Castle Rock, WA
Recently a young woman in Castle Rock, Washington has gained a good bit of attention as she’s taken to posting online her various comments concerning the sexist nature of the English language, and how she intends to change it. Roxanne VanderBerg is currently a junior at Castle Rock High School and was given an end of the year assignment by her Civics teacher. The task was to come up with a significant act of social reform that could be enacted to change one thing in the United States for the better, a task that every Civics student has been given this year as a final project in lieu of finals since all classes were transferred to online platforms throughout the state.
“My idea for reform is to take the sexism out of the English language and make it more neutral and therefore more amenable for everyone involved. It’s not a feminist thing and it’s not about putting men in their place. It’s about real equality and making sure that not everything we say has the word ‘man’ or ‘men’ in it, as I believe this is a power trip that has allowed men to dominate our country for too long.” This was the proposal that Roxanne delivered to her teacher only days ago and as we’ve learned her teacher, an admitted third-wave feminist, has approved the idea and even steered Roxanne in the direction of several studies that can help her along the way.
“If the teacher were helping out other students in this manner I wouldn’t be wary of her,” said Roxanne’s mother, Elizabeth, “But I have yet to hear from other parents that their child is getting this kind of help so I’m a little leery of it, even though I can’t help but our daughter finds some way to turn this into an A paper.”
While Roxanne is still working on the idea she has made it clear that she’ll post updates as to how the paper is going, as she plans to send it to her local congressman when the idea is finished.
You know, it’s funny, but years ago this kind of thing didn’t come up and the same language has been used for generations. Who kicked who in the head to make this happen?
Well, it’s like Dylan said man, ‘the times they are a-changin’’