Jill and the Jake Brakes

I just read the mail bag answer to the question of what Jake Brakes are and why they are banned in some areas. I have no problem with the answer; it’s correct and informative, as the Straight Dope usually is. The quarrel I have is with a line in the explaination that uses the pronoun “she” to refer to a truck driver.
Come on, give me a brake (Ha ha). The great majority of truck drivers are men. That’s just a fact. Obviously, I’m not one for P.C. phrases. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for people doing what they want to do no matter what race or gender they be. I do like bigotry or sexism. Just the same, I do not want to live in a society where police men have become police officers but garbage men are still garbage men. Or, to raise an even bigger issue, if God is a woman does that mean Satan is one also? Boosting self esteem by equating yourself with everything good and cutting down others is in the end fruitless. Again, let me say I am for equality and letting everyone live as they want to. Hell, I’m a Libertarian. But if you want to go around and use your race or gender as leverage in any situation, and that includes white males, I would tell you to go pound sand. Yes, I am overreacting, but hey - isn’t that what the internet seems to be all about? Oh well, just thought I’d get my two cents in (where does that come from, huh?). Sluggo


Mailbag Article is: What are jake brakes?

[Note: This message has been edited by CKDextHavn]

So, Sluggo. You still got a problem with your mom driving that truck?

[[I do like bigotry or sexism. ]] Sluggo

Heh. Don’t we all.

[[The great majority of truck drivers are men. That’s just a fact. Obviously, I’m not one for P.C. phrases. ]]

Okay, to respond somewhat seriously to your message… I wrote “she” knowing that it would jump off the page at some people. It was even unfortunately meant to be slightly humorous or provocative, to show you how politically incorrect I can be. But there are at least two female truck drivers who frequent the SD message board, so it was probably a small breath of fresh air for them to see it, anyway.

I sometimes grimace at PC phrases too, but it’s also true that as a female in the male-dominated field of epidemiology, it bugs me a little when people use male pronouns for epidemiogists. And when I ran a mountaineering store, it also bothered me when salespeople (mostly salesMEN, actually) came in and asked me to go get the boss for them… or customers walked past me to talk to my less experienced male employees about climbing gear.

To be fair, I called a truck repair shop to research that column and assumed that the woman who answered the phone was the secretary. I found out she was the head mechanic in the place. Anyway, if the use of “she” surprised you and made you think about this issue, I feel like I’ve done my bit for a fairer, more just and equitable world after all. But probably all I got was a few cheap laughs from some bigots.
Jill

One quibble:

cajones - drawers
cojones - testicles

As in: you would need “cojones” to drive down the Cajon pass in a truck in the 1930s, not “cajones”.

[[cajones - drawers
cojones - testicles]]

You are absolutely right. Thanks.

To remove the grease from your nails i suggest trying either liquid dish soap or (gasp) a cleaner such as Fast Orange that is made for that purpose

RE: grease under fingernails

It feels nasty, but the all time best way to get out the grease is to scrape your nails across a bar of soap a few times, then use a nail brush to clean 'em out. Simple, no? And, just as another tip, if you get the soap under your nails BEFORE you start working on your car (truck, SUV, lawnmower, whatever) the grease won’t get in there in the first place.

Sluggo’s post raised a good point (off-topic, as is this one) but then missed it. The “she” in Jill’s reply jumped out at me, too, not because I thought, “Wait a second, no truck drivers are female!” but beacuse I thought, “Wait a second, when did The Straight Dope get all PC?”

I’ve got a problem with people’s using “she” as the 3rd-person indefinite pronoun because it’s political correctness in the worst way; it’s no more accurate than “he” but is used not to offend.

Referring to a person of Cherokee descent as a “Native American” instead of “Indian” isn’t only politically correct, it’s genuinely correct. But “she” is not only just as arbitrary as “he”, it’s more confusing. “He” doesn’t just refer to males anymore; it’s sexless. If a person doesn’t want to sound all high-falutin’ and use “one” liberally, as the French do, he uses “he”. “She”, whether it’s fair or not, still has a strictly female connotation.

Jill replied that it was actually her intention to draw attention to her use of the word “she” and do a little bit to dispel some outdated beliefs about women’s roles. All I have to say to that is more power to you, sister. But I’d just want to emphasize that recognizing that there are male- and female-dominated fields isn’t in itself sexist; it’s the belief that only males or females can handle certain jobs (other than surrogate motherhood or prostate research test subject) that’s sexist.

I do like bigotry and sexism as much as the next guy, but there’s a point where you have to draw the line and be practical about it.

And in response to all the “he” and “she” business, there’s a web page that further explains where I’m coming from…

Chuck

[[ve got a problem with people’s using “she” as the 3rd-person indefinite
pronoun because it’s political correctness in the worst way; it’s no
more accurate than “he” but is used not to offend.]]

Man, you guys. I am offended, first off, that you assume I set out not to offend. It was a joke, people. If I was gonna be “PC” I would have said “he or she” or “s/he”. I was trying to be cute, dammit, but I guess I’m not very good at it.

[[Referring to a person of Cherokee descent as a “Native American” instead
of “Indian” isn’t only politically correct, it’s genuinely correct.]]

Funny thing here is that I know dozens of “Native Americans” and every single one of them refers to him or herself (take THAT) as an “Indian.”

[[Jill replied that it was actually her intention to draw attention to her
use of the word “she” and do a little bit to dispel some outdated
beliefs about women’s roles. All I have to say to that is more power to
you, sister. But I’d just want to emphasize that recognizing that there
are male- and female-dominated fields isn’t in itself sexist; it’s the
belief that only males or females can handle certain jobs (other than
surrogate motherhood or prostate research test subject) that’s sexist.]]

Uh, again, it was a joke. I had no such agenda. Sorry there isn’t an emoticon for tongue in cheek.
Jill

[[I do like bigotry and sexism as much as the next guy, but there’s a point where you have to draw the line and be practical about it.]]

Sorry. I refuse to get serious and practical about any of this.
Jill

[[Man, you guys. I am offended, first off, that you assume I set out not to offend. It was a joke, people. If I was gonna be “PC” I would have said “he or she” or “s/he”. I was trying to be cute, dammit, but I guess I’m not very good at it.]]

What do you mean “guys?!?” You think that only men can have opinions about grammar? I suppose you just automatically assume I must be a man.

Yes, I “get” it, and I even thought I was being sufficiently tongue-in-cheek in my response to show that I wasn’t taking the whole thing too seriously. And that I wasn’t attacking the one article in particular (hey, I warned up front that I was getting way off-topic, and that I was being anal-retentive) but the he vs. she thing in general. I’ve seen it taken to ridiculous extremes on the internet and elsewhere – variant spellings of “he, she, his” along the lines of “womyn” – and responded to it here.

[[Funny thing here is that I know dozens of “Native Americans” and every single one of them refers to him or herself (take THAT) as an “Indian.”]]

Well, I refer to me or myself as “white,” even though I’m kind of a sallow pink. My only point with that whole business was that some PC terms are actually more accurate than the “offensive insensitive bigoted” version, while some are just arbitrary.

Just to post something on topic on this thread, I bet the town withe the NO JAKE BRAKE sign had a big, long, hill in it somewhere. When I used to drive a charter coach in New Mexico, I used to hear 'em all the time, here in Illinois not too often. They sound like the truck’s taking a big, long, really loud fart. Going in and out of Los Alamos and I-40 east & west of Albuquerque would be likely places to hear a Jake Brake. The buses I drove didn’t have them (I doubt many do), so I’d downshift and ride the governor (gizmo that only lets the motor only go so many RPMs’s) as much as possible when going down hills…probably not great for the motor, but riding the brakes on a large truck or bus is a BAD idea, better to punish the motor a little…one doesn’t have the option of using a runaway ramp when driving a bus with 44 passengers on board!

Ned Carlson
http://www.triodeel.com

I’m offended that you’re getting offended that others were offended by that comment that may or may not have been intended to offend.

Not.

Berke Breathed coined the word offensensitivity, meaning being overly sensitive and getting offended over things not worth getting offended about.