The United Nations claims to be in the business of world peace, but sometimes it seems like they are only in the business of justifying their own existence and the billions of dollars they soak up every year. The official UN Twitter account contributed to world peace by chastising men and women who use so-called “gendered” words like “mankind,” “manpower,” and “fireman.” Instead, we’re supposed to use gender-neutral words like “humankind,” “workforce,” and “firefighter.” If that isn’t obnoxious enough, the caption bearing the hashtag “#GenerationEquality” instructs us to “Help create a more equal world by using gender-neutral language if you’re unsure about someone’s gender.” If the UN thinks calling someone a “representative” rather than a “businessman” is the best way to make the world more equal, they aren’t exactly shooting for the stars, are they?
The absurdity of this whole situation would be funny if it weren’t so sad. They say to use the word “spouse” instead of “husband” and “wife,” but can anyone really imagine a future where the minister says “I now pronounce you spouse and spouse?” That’s the United Nation’s idea of equality at its finest. Interestingly, they say not to call someone a “congressman.” The most obvious synonym for “congressman” is “representative,” but don’t forget that “representative” is the politically correct alternative to “businessman.” Left with no other option, the UN tells us to start calling our congressman a “legislator.” Of course, then you can’t talk about your congressman and your senator in the same sentence without sounding redundant. If this is what it takes to not be sexist, the English language is in serious trouble.
I don’t want to make it seem like there is no real sexism for the United Nations to fight. I’d be totally on board if the UN decided to campaign against the scourge of human trafficking, the blight of pornography, or the oppression of Islam. Those are all very real threats to the wellbeing of women around the world. However, the United Nations would rather spend our valuable resources fighting the oppression of tenants referring to their renters as “landlords.” Welcome to equality!