Marine Gender Equality

earlybird

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According to today's Daily Telegraph, the National Maritime Museum is to start refering to boats as "it" rather than "she". I wonder if that story has been published 22 days too late.
 

newtothis

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God, this topic does bring out the Colonel Blimps and Disgusteds of Tunbridge Wells, doesn't it.
No one is telling or even asking you to call your boat anything but what you want to call it.
A museum in Scotland thought that rather than continue to have its signs vandalised, it would just be easier to not use feminine pronouns for ships in its signs. The same thing happened when people got annoyed with the "no blacks, no Irish" signs too, but I suspect some of you are still smarting at that as well.
 

johnalison

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God, this topic does bring out the Colonel Blimps and Disgusteds of Tunbridge Wells, doesn't it.
No one is telling or even asking you to call your boat anything but what you want to call it.
A museum in Scotland thought that rather than continue to have its signs vandalised, it would just be easier to not use feminine pronouns for ships in its signs. The same thing happened when people got annoyed with the "no blacks, no Irish" signs too, but I suspect some of you are still smarting at that as well.

We may be Colonel Blimps (great film) but this means that we have some respect for tradition and the history of our peoples. The Scottish events may be small beer but we live in a world where mass and social media encourage people to think that they have a right to impose their minority views on others by vandalism and force. It may be a long way from naming ships to our current madness of no-platforming, but at least it is of more relevance than your insulting us by ascribing to us an acceptance of racist views that we never held.
 

newtothis

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We may be Colonel Blimps (great film) but this means that we have some respect for tradition and the history of our peoples. The Scottish events may be small beer but we live in a world where mass and social media encourage people to think that they have a right to impose their minority views on others by vandalism and force. It may be a long way from naming ships to our current madness of no-platforming, but at least it is of more relevance than your insulting us by ascribing to us an acceptance of racist views that we never held.

Hmm, our peoples? Right.
Meanwhile, it is exactly the actions of the minorities kicking against the pricks that changes society. Back in the day, the suffragettes, civil rights leaders, anti-nuke movement and environmentalists were "imposing their minority views on others by vandalism and force".
I dread to think what society would be like without them.
 

Seashoreman

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Hmm, our peoples? Right.
Meanwhile, it is exactly the actions of the minorities kicking against the pricks that changes society. Back in the day, the suffragettes, civil rights leaders, anti-nuke movement and environmentalists were "imposing their minority views on others by vandalism and force".
I dread to think what society would be like without them.

I get the impression that you are a passionate person with strong views on many rights and wrongs.
If this is the case, please explain to me what the objection is to people calling a ship or boat by what I would regard as an affectionate 'she'.
I personally don't use this when discussing certain boats but I know many people do and I have absolutely no objection to it.
If I have a large tree in my garden surely I can refer to it as a he or she as I so wish. Or are you part of an organisation who would come to my house and 're-train' me?
 

FlyingGoose

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Back in the real world it was a small museum , that is changing the names because of Vandilism, know they have not said they agree with the vandals sentiments, just they dont want any more (as it costs them to replace) and a simple change which really should not concern anyone , until a newspaper got hold of it and know look were we are
My bloody ship is a she and be dammed with you all' Lord Nelson' , no you pleb my ship is a trans neutral Goth with environmental accreditation to Greenpeace now bugger off !!
Come on people you cannot be serious :p
 

Praxinoscope

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Hmm, our peoples? Right.
Meanwhile, it is exactly the actions of the minorities kicking against the pricks that changes society. Back in the day, the suffragettes, civil rights leaders, anti-nuke movement and environmentalists were "imposing their minority views on others by vandalism and force".
I dread to think what society would be like without them.

I would rather refer to the Sufragists rather than the Suffragettes who were rather elitist on which women should have the vote, and I don’t see any change that the anti-nuke minority managed apart from conning people into believing that electricity generation by nuclear energy was akin to nuclear weapons.
The dictatorship of minorities does not always mean a desirable result, the Nazi party in Germany was in reality a minority that siezed power and look what happened, the Comere Rouge in Cambodia were a minority that imposed their ideas on the majority population to name just a couple of examples.
Minorities are not always right and the PC language police IMHO are making a mockery of the English language.
 

JumbleDuck

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Minorities are not always right and the PC language police IMHO are making a mockery of the English language.

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grumpy_o_g

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God, this topic does bring out the Colonel Blimps and Disgusteds of Tunbridge Wells, doesn't it.
No one is telling or even asking you to call your boat anything but what you want to call it.
A museum in Scotland thought that rather than continue to have its signs vandalised, it would just be easier to not use feminine pronouns for ships in its signs. The same thing happened when people got annoyed with the "no blacks, no Irish" signs too, but I suspect some of you are still smarting at that as well.

I think you're missing the point. A ship is a "she" in the same way a noun has a gender in French or German for example. Should the yellow jackets start protesting that tables are feminine in the French language? In what way is a referring to a ship as "she" remotely denigrating? Quite how that compares to "No Blacks, No Irish" sign I have no idea (and it would be a very confused mind that thought it did).
 

JumbleDuck

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I think you're missing the point. A ship is a "she" in the same way a noun has a gender in French or German for example.

I beg to disagree. Gender in French and German is a fundamental part of the grammatical structure of the language and with very few exception stays the same across all users of the language. It's "le navire" in France, Canada, Belgium and Rwanda, it's "das Schiff" in Germany, Austria and Namibia and it's "het schip" in the Netherlands, Belgium and Surinam. Those genders go on to affect pronouns, adjectives and more.

Calling a ship "she" is not a grammatical gender. It's a tradition/custom/affectation which is not shared by all users of the language. I believe that "scip" in Anglo-Saxon, which does have genders, is neuter, so at some point the grammatical origin has gone wrong anyway.

I sometimes call my boat she (normally when talking to other sailors) and sometimes it (because I think it can sound pretentious to no sailors). If the "she" usage causes offence then I would be perfectly happy to switch to "it" all the time: like all of what the right like to call "political correctness" is really just a matter of manners.

So is "she" offensive? Not my call. That's one for women to decide about. The rest of us should listen with respect to their opinion.
 
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