Man vs Woman vs Human
Muse #175 - coming around a full circle
Often on Zoom calls when I speak to groups of people I refer to them as “guys” and I mean more like a generalization rather than refer to a group of males. Recently I have started substituting the word “folks” instead. One thing got to another and I was back to the dictionary looking up the meaning and roots of several words including the word “man”.
an adult male human being.
a male member of a workforce, team, etc.
ordinary members of the armed forces as distinct from the officers.
a person's husband, boyfriend, or male lover.
a male person associated with a particular place, activity, or occupation.
a person with the qualities traditionally associated with males, such as bravery, spirit, or toughness.
a male pursued or sought by another, especially in connection with a crime.
a manservant or valet.
a human being of either sex; a person.
human beings in general; the human race.
a male individual; one.
a type of prehistoric human named after the place where the remains were found.
a group or person in a position of authority over others, such as a corporate employer or the police.
white people collectively regarded as the controlling group in society.
a figure or token used in playing a board game.
(of personnel) work at, run, or operate (a place or piece of equipment) or defend (a fortification).
provide someone to fill (a post or office).
fortify the spirits or courage of.
used, irrespective of the sex of the person addressed, to express surprise, admiration, delight, etc., or for emphasis.
Credit: Oxford dictionary
It is interesting to read about the etymology of the word “man”. A few hundred years ago, it meant more to mean “human being” or “humans” rather than the divergence where it is looked upon as just sex of a person: male. The word was more encompassing and inclusive than its usage right now. Current norms in usage mean that we often forget the broader definition of the word “man” and often go back to narrow definitions.
And once again we are working a lot on making things cover human diversity and inclusivity.
Let’s start with the word “man” as “human” for a start.