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"mankind" determined a gender-specific word
Thread poster: finnword1

finnword1
United States
Local time: 20:36
English to Finnish
+ ...
Mar 22

If you encounter the word mankind, be extra careful. Dr. Anne Scott from Northern Arizona University has determined that the word is gender-specific and only includes men.

 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:36
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Thanks for the warning! Mar 22

If I receive a translation request from Dr. Scott, I will pay extra attention. In the unlikely event that this word occurs in a text from one of my other clients, I am fairly confident the meaning will not be limited to men.

 

Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 03:36
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
crazy Mar 22

people

 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:36
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
If you're free to express yourself... Mar 22

Why not say humanity or humankind instead? Simples.

 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Humankind Mar 22

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

Why not say humanity or humankind instead? Simples.


There's also "man" in "humankind".

Should we say "humankind and huwomankind" then? Or "peoplekind", as suggested by Justin Trudeau.

What about the German town of Mansfeld where I live? Perhaps it should be renamed to Personsfeld.


 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:36
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Making a mockery out of a serious matter Mar 22

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

Why not say humanity or humankind instead? Simples.


There's also "man" in "humankind".

Should we say "humankind and huwomankind" then? Or "peoplekind", as suggested by Justin Trudeau.

What about the German town of Mansfeld where I live? Perhaps it should be renamed to Personsfeld.


There's a ho inside your name too, Thomas, but who in their right mind would pay attention to something so ludicrous?


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Ridiculous Mar 22

I'm making a mockery out of it because it's utterly ridiculous.

It does not in any way address any real discrimination issues. It's just virtue signalling. It can actually harm efforts for equality by making them look ridiculous.

The language is as it is for many reasons, and when gender-neutral solutions become accepted, I use them, but it is not my job or mission to change the language or ban accepted words.


 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:36
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
'Humanity/humankind' replacing 'mankind' IS an accepted gender-neutral solution Mar 22

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

I'm making a mockery out of it because it's utterly ridiculous.

It does not in any way address any real discrimination issues. It's just virtue signalling. It can actually harm efforts for equality by making them look ridiculous.

The language is as it is for many reasons, and when gender-neutral solutions become accepted, I use them, but it is not my job or mission to change the language or ban accepted words.


It already is a widely accepted solution. Unlike the stuff you're proposing.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
At long last Mar 22

I've always considered the use of "mankind" a powerful tool of oppression.

I would also like to see a ban on the word "men" as it is not sufficiently gender-inclusive.


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
"Mankind" already included women Mar 22

"Mankind" means "Human beings considered collectively; the human race," so the term was already inclusive and gender neutral.

Ref.: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/mankind

This is nothing more than a silly play with letters that doesn't help any woman obtaining fair treatment.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:36
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
URL? Mar 22

finnword1 wrote:
Dr. Anne Scott from Northern Arizona University has determined that the word "mankind" is gender-specific and only includes men.


I googled for this but came up short. How do you know that Mrs Scott determined this?

I know that Mrs Scott was in the news about 1 year ago for refusing to make an exception to a student who wanted to use the word "mankind" in an essay (as the particular university department has a policy against using the word). Mrs Scott did not defend the department's decision but simply explained it and implemented it. I found no references that indicate or even imply that Mrs Scott later did a study about the word "mankind" and found that it includes only men.


 

B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:36
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Accuracy and prejudices Mar 22

finnword1 wrote:

If you encounter the word mankind, be extra careful. Dr. Anne Scott from Northern Arizona University has determined that the word is gender-specific and only includes men.


No, she didn't "determine" anything of the sort: she docked one mark from the student for not "looking beneath your assumptions and understanding that 'mankind' does not mean 'all people' to all people" (http://www.professorwatchlist.org/index.php/watch-list-directory/search-by-name/276-anne-scott), and also for breach of the published class policy. The critical phrase there is "to all people".

I think that some of the contributors to this thread should do some research on the reasons for using gender-neutral language. Some empathy and understanding of why the use of a term such as "mankind" might make women and girls feel excluded and invisible might be a good idea.

[Edited at 2018-03-22 15:58 GMT]


 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:36
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes Mar 22

B D Finch wrote:
I think that some of the contributors to this thread should do some research on the reasons for using gender-neutral language. Some empathy and understanding of why the use of a term such as "mankind" might make women and girls feel excluded and invisible might be a good idea.

[Edited at 2018-03-22 15:58 GMT]


Exactly. Thank you! Being inclusive is especially easy when we're freely expressing ourselves, and not interpreting language used by others (as I wrote above).


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Schmecific Mar 22

Unfortunately, the site rules and those of common decency prevent me freely expressing my opinion regarding such nonsensical tosh.

 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Actual equality Mar 22

In the 1970s, Danish feminists ditched the use of feminine occupation forms such as "lærerinde" (female teacher) in the name of equality. They all became just "lærer", which was the male form, but which became gender neutral. All the occupations became common for both genders.

Today French feminists are in a rage to feminise all occupations in the name of equality.

The two tendencies are totally contradictory. How can they both be right?

I totally support gender-neutral terms and do all I can to use them to avoid offending anyone, but sometimes it all becomes a bit ridiculous. None of this, of course, does anything to promote actual equality.

It is possible that some people feel offended by words such as “mankind”, not least because there are strong forces in society that aim to make them feel offended, but it is equally the case that when people like Justin Trudeau suggest using “peoplekind” instead of “mankind”, many others find it ridiculous, and if the just cause of equality is made to look ridiculous, it can be harmful for that cause.

Penalising a student for using a word like “mankind”, which according to accepted dictionary references is gender neutral, is a sort of political-linguistic tyranny that I totally oppose. That sort of penalty does not help acceptance of actual equality, and it can easily backfire. Maybe it makes the teacher feel self-righteous, but self-righteousness often does not result in sympathy.

“Man” has been used in the meaning of both sexes and men only through times, not necessarily because of discrimination, so many of these silly letter games are simply an attempt to airbrush history. What if men complained that unlike women they don’t have a term exclusively to themselves, but have to share “man” with women?

I couldn’t dream of discriminating anyone, and I’m saying what I say because I feel that some of these linguistic gender fights may harm actual equality.


 
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