Letter re: RCMP report March 27 – April 1

Tuesday, April 11 2017

Response to RCMP Report for March 27 to April 1

I find it strange and a bit unsettling that the RCMP still use the words “male” and “female” to describe people. For example, “Chang also wears wigs and may dress like a male at times.”

What does a male look like? What does a female look like? Is it still the 1950s? My mom tells me women have been wearing pants for a few years now. Does that mean she dresses like a male? If this is true, do the many women on Gabe with short hair, no makeup, and pants know that they are dressing like males? Is my long and luxurious hair female? RCMP officers all wear the same uniform, so are women officers dressed in male uniforms?

Unless it is an integral part of the story, the only reason to use the words male or female in the media is to enforce the gender binary, which is a form of oppression. Besides, the descriptors male and female are irrelevant when trying to describe someone’s perceived or actual gender, be it woman, man, non-binary, fluid, etc. It would be far more useful to use words like person, victim, perpetrator, caller, concerned citizen, alleged, shooter, driver, etc. and leave the words female and male behind. To reiterate, the words female and male are not synonymous with woman and man, so to use them that way is incorrect. The point is not to de-gender language and society, but to stop the perpetuation of gender stereotypes.

It’s a big topic, and it’s not going to be properly discussed in one letter, but I hope this moves the conversation on a little bit.

- Daniel Petersen