Between The Genders – Changing The Vocabulary
“Traditional gender roles?! You just want to return to the 1950s where women were housewives and trapped at home!”
I read this often as an argument against recognizing the enormous impact of evolution-based biology and psychological behavior of male and female human beings. It’s not much of an argument, it’s merely a straw man fallacy. But it is used frequently enough to be addressed.
As Americans, we have a cultural repulsion to looking at the past for tools to cure social ills. Social “progress” is all about advancing through time and that any social change or shift is this “progress” It’s most often perceived as a positive thing, at least by progressives. This is closest to politics as I will ever get in this blog.
The term “traditional general roles” is perceived as something awful because it harkens back to an era of our history that has been determined (by consensus, it seems) to be a very bad time socially. The problem is not with the concept, but the word “traditional”. So, by using a political debate tactic, it’s time to change the vocabulary to change the debate. Behold this new phrase:
“Natural gender roles”
Eliminate the word “traditional”. Replace it with the word “natural” and the connotation of the phrase shifts to something far less likely to cause knee-jerk negative reactions. The conversation spawned by the new phrase might even avoid the intellectual tar pit of political correctness. Wait, strike that last sentence.
Let’s start using the phrase “natural gender roles” from now on. This, I decree!