Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ruminations on Yesterday

After a long, very sound sleep, I woke up still thinking about yesterday's experience. My distress had turned the corner from specific to general. I had focused my thoughts on the treatment of animals in general and am outraged. How much furious firing of neurons has taken place in my brain over this issue? I wonder how many tortured tears I have shed? Because I take no solace in "doing my small part' I haven't helped the situation at all. I've simply screamed and shook my fist, feeling powerless.

I was talking yesterday with Serita about the power of language. It must have been that which inspired my one, long-term partial solution. When I wrote about humanity last night, I realized how hard it is to use "correct" English as I learned it. The use of the masculine pronoun, correct in my day, is lumping us into one sex called "he" as if the feminine were a subset of the male human race. The awkward way we now use he/she, him or her, etc. makes the verbs in the sentence unmanageable. What once was clearly singular is now plural, creating a particular problem with modifiers and verbs.

My suggestion is to use the more universal "it." We homogenize the sexes of other animals, why not ourselves? No more implication of male or female..............The person picked up its suitcase, the small person ate its ice cream.........We have no need to designate sex in most conversation. If we could emphasize with language the sameness between species rather than the differences, the result would be a subtle kinship that might change our way of thinking over the years. It's much easier to blow the brains out of an "it" than a "he" or "she."

Oh, man.......................

1 comment:

from away said...

I think it's true that it is easier to kill an "it." I'm not sure that's an improvement. :)

The situation with the deer does highlight how We interact with animals. Roadkill is one set of issues, indifference to roadkill is yet another. Then there's the huge issue of food... and many others.