Gender-neutral pronouns are becoming more common as identity becomes more fluid. EMILY THEIS/STAR TRIBUNE

The goal of political correctness is to eliminate racial and sexual discriminations promoted by the English language, whether those discriminations are made consciously or accidentally. To this extent there has been success, although conservatives still refuse to acknowledge the benefits of political correctness. The singular form of the word “they,” for example, has eliminated the gender discrimination inherent in the usage of gender pronouns, not to mention with respect to cissexuals and people whose gender identity is different from the one they were assigned at birth. By beginning with the correction of discriminatory words and phrases of the English language, we can ensure equality for all groups.

One aspect of the English language, however, has been surprisingly overlooked. In our attempts to establish gender and sexual equality, we have failed to guarantee total etymological equality. Maybe it is because the discrimination innate in the etymology of this particular word isn’t as overt as it is in gendered pronouns. This word, which needs to be changed in order to achieve true political correctness, is the word, “human.”

The word “human,” similar to the word “woman,” falsely promotes the idea of male superiority. Notice how the word “man” is conspicuously prominent in the term, “human,” as though it is the males who are the defining aspect of the species “homo sapiens.” However, males are far from being the identifying characteristic of our species. According to the United States Census Bureau, there are actually more females than males in America — the 2014 United States Census documents the population having 159,806 females in the U.S. which is 6,211 more than the number of males in the country. This is gender and identity discrimination of the highest order, for it is a gross misrepresentation of gender dynamics, yet it has gone unchecked.

How should we correct this grievous offence? I, personally, suggest that we change the term, “human” to the term, “being.”  The word “being” in and of itself doesn’t promote one gender category and is neutral, thus respecting all genders, including transgender, third gender and agender.  Also, it isn’t as lengthy as the term “homo sapien,” which further proves its usefulness in replacing the sexist term “human.” (The main reason “homo sapien” itself isn’t a suitable candidate is because the Latin word “homo” has become a microaggression degrading the homosexual population.) At the same time, the term “being” signifies that we are greater than brute animals, for in nature male dominance is all too common.  Tomcats, for example, take it upon themselves to impregnate any female cat they come across, as do male dogs and stallions. We, on the other hand, have fully realized the importance of gender equality, and thus need to distinguish ourselves from such barbarity, which the term “being” successfully accomplishes. “Being” has, for a long time, been associated with some kind of divine knowledge, whether it be the Abrahamic Yahweh (another misconception of masculine domination that needs to be addressed at another time) or the fictional, eldritch “Old Gods” of H.P. Lovecraft.  Consequently, “being” allows for the elimination of gender discrimination in an important part of the human language while asserting our species’ superiority to other animals on the planet Earth.

Unfortunately, the replacement of the term “human” with “being” will probably not be realized in this year, certainly with President Donald J. Trump in office. President Trump in particular has taken it upon himself to prevent the correctness of the English language, with one of his campaign promises being to replace the perfectly tolerant phrase “Happy Holidays” with the phrase “Merry Christmas,” discriminating against holidays such as Kwanzaa and Festivus. Indeed, the conservative movement as a whole stands as a prominent obstacle and unfortunately cannot be bypassed easily.

Therefore, we must compromise. Today, the term “human” shall remain in use, but we must demand equality elsewhere.  I suggest that we try to correct the term “man.” In relation to “woman,” “man” has no prefix, suggesting that “man” and “woman” are different when they are actually equal.  Since “woman” and “female” derives its etymology from the adjective “feminine,” the term “man” should derive its etymology from the adjective “masculine,” thus creating equality, albeit an impure equality, of the two terms. As such, “man” should be “maman” or “mamale” to contrast with “woman” and “female.” This shouldn’t be too radical of a departure for conservatives and hopefully they will begrudgingly agree to accept such terms.

If we need to create gender equality in our language, we need to correct the etymology of words like “human.”  We have been looking too much at the obvious offenders like gendered pronouns, ignoring the subtle microaggressions that, like Russian spies, stealthily hide themselves in terms previously deemed to be “gender neutral.”  Only when we conduct a thorough search of the English language, with support from a female president like Hillary Clinton or Oprah Winfrey, will we be able to truly obtain a state of political correctness.

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