Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why, "Binders full of women," is offensive

There are some aspects of language which convey a mindset. Take, for example, the word, nigger. A white person who uses this word can be perceived as having a certain mindset toward people of color. Evocative of a time when whites thought themselves above blacks, better than blacks, disdainful of blacks, and all of the other prejudices one thinks of when one hears the word, a person who makes use of this word is perceived of as not having left this thinking behind to embrace a new era, but locked in an offensive past.
For the same reason, when a man refers to his, “binders full of women,” as Mitt Romney did in last night's debate, it is a telling phrase which reveals not the forward-thinking mindset of a person enlightened with the concepts of equality, but a mind which thinks of women as objects in need of handling, mollifying, quantifying, and being subject to ownership. It is not a slip of the tongue; it is a revealing peek into the psyche of the speaker.

This type of thing should be erased from the language, as should words like, “Man,”and, “Mankind.” "Humans,”  and, “Humankind,” are more enlightened terms. And phrases such as , “our women,” when a man refers to the female members of a group to which he belongs, are also offensive. A better phrasing in this instance would be, “the women of (insert club, group, or organization).” Of course, it is hard to change one’s speech when one is stuck in a certain mindset. 

Language can be revealing.



Anonymous said...

There are certainly better attitudes that people should have concerning women, their abilities and their possibilities.

ICQB said...

Hi Anonymous!

As you can tell, I agree : )