WINOOSKI – Vermont’s premiere local satire site The Winooski came under fire this week from one of its imaginary subjects. A man featured in today’s article came down to the offices of the site and expressed his outrage at being a man.
“You could have chosen any gender,” he snarled at their senior editor, “but you chose male. Why is the cultural default always male? Why can’t it be a woman who was complaining? I know that English isn’t a gendered language, but that doesn’t mean we always have to go with male. It means we get to choose! How about switching it up once in a while? You have a chance to change the dialogue here, and still you revert to patriarchal archetypes, stereotypes, and poor typing. Do better!” The man continued to shout at the staff of the online paper until The Winooski promised to make the changes he was looking for.
The senior editor of the site apologized to her for the problem, and pledged to be more inclusive in the future.
“I’m actually glad she stopped by,” the editor said. “She made a lot of good points, and to be honest we weren’t really thinking about gender that much when we created her. Male is absolutely a cultural default, but that can be changed. We just need more women like her stepping up and having these conversations with us. We’re happy to be inclusive; we just didn’t realize that this was an issue for us.”
The woman contacted The Winooski after the article was edited, and commented online that she was happier with the result, but not fully satisfied.
“I’m glad they made the change,” she wrote, “but even having a gender at all seems irrelevant in this day and age. Why does everyone have to be identified by their gender? This step away from male-ness is a good first step, but it isn’t the last.”
The Winooski released a brief statement after they posted their comment.
“We here at The Winooski met with a human person earlier today, and they had some very good things to say. We hope to continue the conversation with them in the near future, and have spoken to several of our literary friends about the possibility of creating a version of English that does not contain pronouns.”