There I was with an enlightened and predominantly female group discussing modern art and out of the female curator’s mouth came the word mankind. At my daughter’s elementary school the hip young gay teacher has written on his chalkboard “mankind,” and the pronoun for God was he. I felt like I was revisiting the 1980s. Maybe I am a dinosaur but I really thought that in 2016 inclusive language would be part of the vernacular of the young. This is not PC; it should be normalized by now. God is not a he, we are not mankind but humanity. I can remember teaching my toddler son that God was not a he or she but a Spirit beyond a singular gender identity. Of course this became a problem when he, with his new found knowledge, tried to correct my parents in their gendered language and began to speak in his toddler little voice that God is not a he or she but, wait for it, a ferret. He could not say his sps yet. Inclusive language was a stretch for my parents but this new god as animal thing was a bridge too far.
Inclusive language has been around awhile and is one of my measurements whether a person has really considered things or have they only accepted the culture around them. One of the problems in society today is that the liberal fashion has caught on. So now you can have ‘hip’ people in dress and style but not in their thinking. Their thinking even has a shadow of liberality but is conservative once you look behind the curtain. So to defend myself I have made markers of true liberals. Inclusive language is the beginning. And believe you me you can ferret out quite a few people this way. If I use the pronoun she for God and they look at me confused or with that “you must be a liberal” look I know that if [your other is a liberal] you must be a conservative if “she” for God confuses or bothers you, you must be a conservative.
Now some will say labeling people is not cool. I propose do not ask me what church I go to, where do I work or live because this is the beginning of the labeling process. Of course we label people; it is not the labeling that is the problem, it is what you do with the labels. You may not use inclusive language and in my book you are leaning conservative but I will respect you and I will assist you but I also will not go on a liberal rant (unless necessary). To be clear I do not consider myself a liberal but a radical thinker. A radical thinker does not fall cleanly into either camp. But is literally in a world unto themselves.
But I digress. Trump has shown us the patriarchy is alive and well. Use inclusive language. When this practice becomes habit you will be ready to move to a conversation about there are more than two genders discussion. Which is the discussion that is now on the plate and has its own inclusive language issues.