Earlier in the week, the senior editor of the Washingtonian magazine, Bill O’Sullivan, wrote an editorial that is ruffling feathers. O’Sullivan suggests the “loathsome” phrase “start a family” and “female” should no longer be used because both are offensive.
START A FAMILY: “What this euphemism means is get pregnant—or try to get pregnant, or have a baby, or adopt,” O’Sullivan claims. “Start a family devalues any couple who doesn’t happen to have kids, for whatever reason.” He says it is offensive to single people and couples.
“For the sake of all the ways to be in the world, it’s time to put an end to start a family,” O’Sullivan demanded.
O’Sullivan really went radical by expressing his dislike for the word “female,” which he instructed people to avoid saying. He takes issue with “female” because, as a reader told him, it “sounds like biology class” and “has overtones of criminality.”
“I admit I hadn’t thought about the criminal connotation. The dehumanizing aspect is reason enough to avoid it,” the liberal editor wrote.
O’Sullivan added in a final push against the “start a family” phrase that people should “let your language reflect, and be sensitive to, the world we live in.”
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