Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Necessary Corrections

Quarter-page "paid advertisement" in today's Minneapolis StarTribune:

"Set aside the proposed Marriage Ammendment.

"We are pastors, rabbis, seminary professors and other religious leaders in Minnesota."

Has everyone spotted the fun phrase so far? It's "other religious leaders." 261 people are listed. Only 12 actually state their leadership credentials: the rabbis.
Actually I'm not sure what "My-O" means. One Zen Buddhist is listed, My-O Habermas-Scher. That could be a clerical rank.

I don't see any shamans.

But let us continue.

"We are disturbed by the bitterness and lack of kindness that has emerged in our State by the proposals for a Constitutional Amendment which would ban marriages, civil unions or legal equivalents between persons of the same gender."

Sigh. I know no one's listening, but damn it, "gender" is a grammatical term. "Gender" is for nouns. People have a "sex." One of two, usually.

"It is unconscionable that we would amend our State Constitution to take away the rights of any group of people."

Note to copywriter: you cannot "take away" something no one possesses. There is no "right" to same sex marriage in Minnesota. So no one can take it away. See?

"We believe that primary relationships between people are important and should be encouraged, not put down."

"Put down"? Well hello, 1972! Long time no see! Groovy bellbottoms, man! Wanna get high?

"We believe God calls us to love and care for each other."

And have as much sex as possible with as many -- oh, sorry. I got carried away by the sentiment.

"We ask our Minnesota legislators to set their minds on bringing fairness and justice to all people in Minnesota, regardless of sexual orientation."

"Fairness and justice." And they're talking about marriage. Good Lord.


angelic doctor said...

I too am irritated at the misuse of gender constantly -- it's like the term "people of color", nonsensical political correctness.

Anonymous said...

"'gender' is a grammatical term," in other words is describes and classifies, making it a adj.

I understand you're just an imbred, cousin-marrying, housewife from a-state-so-crappy-as Minnesota, but why don't you just leave the commentary to someone who will do Conservitives justice; let Ann Coulter do our work! Really you're embarressing to sll thinking conservities, like us, and fueling flameing liberials with just the kind of crap they need to strike out at us. You are a terrible strain on the party.

While you're at it, why don't you just get a job working for Bill Clinton himself!

Sue said...

Well, anonymous, good to hear from you.

You clearly don't read the blog very closely, otherwise you 'd know I'm not from Minnesota.

And you're clearly better equipped than I to do "Conservitives" justice.

Whatever "conservitives" are.

P.s. - it takes real courage and conviction to post a comment like yours and sign it "anonymous."

Mister Know It All said...

Actually it looks like the matter is open to debate:

The American Heritage® Book of English Usage.
A Practical and Authoritative Guide to Contemporary English. 1996.

5. Gender: Sexist Language and Assumptions

§ 10. gender / sex

Traditionally, writers have used the term Gender to refer to the grammatical categories of masculine, feminine, and neuter, as in languages such as French or Spanish whose nouns and adjectives carry such distinctions. In recent years, however, more people have been using the word to refer to sex-based categories, as in phrases such as gender gap (as in voting trends) and politics of gender. Anthropologists especially like to maintain a distinction between the terms Gender and sex, reserving sex for reference to the biological categories of male and female and using Gender to refer to social or cultural categories, such as different gender roles in a religious organization. According to this distinction, you would say The effectiveness of the treatment appears to depend on the sex (not Gender) of the patient but In society, gender (not sex) roles are clearly defined. A majority of the Usage Panel approves of this distinction, but opinions are mixed. In a sentence similar to the first one above, 51 percent choose sex, 31 percent choose gender, and 17 percent would allow both. Similarly, for the example Sex/gender differences are more likely to be clearly defined in peasant societies, 47 percent prefer Gender, 38 percent would use sex, and 15 percent would allow both words.