Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Are you an -ist or an -ism?

Are you an -ist or an -ism?? It is very popular now to add -ist or -ism to a word to categorise a person or group. If we don't have a word for it then we make one up by adding -ist or -ism to the end.

Are you a misogynist? (Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls) That in simplistic terms would be most men taken care of and categorised. As we all seem to have one woman in our lives that give us a bad time.

According to femin-ist theory, misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including all kinds of discrimination, direct denigration even violence against women. The opposite of misogyny is misandry, the hatred or dislike of men. A question to mull over would be, can a woman be a Misogynist and can a man be a Misandrist and are all women Misandrist?

The most popular -ist or -ism at the moment seems to be ageist. 

Ageism, or age discrimination is discriminating against individuals because of their age. It is personal beliefs and attitudes to justify age based prejudice and discrimination. In this politically correct world that we live in, how should we refer to the older generation. Here is the rub - no one wants to be seen to be in the "Elderly" group. Nobody wants to admit to being old it would seem. No one wants to be called "old age pensioner" or "senior citizen" either. we tend to think of "old" as 10 years older than we are. Therefore shifting the goalposts all the time.

In a recent survey the phrases "retired person, silver surfer and even grey panther" were apparently acceptable. Recently a friend referred to his father by way of a term of endearment as "The Old Silverback" a term that I quite like. It has connotations of being in-charge, alpha male, experienced, no messing with and top of the pecking order! So how should you refer to older people. After all, all old people are not the same.

Later.... The Old Silverback.

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