The Gingerbread Man Is Now a Gingerbread Person. Your Thoughts?
Times are changing, as they always have. and always will. Now a co-op in London is asking their members to choose a new, gender-neutral name for their “gingerbread man.” They say it’s time to change the good old gingerbread man into a gingerbread person. What do you think about this?
According to the Co-op website:
“Our Food team is adding the final touches to a new Co-op gingerbread person, but they’ve yet to come up with a name.
They’d like members to join in and suggest a fitting name for our new little biscuity friend.
The plan is to give our new gingerbread fellow some seasonal costume refreshes – a distinctively Christmassy look for December and something rather spooky around Halloween for example. So they’ll need a name that works for any time of year.
Join in to suggest a name. Our Food team will create a shortlist of the ones they think will best fit the bill and we’ll be back to ask you to vote for your favourite next month.”
PS: We actually know a little something about gingerbread. Among other delicious ginger treats on the blog, we have Gingerbread Man Oreos and Chewbacca Gingerbread Men. While you’re pondering what to call a cookie that neither looks make or female, you should make at least one of them. We’ll call it research.
What Does Gender-Neutral Mean?
Let me be clear. This post isn’t being written to correct anyone with respect to how they talk about the world around them. Whether you are careful to use gender-neutral pronouns and adjectives, or whether you believe it’s nonsense to worry so much about descriptors, it’s your right.
I’m not trying to convince you one way or the other. But, I do think it’s worth talking about. Talking about something makes it seem a little less foreign or hard to understand.
To that end, I think there might be a little bit of confusion about what the term “gender-neutral” actually means. Put simply, it means not referring to either sex but only to people in general. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Examples of Gender Neutrality In Real Life
Remember that at one time, police officers were exclusively called policemen. When we went shopping for a car, we didn’t meet with a salesperson. We haggled with a salesman.
Your mail carrier was a postman, and today’s firefighters were once strictly firemen.
Gender-neutral job titles are things like doctor, scientist, nurse, and astronaut. When little boys and girls hear those descriptors, the hope is neither of them will see those careers as off-limits to them because they weren’t born the “right” sex for the job.
Our language, the words we chose to describe ourselves and our world, came from a male-dominated society. History is really clear about that fact. But, are we taking our desire to change too far? Are we spending too much time focusing on whether a cookie is a man cookie or a woman cookie?
The Gender-Neutral Gingerbread Needs a Gender-Neutral Name
The Co-op is looking for a new name for the cookie that famously doesn’t have girl parts or boy parts. Whichever name they choose will be gender-neutral.
Did you purposefully choose a gender-neutral name for your child? Or did you simply choose something you love and it happened to be neither a girl’s or boy’s name? Changing the name could possibly result in a very angry Gingerbread Cookie…
What do you think of gender neutrality?
Is it nothing more than another way to push political correctness? Or, is it the right thing to do for our kids now and in the future? I really do want to hear what you have to say, so I hope you’ll share. It’s okay if everyone doesn’t agree. Humans aren’t always supposed to. What is never more important than right now is to disagree with respect.
We could all use more of that.