Action Alert!

foiled again!

By Diogenes (articles) | Sep 01, 2006

So you thought the Mounties had morphed out of their valiant traditions of chivalry? Not a bit of it. On their website, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police prove they're still out to rescue damsels in distress. What villainy, you ask, threatens today's north-of-the-border maiden? Gender stereotyping!

[Warning: the material below may be inappropriate for younger viewers.]

Our heroine, we are given to understand, finds herself menaced on all sides by insensitive pronoun usage and communications that fail to reflect recognition of the full range of her interests and capabilities. God knows what would happen if the crime were permitted to rage unchecked. The RCMP, thank heaven, has instituted Sex-Symmetrical Language Norms -- and in the nick of time: "All persons," the Mounties warn, "have a responsibility to ensure that written or visual material prepared by them conforms to these guidelines."

How the wicked must tremble.

The Mounties mean business, not only laying down the law, but giving us dos and don'ts to make our duty perfectly clear.

Identify women by their own names if known, and title where required, rather than through their association with someone else.

Don't use: Madame Vanier, wife of the former Governor General, was guest speaker at the conference.
Do use: Madame Vanier, chancellor of the University of Ottawa and co-founder of the Vanier Institute of the Family, was guest speaker at the conference.

I think I get it: "Monica, vice-president of the Tagaste Garden Club, and saint, prayed for conversion of a person who went on to become the Roman Catholic Bishop of Hippo." See? Her dignity is intact.

Use the plural wherever possible

Don't use: Each director should prepare his budget.
Do use: Directors should prepare their budgets.

"... and you have butter on your chins."

A job description should encourage both women and men to enter non-traditional fields. The duties should be carefully described to make clear that they can be performed by men or women, and to avoid misrepresenting the skills required, to the disadvantage of either sex.

Don't use: Required to regularly lift 100 lb. weights.
Do use: Uses mechanical equipment or makes suitable arrangements for lifting weights up to 100 lbs.

This last guideline gives the game away. The enforcers live in a paper world, with paper people, in which paper firefighters exit paper buildings carrying paper invalids weighing up to, but not more than, 100 paper pounds.

Is it any wonder that, in the wake of this summer's Ontario terror plot, the RCMP commissioner went out of his way not to find a Muslim connection? Unwelcome reality, as we see, can be easily and definitively altered by a word-processor -- which gives a new poignancy to the traditional Mountie motto: We Always Get Our Man.

Curses.

Richard Cross holds a doctorate in psychology, who has taught at the university level, including at Franciscan University. He is currently an educational researcher and consultant in the field of psychology and related disciplines.
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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Defender - Nov. 13, 2010 11:14 AM ET USA

    Sounds a lot like the DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons, doesn't it? Wonder who will make the movie or will they just cut and paste over some of the scenes in both movies?

  • Posted by: filioque - Nov. 10, 2010 6:26 PM ET USA

    LOL!

  • Posted by: parochus - Nov. 10, 2010 6:13 PM ET USA

    Am I reading something in it when they call Agca the "unsuccessful assasin [sic]"?