We have been discussing the identification of words as “microaggressions” on college campuses including the now suspect use of the word “mankind.” It appears that the word is moving from micro to macro aggression in Canada where a women was told by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that she should not use the word in her question to him. He is not alone in correcting such usage. Recently, a female student was given a lower grade for using “mankind” in a paper.
The woman asked the following question at a town hall:
“So, that’s why we came here today to ask you, to also look into the policies that religious charitable organizations have in our legislation so that it can also be changed because maternal love is the love that’s going to change the future of mankind.”
Trudeau immediately corrected her on the use of the word that “We like to say ‘peoplekind,’ not necessarily ‘mankind,’ because it’s more inclusive.”
Canada is moving to make the country’s national anthem gender neutral (including asking athletes at the Olympic to use the corrected language). The bill changes the second line of “O Canada” from “true patriot love, in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command.” However, even if one prefers “peoplekind” (apparently “humanity” is not sufficiently neutral), I would have thought that it was still a permissible noun and people could use mankind without a public correction or censure. Indeed, some people may have political or religious preferences for one word over another.
Trudeau however feels that people using the work mankind should be corrected publicly.
What do you think?