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We need a word to mean "a human person, whether of the male sex or the female sex". Historically, that word has been "man". Recently, pressure has been applied to discontinue use of that word in that sense, but I claim we should resist. If something in the English language should be changed, it should be the introduction of a new word, "heman", to designate more precisely a man of the male sex, but "man" should continue to mean "woman or heman". This article will try to explain why.
(The title here above is just an old Latin saying, which roughly translates to: "Woman is a man; Heman is a man".)
I scream on rooftops that both hemen and women have a spiritual soul. Both hemen and women are therefore persons endowed with intelligence and free will, which makes them in the image and likeness of God. My beliefs concerning women's dignity have been well exposed by others, notably in Mulieris Dignitatem.
(I have much to say against the excesses of some feminists, but that's not the topic of this article.)
There are many things which confuse anglophones trying to learn how to speak French. One of them is the baffling idea that everything has a little penis or a little vagina. In English, if you want to talk about the cutlery on the kitchen table in front of you, you'll just say "the knife" or "the spoon". But in French, you're forced to say the equivalent of "the he-knife" (le couteau) or "the she-spoon" (la cuillère), as if a knife was of the male sex and the spoon a female.
Maybe it was modest French Catholic nuns who invented the term of "gender" to talk about the non-existant genital organs of inanimate objects surrounding us. That way they could teach children about the grammar rule "adjectives accord themselves in gender and number with the noun they relate to". So French children write: "La belle cuillère" (feminine gender) but "Le beau couteau" (masculine gender). In English, we don't have to bother writing "the she-beautiful she-spoon" or "the he-beautiful he-knife".
What is even funnier is that some crazy people are now forcing us to use "gender" to talk about things which do have a penis or a vagina! A heman does have a penis, and a woman does have a vagina! Why are we using some trick invented by French Catholic nuns to avoid surgically implanting little penises and little vaginas on words that have no sex, in order to talk about human persons who DO have a sex? There is a lot to be said about this attack on reality and the sexual complementarity of hemen and women, but I'll try to stick to my topic.
What I'm trying to say here is that even if we spoke French, in which the word "man" (homme) has a gender, the masculin gender, that gender would still not be the sex. Maybe ideally all languages should clearly have a neutral gender on top of the masculin gender and the feminin gender, which would be used among others to talk about a human person, whatever its sex. But that's not how the French language is made (and I'm not sure about English).
We can avoid saying: "Men", when we talk about human persons of the male and female sex. But according to me all other alternatives are worse:
4.1) Talk only about "persons". This leads to a serious philosophical error, since the concept of "person" is broader than just "human person": it includes divine persons and angelic persons. This philosophical error is even worse because "person" means "something with intelligence and free-will", i.e. it specifically does not mention anything material (whether penises or vaginas, or arms and legs and nostrils and kidneys, etc.). We need to protect the word "person", among others because it opens a conceptual door to a better understanding of ourselves, and well as an insight into a higher order of beings.
4.2) Use an adjective instead of a substantive. We can replace "man" by "human", which seems to solve the problem. But this causes another philosophical error. "Human" is an adjective, not a substantive. If you clean up the living room in your house, and you find a lot of hair on your sofa, you can tell your wife (which has a cat you hate): "Dear! Those are feline hairs, not human hairs!" In this sentence, the word "hair" is a substantive, something which exists in itself. The word "human" is an adjective. An adjective designates something which exists in another. You won't see in the street a "red", or a "hot", or a "wet". You'll see a red bird, a hot asphalt, or a wet tree, etc. Yes, we can "substantivate" an adjective, and talk about "humans" in the sense of "men", but this damages our language, that delicate and precise instrument we use to think clearly. We exist, just like dogs exist, or trees exist. We don't exist as some kind of accessory to something else. Can you imagine how silly this situation is? Because of a few mentally sick people, we are not even permitted to talk about ourselves as beings that exist in themselves! We have to consider ourselves as "accidents", not substances!
In French, you have to add insult to injury, because in French "humans" are either "she-humans" (humaine) or "he-humans" (humain). So by adopting the English "solution" and saying "humain" instead of "homme", francophones eliminate half the human population! The stunning popularity of this manner of speaking among French-Canadians seems to be directly proportional to their ignorance of their own Mother Tongue, and their idolatry of anything American.
4.3) Human being, human race, people, etc.. A "human being", is a being that is human. So as in the example above, a human hair, because "hair" is a being, is also a human being. An expression which can mean either you, or one of your hairs (or your fingernail, or your snot, etc.), is not particularly precise. "Race" is made complicated because biologically, there are no races, just one human species. So "human species" would at least be biologically correct. (Funny sidenote: the customary French expression is "human genera" (le genre humain), which is totally incorrect since there is only one human species!) "People" is another hilarious workaround, because it's a collective term, like "a herd of cows". "People" means a group of men, but since are allowed to talk about cows, but not about men, I guess we'd have to define the word "people" as "a herd of people"!
(Because of its specificities, French also allows two more alternatives which I consider just as bad.)
No solution is going to be perfect, but I claim that introducing a new word in the English language ("heman") and keeping "men" to designate both sexes has many advantages:
5.1) The neologism "heman" has some natural affinity with the English language. French is not English. The French approach to inventing new words is to go back to its Latin and Greek roots, so for French I suggest the neologism "vir" (Latin for "he-man"), which works nicely with "virility". For English, my current best suggestion is "heman" (as in "he-man"), opposed to "woman", plural "hemen". There are several advantages to this. "Heman" and "hemen" don't already exist in my Webster's English dictionary, but "he-man" does exist, and English-speakers understand it means a male man. Also, it's visually clear that both "women" and "hemen" are "men".
5.2) Backward compatibility. In the past, even the "bad old sexist and patriachal past", whenever somebody tried to say something important, they usually meant to apply what they were saying to both hemen and women. So this solution blends in perfectly with our entire culture and civilization. For example: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind". Or again: "For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible", etc.
5.3) No need to change signs on restrooms. The reason why we separate hemen and women into different restrooms is not to be sexist or patriachal, but to protect women. Women are normally smaller and weaker than hemen. Also, and you can look up the statistics, sexual perverts are more often hemen. Having a sign saying "Women" on a door means you need the chromosomes of a woman to go there. But the other door says "Men", so anybody can go in there, hemen or women. Hemen won't mind if a confused woman comes and uses their restroom, they will not be in any danger because they are bigger and stronger.
5.4) We get back many good old words. The current madness doesn't want us to say "mailman" or "fisherman" or "fireman". But with "man" meaning both hemen and women, we don't need to debase ourselves with idiocies like "mailperson" or "fish harvester" or "firepeople".
On this web site, both women and "hemen" are men; and men, whether they are of the male or female sex, have the same dignity before God.
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