The importance of non-oppressive and inclusive language
Wanted to add another thought while I’m reading.
I agree with Minako’s assessment that the authors of Manifesta write a bit too much about Ms. to the point where I feel like skipping over material at times.
I took pretty great displeasure at reading this in particular, however:
“Because Ms. is so dedicated to nonsexist language, it always misses the boat on slang and will sacrifice the flow, ease, and punch line of a sentence in order to expunge potential sexism. (You can’t spell blond “blonde,” you can’t use the phrase “the blind leading the blind,” and so on.)”
I’m having a real tough time swallowing this, as well as the usage of the verb “bitch” further up on the same page to refer to complaints from radical feminists, among other similar word usages peppered in the text. Do the authors really feel it’s more important to have zingy sentences that use the cultural narratives of those words to reinforce their points—as well as reinforce the power of those words themselves—instead of just, you know, not doing that and being sensitive and inclusive?
Looking at the above quote in context, the impression I got was that they felt Ms. should use “slang” in order to not be “dry, humourless, [and] dogmatic,” even if that means using disparaging terms. It makes me consider who, exactly, the authors have in mind when considering the readership of both Ms. and their own book.
This seems counter to my previous post: we’re all in this together, so why the hell would you value the impact of your writing on people with privilege over the effects that same writing would have on the unprivileged?
The rest of Manifesta is great so far, but this was something that really made me go, “WAIT WHAT.” Do not want, please.