So, I have something like 5 drafts of different posts, but I'm being a huge perfectionist about them. Sometimes I go through phases where everything I try to blog about sounds "weird" to me. Maybe some of you other bloggers can relate. Anyway, I'll try to get over that and post something anyway. As you know, nothing warms my heart like a detailed inquiry into the words and phrases that many people take for granted. "Falling in love", "relationships", and "just friends", for instance.
So here is a brief observation...a trend, if you will, that I've noticed since I've gotten involved with Occupy. Whenever folks want to be taken more seriously, they cease to be "people" and become either "families" or "men and women". For instance, I never hear about "keeping people in their homes", but always "keeping families in their homes". I don't hear about "union workers", but "union men and women". It seems as though social justice movements feel that folks will be more emotionally affected by "families". Why? Is it because everyone has warm feelings towards their family? (no). Or is it because families involve innocent children? (Aren't children also included in "people"?) The truth is, while everyone is part of some family, a lot of people live alone, or with people to whom they're not related. They also face foreclosure.
And of course, not everyone is a man or a woman. According to the Asexual Awareness Week census, a sizable number of asexuals have a gender identity that's somewhere outside the binary. While "men and women" has a more oratorical feel, I don't think it has any advantages over "people". So, I say, bring back "people" and include more of us, even genderqueer orphans.
Now, this might sound totally inconsequential, but little language changes DO have an impact on the public consciousness. Just ask Frank Luntz, who freaks me out and impresses me at the same time.