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Monday, March 28, 2011

Real women of the world...learn to spell.

A few weeks ago, in the midst of the news of political crisis in Egypt and Libya and the earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan, President Obama informed the world that what we really needed to do was pay a little more attention to Women's History Month. 

Beyond thinking him politically tone deaf for choosing that moment to discuss something as trivial as Women's History Month while the world goes to hell around us, I didn't dwell on it much. I have classes to attend, and a husband and children who occasionally demand my attention and my time. 

But then last week at school (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) I happened past a bulletin board in the hallway near one of my classes. It read "Celebrate Womyn's Herstory Month!" I nearly cried. Ladies, who else is offended by this?

First, I would like to make the point that no amount of Political Correctness is worth spelling THAT BAD. "Womyn?" Really?
Second, the word "history" is not the rumored misogynistic "study of man" at all, but comes from the Greek "istoria," which means "to learn by investigation."
And third, it makes women's rights activists look as desperate as they are - do they really believe that the only way to make a visible impact on this world as a woman is to change words around until they get noticed?

But what really bothers me is what will eventually get me crucified by NOW (the National Organization for Women). They support these alternate spellings and such because they believe that women have been oppressed by men since the beginning of time, and that they finally have the chance to step out into the spotlight and be the unique women that they are. Not that I disagree that women are unique - I believe that we are absolutely unique, and that what we have to offer the world can never be offered by men. But I also believe that our true worth and beauty is most visible when it is held up alongside men rather than when it is bullied forth in an attempt to subvert our "oppressors." When women push themselves to the forefront to drown out all of the evil men, they all become the same. After all, how can you glorify the uniqueness of women if there is no male counterpart with which to compare? 

We are our most effective, most beautiful, as partners, not as bullies. 

And for Heaven's sake, let's not let our spelling suffer for the sake of a little recognition.

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