A crackpot university somewhere has decided that words containing the word “man” in them, as if designating a “man” of some kind, are to be verboten on campus.
Hence a “mailman” — whether he’s a man or not — is no longer to be a “mailman” but a “mail carrier.” “Mankind?” Nope. “Humanity” or “humankind” or some other word. And, of course, “Freshman” would go away, in favor of “First-year Student.”
You and I have long been aware of the disappearance of all “firemen,” who — whether they were men or not, as the vast majority of them were, and are — were replaced a long time ago by “fire fighters.”
The crackpot university spokesdoofus (not a “spokesman,” of course) said something to the effect that: “People are no longer aware of the term ‘man’ as referring to all people, so we have decided not to use the term anymore.”(1)
Bunch of whackadoodle, lame-brained, half-witted piffle, produced by what remains of the brains of a gaggle of bedraggled, dried-out, wheezing, drugged-up, washed-out, reactionary, old, Lennon-glasses, wispy combed-over, hippy gas-bags, seeking late-autumn-of-their-lives validation in the fever swamps of political correctness.
Here’s what should happen now. Some sparkly-eyed freshman at the university in question should go into one of his classes and say to his professor:
“Professor: I have to tell you, I’m mad as hell about this idiotic policy about using the word “man.” Do you agree with the policy? And, if so, are you going to mark people like me down, who say or write, for example, “mankind” in class? I need to know this, because if you do agree with the policy, then you’re probably too much of an idiot to be any kind of a teacher of anything.
“It’s not my responsibility to dumb down my word usage for the less literate among us. Rather, it is their responsibility to learn new things… like the meanings of words. It used to be that we came to universities like this one to learn new things, not to be indoctrinated, or bullied into giving away our basic freedoms.
“If you agree with this hyper-moronic policy, then you’re literally saying to me that if I submit a paper to you that (1) contains a word whose meaning you and I both know, and (2) if that word is appropriately used to mean the correct thing in my paper, and (3) it is not a dirty word, and (4) it is not a swear of any kind, and (5) it is correctly spelled, but (6) that word is “mankind” or “freshman,” or “mailman,” then you will take points off my paper.
“If you agree with the policy, then that would show you to be far too stupid to be a teacher, and would disqualify you from ever standing in front of a classroom again, in any context. You should then go find a local Stop & Shop who could use a bagboy — oops: bag-person — because you obviously don’t have the intellect to do anything that would require thinking.
“Professor: we live in America, where it used to be that we had something called “free speech,” which was once a powerful tool in protecting us against the tyranny of half-wits like the ones at this university who would pretend that they have the power, or that they have the moral right to tell you and me what we can say and when.
“To Hell with that!
“So, professor, how do you feel about the policy?”
(1) – This is a paraphrase. I’m not sure how the announcement came out, but what I have described is at least the correct meaning of the university’s intent.