounds grating. I was amazed just how strongly it seems to be in my habits, and it’s somethng I want to break. So, if I refer to a hypothetical, generic person as ‘he’ on this blog from now on, call me out on it.
Now, let me be clear what this means - I will still refer to ‘he’ when the person is intended as a he. I’f I’m referring to a hypothetical MRA douchebag, I’ll say he, because they are almost without fail terrible people and I’m not going to dump that on women (as an aside, I was listening to an atheist podcast today (The Non-Prophets) and one of the hosts used the term ‘MasculaNazi (sic) ’ to refer to MRA assholes. Would Male Nazi or something like that be better? I like the idea, anyway.
Aaanywho, the male genericism (is that a word? probably not, but I like it, and you know what I mean). It helps perpetuate patriarchy. I’m not saying you have to get rid of it entirely, but mix it up at least. Use ‘she’ or ‘they’ sometimes. You’ll hopefully make an MRA douchebag cry, and that is a *good* thing.