Wednesday, 27 August 2008

foreskin's lament?

just a really quick post. it seems to be a day for old fullas to be absolute morons. this from bob jones is bordering on the bizarre:

"It's typical of the Government where they have gone berserk with this sort of stuff." "It's not a feminist takeover, it's a lesbian takeover in Wellington," Mr Jones said.
"There's hardly a Government head that's not a lesbian ... so many lesbians are in top jobs and they don't want to acknowledge any sex.
It's a neutralisation of sex instead of saying foreman or forewoman."

this little rant happened because someone has decided to use the word "foreperson", to ensure gender neutral language. now i'm not particularly fussed by the use of the word "foreman", but i am fussed by this response by mr jones. how is he any authority on the subject, and why would his opinion matter at all? could it be that because mr jones is now a columnist for fairfax, this is just some free promotion by the paper? no matter the reason behind this little article, it's crap.


Tui said...

On the other hand, congratulations to Mr Jones for being able to navigate the tricky waters of the distinction between "feminist" and "lesbian". (Not that being mistaken for lesbians is exactly a feminist big issue, I just think it's ironic that he's being an asshole yet simultaneously acknowledging that the category which includes "feminist" may also include "enjoys sex with men." Which is sadly rare.)

Hugh said...

I did wonder whether you'd pick up on this.

What I find rather bizarre is that Jones seems to be implying being a feminist is OK, but being a lesbian isn't, and that being a lesbian implies a level of political commitment (or as he would put it, extremism) that a feminist doesn't. I would say almost exactly the opposite - although most lesbians I know of are fairly progressive, I can think of a few non-feminist lesbians (Dick Cheney's daughter, for one).

Julie said...

This kind of thing makes me roll my eyes so hard they're at danger of never looking forwards again.

Who cares if there are lesbians in charge anyway? We've had generations of heterosexual white men above a certain age in charge and I don't imagine Mr Jones had much of a problem with that, I wonder why that is.

On the foreman/person thing the one that really really bugs me is chairman. It really isn't at all difficult to say chairwoman when it's a woman, or just use chair instead. I had a woman give me some ridiculous thing once about how the -man stands for "manager" but it's a) not true and b) a redundancy anyway.

Megan said...

Aside from the whole "lesbian conspiracy against the patriarchy" angle, I completely agree with him.

Being a woman doesn't lessen the role, so why can't we say chairwoman or spokeswoman?

Although, fisherwoman is just ridiculous.

stargazer said...

well, because until the jury elects one, we don't know whether it'll be a foreman or a forewoman. in such a case, when you instruct the jury to select a foreman, there is an argument that you are implying a man is a more natural or better choice. there is a whole depth of research and literature around the effects of language and framing, and the impact it has on outcomes.

however, to me the issue is not the debate on whether to use "foreperson" instead of "foreman". rather, it's about mr jones' moronic rant about government heads of departments. he doesn't even bother to argue the point, he just attacks our civil servants.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Viki Hyde - Forecreature sounds much better to me. Or in Bobs case, perhaps forecretin or spokesmoron. Head of the jury would be fine, or spokesmanager.