Two types of people desire to impose politically correct locutions on the rest of us: those who possess unlimited power and fear to lose it and those who aspire to unlimited power and need a means to attain it. And there is, after all, no greater power than that of prescribing what others must say and what others must not think.
The Scottish Maritime Museum, dedicated to the history of the country’s shipbuilding industry, has decided that it will no longer use the words sheand herto refer to ships, but rather itand its. This is in response to feminists, who have defaced plaques referring to ships as sheor her. This change would negate centuries of tradition, during which the words traditionally used on launching a ship, “May God bless all who sail in her,” carried no connotation of insult or deprecation—rather the reverse.
The Maritime Museum’s surrender is yet another instance of the craven surrender of British officialdom to the demands of a small but vociferous group of monomaniacs who make the imposition of their views the purpose of their lives. Museum authorities have argued that they must move with the times, and the prevention of vandalism is important, for economic reasons among others. Yet this rationale is something like awarding burglars a pension in an effort to prevent burglary.
Concessions of this kind will not reduce, but increase, the appetite of monomaniacs of different stripes. How long before the sexist opening stanzas of Lewis Carroll’s The Walrus and the Carpenterare changed to appropriately gender-neutral language: