Well, we have hit a new high in political correctness and gender identification. I just heard about a college professor who decided it was way too sexist to call first year students by their old name—freshmen. This, of course, makes it sound like all the frosh are men. Where I went to college, six out of seven of them were women, so I can see his point.
Not All Freshmores Flunked Out
From what I can tell, a
I see another problem on the horizon for theprofessor’s new expression. If we change the word freshmen to freshmore, whatare we going to do with the older class—the juniors? This word is definitelyfraught with sexist overtones. All the Juniors I know are male. I’ve neverheard of a Jane Doe, Jr. (What DO we call females who are named after theirmothers?) If we’re going to come up with a new term for the freshmen, we may aswell go all out and rename the juniors as well. But what should we call them? I’mopen for suggestions.
In actuality, when daughters are named after their mothers, the term Junior can be attached. It seems more of a male thing because it’s relatively rare that mothers dub their girls with the name that they carry as well. Because of that, junior doesn’t flow well with the fairer sex (can we still say that?).
A Lower Ranking
Still, a quick perusal of any dictionary also includes females when defining the term junior. That’s even worse, however. The definition of a junior is “a person holding a lower position in a hierarchy of ranks.” They may trail seniors by a year, but there are still two classes beneath them. As it turns out, junior is somewhat of a demeaning term.
Nevertheless, there’s no shame in being a junior (or a freshman for that matter). Hang in there. You will soon inherit a double portion.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of