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.


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Show 9 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Italiana - Sep. 01, 2006 10:29 PM ET USA

    I guess our favorite movie, "Rose Marie", will be outlawed.

  • Posted by: Meg Q - Sep. 01, 2006 9:29 PM ET USA

    It's most depressing, as an American, to move up here, and discover that the Mounties are a boring, overly-political "law enforcement organization". Sure, there are good officers, but there's a LOT of nonsense - as we see. Those of us south of the border still idealize it with the scarlet-tunic-"we always get our man" stereotype, whereas the RCMP today seems to prefer to promote its image in, say, the two gay officers who got married (to each other) in the Maritimes this summer . . .

  • Posted by: - Sep. 01, 2006 6:27 PM ET USA

    How true, normnuke. In that bastion of p.c., about a mile high, as the ladies attain pump operator rank, they coudn't pull the pump discharge gates to open valves. So the pc city bought engines with electric pump gates. Problem; they don't work 30% of time. So when fire strikes, you can pray you're in the 70, or pray that 2nd pumper coming in has a male engineer and manual pump discharge gates. Or all the males on the crew can blow real hard and hope the fire goes out that way.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 01, 2006 5:06 PM ET USA

    "have a responsibility to ensure that written or visual material prepared by them conforms to these guidelines." N.I.C.E., Diogenes

  • Posted by: - Sep. 01, 2006 2:55 PM ET USA

    " ... makes suitable arrangements for lifting weights up to 100 lbs." This clearly is intended to be read as " ... gets nearest male to lift weights up to 100 lbs."

  • Posted by: - Sep. 01, 2006 12:58 PM ET USA

    So is our favorite Mountie Person now called "The Mountie formerly known as Dudley-Do-Right? I assume that individual "Always catches someones person" I have another complaint - what about RCMP -doesnt this name discourage differently abled applicants since they can't do the Mounted part? Isn't Royal a little too hierarchal? Isnt Canadian too nationalistic? And the word Police is so unwelcoming and non inclusive. I will now type the new name

  • Posted by: - Sep. 01, 2006 12:39 PM ET USA

    Now I understand: they're so busy working on their politically correct language that they completely forget to train their female mounties not to use foul language on the drivers they pull over. My 17-year old daughter's first encounter with a Mountie was incredible. (I was in the car.) The "lady" didn't stop swearing long enough to realize that the kid hadn't done what she was being accused of. Gotta keep our priorities straight . . . .

  • Posted by: rpp - Sep. 01, 2006 12:24 PM ET USA

    I just watched the Alfred Hitchcock movie, "I Confess" which is about a priest in Quebec who hears the confession of a murder then becomes a suspect. It was a great movie and showed great respect for the priesthood and the Church in Canada. That could never happen now. Canada is missionary territory. It's political leaders have more in common with Diocletian than Constantine. And the people like it that way.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 01, 2006 9:43 AM ET USA

    Clearly, this is doomed to fail since the RCMP couldn't even remember to keep an ealier initiative in mind. It should have read: Uses mechanical equipment or makes suitable arrangements for lifting weights up to 45.26 kg.