Believe it or not, there’s another no-go word in the feminine activists’ vocabulary. “Girl’. From their military barracks comes the command, “Don’t ever call us girl!” I picture the commandant in army garb, with jackboots and all (a blonde ponytail the only indication that she’s a she) directing the diatribe against innocent guys who traditionally use the word as a term of endearment.
OK, the word can be abused. But so can “darling” or “dearest”. My mom used to scold the daughters, prefixed with ‘My darlings”. Then, “If you don’t pick up your clothes from the floor I’ll knock your head right off your shoulders”. Or from my dad to my mom: “Dearest, your rice tastes like mush”. Fair enough, the commandant then has reason to lash out with salivating tongue. So it all comes down to context. Let’s face it, in most cases these labels are meant genteel, loving.
A few years back, as editor of local newspapers, I referred to my spouse as “wifey” in a column. I was verbally attacked by a bank teller (or tellertron?) in the presence of long Saturday morning queues. “Folk, there stands the man who calls his spouse Wifey”. She leaves her counter and stuffs a braai apron with the words, “Big Chauvinist” in my shaking hand. I’ve refused to don the offensive thing as it sends a false message to my braai pals. Wifey remains, because that’s exactly who she is: My dear wife. And no imbecilic fanatic will stop me from using the word.
Who are these women allegedly speaking up for their sisters? What are their backgrounds? What’s their claim to fame?
Just the way they go about laying down their selfish law makes me think of the greenies’ fringe. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see the environment being messed up – and so do most normal folk - but there are ways to get the message through without taking to the streets, buildings and boats by unlawful means.
Getting back to the commandant and her army. Has she forgotten the true meaning of feminism? It is the belief and aim that women should have the same rights, power, and opportunities as men. And surely this alone is a big enough job to pursue, leaving no time to scrutinise the dictionary for spook words.