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November, 1981

December, 1981

Coming Events
President's Message (Barbara Farwell)
Frustrating, Fascinating Legislative Process - "An Act of Congress"
Wine and Cheese Bash
International Scene - Japan and Hawaii -- International Relatives (Dottie Gullicksen)
Outstanding Woman!
Save the Voting Rights Act!
Hawaii Congressional Votes on Issues of Interest (Mabel Keesling)
Development Plans - At Last! or Alas! ?
Volunteers for Vote Counts
Have You Heard?
Membership Update
December Luncheon Meeting
Viewpoint on Sexist Language (Lona Wyatt)

A Viewpoint on Sexist Language

ARDIS SHAW is our Viewpoint voice on KHVH

There has been much commotion over feminist efforts to neutralize the gender of the English language. Many oppose these endeavors claiming there is no such thing as sexist language; they say male terms such as chairman and mankind are by implication intended to include women. Females who insist on being called chairperson are nitpickers.

Not so! Language not only communicates reality, it can affect our perception of it. Sexist language excludes and alienates women and places her outside the human experience.

See what happens when the tables are turned. Let's say you're a man who reads newspaper polls of the commonwoman, work so many womanhours, are interviewed by a newswoman while smiling for the camera-woman, read chapters from the Ascent of Woman, and confer with a saleswoman. You hire a handywoman, discuss with a policewoman the penalties of womanslaughter and your mailwoman delivers your business woman's magazine with the introductory letter addressed "Dear Madam."

Don't you think that at the end of the day as you offer your thanks to the creator of all womankind that you would feel a bit left out? That your existence was not quite equal to that of your sexual counterpart?

Including women in the English language and in the human experience by implication is not good enough. Women must be included in fact, and we should all be busy modifying our language accordingly!

Lona Wyatt

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