The Macmillan Publishing Company recently issued a booklet called “Guidelines for Creating Positive Sexual and Racial Images in Educational Materials.”· Its purpose is to instruct authors in the use of sex-neutral language, concepts, and illustrations in order to conform to the new Macmillan censorship code.
Henceforth, you may not say “mankind,” it should be “humanity.” You may not say “brotherhood,” it should be “amity.” “Manpower” must be replaced by “human energy”; “forefathers” should give way to “precursors.” “Chairman” and “salesman” are out; the “in” words are “chairperson” and “salesperson.”
You are forbidden to say “man the sailboat.” The acceptable substitute is not given; presumably it is “person the.. sailboat.” You must not say “the conscientious housekeeper dusts her furniture at least once a week”; you must say “the furniture” By the former you would be implying that the housekeeper is a woman and that would be intolerable. You may not say “the cat washed herself;” it must be “the cat washed itself” because it would be sexist to imply that the cat is female.
The section forbidding sexism in textbook illustrations is even funnier. According to the Macmillan Guidelines, males must be shown wearing aprons just as often as females. Father should be pictured doing household chores, nursing a sick child, and doing the shopping; mother working at her desk while dad clears the dining room table; little girls reaching toward snakes instead of recoiling from them; boys crying, looking coy, or preening in front of a mirror; and fathers using hair spray.
Women must be shown participating actively “in exciting worth while pursuits,” which, by apparent definition, do not include being a homemaker. The Guidelines warn that books will not be tolerated which glorify “the woman’s role” or which indicate that “homemaking is the true vocation for a woman.”
The Macmillan Guidelines reach the height of absurdity when they deliver a stern rebuke to the history book that refers to Sacajawea as “an amazing Shoshoni Indian women” because she led the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the Rockies “with a young baby strapped to her back.” According to the Macmillan Guidelines, the use of the word “amazing” is intolerable sexist propaganda which perpetuates “the myth of feminine fragility.” It is a pity that our school children can no longer be told that Sacajawea was “amazing” because the historical fact is that her physical accomplishment was never matched by man or woman.
The Macmillan Guidelines reserve·their most stinging rebuke for the four-letter word “lady,” terming it “distasteful” specifically because it connotes “ladylike” behavior.
The Macmillan Guidelines for Positive Sexual and Racial Images are not only a good source of laughs,, but are a healthy exposure of the hypocrisy of the liberals who have pillaried the protesting parents in West Virginia for trying to censor obnoxious four-letter words from their children’s textbooks. It just all depends on which four-letter words you are trying to censor.