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Friday, 31 October 2008

The Power of the Pronoun

Might I ask a favor of all who consider themselves "pro-life"?
Or perhaps, in light of the boon I beg, I should say, of "him who considers himself 'pro-life'".
Stop Saying IT!!!!!!!!!!
There was a lovely piece in my diocesan paper today, syndicated I believe, (and it took my mind off the more infuriating pieces, the column that went as far as it could to deny purgatory without quite doing so...) about parents burying and mourning a premature, stillborn infant.
And yes, the baby was so premature that the parents did not know if they were mourning a boy or a girl.
But I'm sorry, I suppose it's an old grammatical sexism that nobody wants to use, but if you don't know the sex of a person, of a human being, you can say "him," "he," "his."
And if you're just too much of an equal rights warrior, say she, her hers. Or be ungrammatical and use plural pronouns with singular verbs, I don't care but DON'T SAY "IT!"
A person is not an "it."
An embryo is not an "it."
A human being is not an "it."
A blastocyte is not an "it."
A mourned offspring is not an "it."
A fetus is not an "it."
A beloved baby, however tiny, however young, however unformed, however short-lived, however despised by health care professionals and pro-choice advocates is not an "it."


The Zapman said...

Thank you. With our latest daughter, before we found out her sex, people would constantly refer to her as it. Since I didn't want to complicate discussions by using a specific singular, I ended up using "they". It bothered me so much to find myself using it at times, because it is so entrenched now in the popular lingo. (Which is a scary thought in and of itself.)

Scelata said...

Thank you for stopping by, Zapman.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)