As 2009 begins, the State of Washington faces many pressing issues, most notably a projected $5+ billion deficit, rising unemployment, aging infrastructure and gridlock on our highways. I'm heartened to hear that our dedicated legislators are hard at work in Olympia, fighting for the citizens of our state with such groundbreaking legislation as SB 5038, "An act relating to making technical corrections to gender-based terms." This behemoth is 397 pages and meticulously details the changes to be made in each law currently on the books.
I wish I were kidding, but I'm not. Someone has carefully - painstakingly - searched out each gender specific reference and replaced them: person in place of man; he or she in place of he; chair in place of chairman...you get the picture.
This is the kind of meaningless gesture of which liberals are fond. They can point to this exercise in futility to show how sensitive they are to gender issues without actually accomplishing anything of value. Or doing any thing crazy like actually showing some respect to the opposite gender (Sarah Palin ring a bell?).
That being said, if they're set on doing this, they ought to go all out and do it right. I'd like to offer a suggestion. Rather than replace "he" with "he or she, " which is awkward, I suggest we a whole new third person pronoun, "s**t," which is a combination of "s/he" and "it," all cleaned up to make it suitable for children.
Consider this excerpt from RCW 4.24.040 and Code 1881 s 1226.
...he s**t shall do it at such time and in such manner, and shall take such care of it to prevent it from spreading and doing damage to other persons' property, as a prudent and careful man person would do, and if he s**t fails so to do he s**t shall be liable in an action on the case to any person suffering damage thereby to the full amount of such damage.
Works nicely, don't you think?
S**t. I would have to say that pretty much sums up how I feel about our Legislature wasting their time on this pointless, well, s**t. To the Labor and Commerce Committee, however, it was so important that they considered it as one of their first pieces of business.
The legislature could be considering the supplemental budget, passing cuts that would start saving the State money right now. Instead, they're working on this.
Cross posted at It's Only Words