Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Bunye: Gentleman's agreement, usapang lalaki, and palabra de honor

Speaking Out

I NOTICED lately a heightened usage of the above-mentioned terms in relation to the current term-sharing controversy between Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Representative Lord Allan Velasco. The terms have been in vogue ever since I can remember. In our macho culture, inherited from Spain, they refer to "honor among men" (as if there is none among women). But that was probably acceptable in time's past. Now, with equal rights granted to women, shouldn't we start using other terms which are gender-neutral.

In Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK, phrases such as "gentleman's agreement" and "right-hand man" have been banned in favor of gender neutral terms. In an online article, the YouthTime Magazine reported that the decision has caused controversy. Critics call the move as "unnecessary" and "an infringement on free speech" but Cardiff Metropolitan University is standing by its rule. In fact, the university published its "Cardiff Metropolitan University's Guide to Inclusive Language." Here are some of the guide's suggested alternatives to commonly used terms.


Term -- Suggested alternatives

"best man for the job" - best person for the job

"businessman/woman" - businessperson, manager, executive

"chairman/woman" - chair, chairperson, convenor, head

"charwoman, cleaning lady" - cleaner

"craftsman/woman" - craftsperson, craft worker

"delivery man" - delivery clerk, courier

"Dear Sirs" - Dear Sir/Madam (or Madam/Sir)

"fireman" - firefighter

"forefathers" - ancestors, forebears

"foreman/woman" - supervisor, head juror

"gentleman's agreement" - unwritten agreement, agreement based on trust

"girls" (for adults) - women

"headmaster/mistress" - head teacher

"housewife" - shopper, consumer, homemaker (depends on context)

"layman" - lay person

"man" or "mankind" - humanity, humankind, human race, people

"man" (verb) e.g. man the desk - operate, staff, work at

"man in the street", "common man" - average/ordinary/typical citizen/person

"man-hour" - work-hour, labor time

"man-made" - artificial, manufactured, synthetic

"manpower" - human resources, labor force, staff, personnel, workers, workforce

"Miss/Mrs" - Ms. unless a specific preference has been stated - though it is common not to use titles at all these days

"policeman/woman" - police officer

"right-hand man" - chief assistant

"salesman/girl/woman" - sales assistant/agent/clerk/representative/staff/worker

"spokesman/woman" - spokesperson, representative

"sportsmanship" - fairness, good humor, sense of fair play

"steward/ess" - airline staff, flight attendant, cabin crew

"tax man" - tax officer/inspector

"waitress" - waiter, server

"woman doctor" (or feminine forms of nouns e.g. actress, poetess) - doctor (actor, poet etc.)

"working man", "working mother/wife" - wage-earner/taxpayer/worker

"workman" - worker/operative/trades person

"workmanlike" - efficient/proficient/skilful/thorough

End of quote.

Virtual meetings here to stay

Virtual meetings, lectures, and exhibits will continue to gain traction during Covid-19 and perhaps, even beyond. A family friend who used to commute a minimum of two hours from her condo in Alabang to Quezon City, in order to attend company meetings, confesses she will find it difficult to readjust to in-person meetings. She now prefers virtual meetings which obviously have distinct advantages. Virtual meetings usually start on time as participants cannot give the usual excuse of encountering heavy traffic. Also, one's daily schedule becomes less expensive (no toll fees to pay, minimal gas to consume) and, above all, less stressful. The main drawback, however, is our current spotty internet connection. But hopefully, things will get better soon with LGUs now fast-tracking the approval of telecom tower installations.

The Trump-Biden non-debate

Never before has a US presidential debate elicited very negative reactions from the media. The first Trump-Biden debate was invariably described as "chaotic," "bitter," "awful," "absolutely awful," "a mockery," "fiery," "rough," "contentious," "bad tempered," "a shouting match," "a brawl," "terrible," "acrimonious," "ugly," "hot mess" and "a disgrace." The debate was preceded by Trump's allegation that Biden would be taking "performance enhancing medication" to prep himself. In the actual debate, trademark Trump spewed a litany of fake news prompting Biden to shout at Trump "Shut up." The media scored the moderator for being unable to enforce debate ground rules.

Kiwanis Club of Muntinlupa Rizal

In celebration of October 1, Kiwanis New Year, the Kiwanis Club of Muntinlupa Rizal (my club) has implemented its 1st Priority Project "Budget Para sa Gadgets" in coordination with DepEd Muntinlupa and the City Government of Muntinlupa. Kiwanis Club of Muntinlupa Rizal, headed by president Larry Molera, recently donated 150 units of Globe prepaid WiFi kits to Tunasan Elementary School to help selected students adapt to DepEd's Modular Distance Learning Method this coming school year. President Molera thanked principal sponsor, past president Dionisio Alog, and all other donors who made the project possible.

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