From Griffith REVIEW Discussion
© Copyright Griffith University & the author.
31 January, 2012
I am always excited to see a new Griffith REVIEW and Edition 35: SURVIVING, as always, is a delightful mix of erudite, provocative and pleasurable reading. However, can I turn your attention to featured text on the cover: ‘Random acts of nature and man (sic)'.
It's forty years since (I thought) we turned the tide on sexist and exclusionary language. By the mid-1980s even conservative state governments had clear guidelines on alternative uses of ‘man', ‘chairman' etc. And yet I am noticing the re-incursion of such language throughout the public media, government policy arenas and academia. Of all such sources, Griffith REVIEW should be particularly attuned to the power and politics of language. Please don't become part of the current slippage, and the widespread belief that feminism is ‘over' or ‘unnecessary'. Even a cursory look at the entrenched gender patterns of institutional power here and internationally should quickly dispel such views.
Just as Don Watson challenges the current ‘managerial language' in your current edition (p. 59), we also need to perennially expose and replace entrenched patterns of language that devalue women or remove us from sight.