It appears San Diego City Hall has been overrun by a wild pack of militant, man-hating feminists who are hell-bent on neutering the King’s English.
To quote “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy,” Great Odin’s raven!
City Hall recently published an edict on bias-free language – part of a larger correspondence manual for city workers.
“Our goal is to encourage bias-free language – language that does not create or perpetuate real or perceived prejudice – in our written and spoken communication,” the city explained in its manual.
So in the spirit of inclusion and neutrality the city directed employees to stop using words like mankind, manpower, gentleman’s agreement and Founding Fathers.
You see, in the politically-correct cesspool known as City Hall – the Founding Fathers are looked upon as relics of a gender-biased world.
I suspect Ben Franklin would have told city leaders to go fly a kite.
“It’s an extreme form of political correctness,” Pacific Justice Institute attorney Matthew McReynolds told me.
The Pacific Justice Institute, an organization that defends civil liberties, offered to represent any city worker punished for invoking the Founding Fathers.
“We cannot allow this type of censorship and PC insanity to destroy our free speech,” PJI president said.
City Hall promptly responded to PJI’s call to retract its ban on the Founding Fathers by removing the reference from its manual.
“No employee has ever been disciplined for referencing our founding fathers, and no one ever will,” their statement read.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer also weighed in on Twitter:
“Suggesting that our Founding Fathers should be referred to as 'Founders' is political correctness run-amuck. We are proud of our nation's history and there is nothing wrong with referring to the Founding Fathers. At my direction this was removed yesterday from the City's correspondence manual. The manual will be reviewed for other misguided examples that defy common sense and changes will be made accordingly.”
But City Hall does not have so much of a problem with the Founding Fathers as they do the male species in general.
Consider page 77 of the city’s correspondence style guide – where nearly 20 words are deemed inappropriate.
Among the words are newsman, postman, policeman, weatherman, workman, chairman, fireman, foreman and the list goes on and on and on. Notice a particular trend?
They even ban the word “anchorman” – which reminds me of a great line from the Will Ferrell movie of the same name: “It’s anchorman, not anchorlady – and that is a scientific fact.”
“We are aware of the need to use language that recognizes our diversity and does not offend, demean or exclude people on the basis of gender, race, ethnic group, religion, age, ability/disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, familial or marital status, or political affiliations,” the city wrote in its manual.
The city graciously offered a number of alternative suggestions to the words and phrases they considered gender-biased.
Instead of mankind, they recommended we use words like people, humanity or the human race. Instead of man-made, we should say synthetic, artificial or “of human origin.”
And instead of using the phrase “the common man”, we should consider saying “average person” or “ordinary people.” Imagine how much more inspirational Copeland’s song would have been had he simply titled it, “Fanfare of the Average Person.”
It’s a pity, truly, that San Diego City Hall seems to think our language is too manly. Of course, these days society frowns up not only manly nouns but manly men.
It is, what it is, America.
As Mr. Burgandy, San Diego’s most famous anchorman, so eloquently opined: “I’m a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. That’s what kind of man I am.”
I wonder if San Diego City Hall has come up with a gender neutral word for dingbat?