Lady, you are ‘Chairman of the Board’ — they better damn well listen!


This new world of ours is totally out of bounds.
Look at what they’re doing to our personal English nouns…
I cringe when I hear them, I can think of nothing worse than
Taking a compound noun with ‘man’ and changing it to ‘person’

Chairperson, foreperson, headperson, policeperson, or other
This screams ‘woman in charge’, grants no equality but rather
Switches focus from competence found between the ears
To what’s between the legs and back to slights of yester-years
Women, have a right to same title as male pears:

Tradesman or workman, headman or moneyman
Stageman or cameraman, gagman or funnyman
Foreman or yardsman, bossman or chairman
Garageman or bodyman, craftsman, repairman
To state a few that we can fix

But, worse than ‘person’, is the ‘female’ suffix:
Cleaninglady, forelady, charwoman, saleswoman; are some
Describing servants, to which for centuries women succumbed
Then there’s maid: barmaid, handmaid, cookmaid—any maid!
They’re still all servants, on call, their equality just a charade
Males are servants too, why specify woman on the timesheet?
In any job a woman can compete:

Bondsman or taxman, guardsman or G-man
Dockman or ferryman, shipsman or seaman
Railwayman, roadman, cabman or carriageman
Choreman or char-man, gasman or garbageman
Don’t genderize our language, please

It might not make sense, like these:
Freshman and freshwoman are certainly not the same
Or, Sylvia…”I’ll set up the chesspersons, then we’ll have a game”
And journeyman…gets to be journeywoman. It’s all quite insane
The language is neuter, don’t you see
So why can’t a woman be:

Salesman or stockman, serviceman or tableman
Horseman or coachman, groundsman or stableman
Wheelman or boatman, fisherman or jiggerman
Highwayman, bagman, hitman or triggerman

Policeman or bailman, fireman or mailman ends my list
But, I know there are other career-men I have missed
My laboured point is most emphatically this:

Lady, If you can do the job, why not keep the title given?
You are smart, you are strong; resist the common chord
Make it well known that you are: ‘Chairman of the Board’
And everyone under you—better damn well listen!

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    This Poems Story

    The English language is neuter. Whenever it becomes ‘genderfied’, that genderfication usually is pejorative, tending to keep a woman in her place and making sure she knows that place. A good example is ‘waiter’ and ‘waitress’: in context, a waiter is the man in a shirt, tie and maybe a vest, with a napkin over one arm, standing at the table, with head held high, waiting to take your order. On the other hand, the ‘waitress’ is the woman in a smock or apron, who leans across the table and wipes it with a wet cloth while you are sitting there and then ask “What can I get you, dear?” Why can’t a woman be a waiter too? Why can’t she also be: ‘Chairman of the Board’?