The Founders

You may have noticed during the contretemps in Florida that often the media referred to the intent of the authors of the Constitution (and any situation that results in the Constitution being discussed is not all bad, in my book). It seems that this time around (as opposed to the last time, probably the impeachment proceedings) the media invariably referred to those authors as “the Founders.”

Not “the Founding Fathers”, the equivalent phrase we probably all grew up with.

Going out on a limb here–it seems likely that various editors issued style memos recently, decreeing that “Founding Fathers” would be replaced by a more gender-neutral term.

If my limb still supports me–do I need to point out the obvious? That changing to a gender-neutral term doesn’t retroactively cause to materialize a female delegate to the Constitutional Convention, heretofore unnoticed?

We’re talking one specific group of 18th century individuals, all of whom happen to have been male. It’s not like the term has a more general use, where gender neutrality could be important.

Or are we suddenly embarassed by the sexism inherent in colonial society?

Sheesh. Getoverit.

I’d love to take this trip with you…

but I just need a little more meat.

Something. Anything. Give me a little proof that all the outlets changed from impeachment to now. Give me a little memo coordinating the change. Give me a little proof that a particular popular anchor changed his/he language.
Just give me something…
I hate the PC language, but I need something before I go running around talking all crazy:)

I don’t believe the move to the word, “Founders,” which I too have noticed, is because of gender neutrality. I just think it sounds cool. Like something from Star Trek.

You yound whippersnappers. Why, back in the Good Old Days when I went to school (40 miles through a blizzard, uphill both ways), the term “Founding Fathers” only referred to the bunch of guys who signed the Declaration of Independence. The people who wrote the Constitution were called the “Framers” of the Constitution.

(Of course, there was a lot of overlap between the Founding Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution, but they weren’t all the same guys.)

Aw, c’mon. Where’s the fun in that? Life’s too short to not go running off half-cocked. :wink:

I remember the Founders. From the before time.


Speaking of politically correct speech, whatever happened to “B.C” and “A.D.”? How come we switched to “B.C.E.” and “C.E.”? Who decreed this? When did the change come about?

Now I am a liberal atheist, so you won’t catch me thumping a Bible or anything, but isn’t this switch just a little overly-sensitive?

Besides, if we’re not changing the year numbers, aren’t we still measuring time from Jesus forward and from Jesus backward? Switching to “B.C.E.” but keeping the same year numbers just seems like a case of trying to ignore the elephant in the living room.

And back to the OP, I would agree that the switch to “Founders” is some misguided attempt at gender sensitivity.

Man, I hate political correctness!


I mean: Person, I hate political correctness!

Did you see South Park last week? (something about your post makes me think so…). It sure felt like a parody, but of what exactly? I had a vague feeling of familiarity.

And if you didn’t, and don’t know what I’m talking about, I apologize.

jsc1953 wrote:

It was based on an episode of the original Kirk/Spock/McCoy Star Trek TV series. The episode was titled “Miri.” It featured a planet inhabited only by little kids who called adults “Grups” and tried to act threatening by saying “Bonk bink on the head!” a lot.

Oh, I dunno. I think it’s the “A.D.” more than the “B.C.” I think talking about the “Christian Era” and “Before the Christian Era” (or even the “Common Era”, if you want to be really P.C.) is a fairly neutral way of acknowledging that hey, these guys have achieved a large measure of Cultural World Domination in the last couple of millennia, to the point where even the Bolsheviks didn’t ditch the Jesus-centered calendar. (The French tried, but it didn’t get them anywhere.) On the other hand, having to say “In the Year of Our Lord” (albeit in Latin, and in abbreviated form) is a bit much for us godless heathens (not to mention Jews and Buddhists and so on). I don’t know about anyone else, but my knee ain’t bowing! (How does a knee bow, anyway?)

Er, “Bonk bonk on the head,” not “Bonk bink on the head.” Damn typos.

Hmmm. Maybe. I got more of a Children of the Corn vibe from it, though.

That would be:

Perchild, I hate political correctness!
One of the things I’ve always found obnoxious in the PC mode is the idea that one carefully refers to the woman who heads the committee as the Chairperson, and so on – but if it happens to be male, he’s the Chairman. I thought the idea was to be non-sexist, not to just defeminize the term you use to distinguish a woman who has the job. (Off the subject hijack: whichever one of them is appointed to the job is the Chairperson (-man, -woman) if you prefer, not the “Chair.” In this usage, the “Chair{entity}” is the designated permanent leader of the group, the “Chair” is whoever happens to be presiding over this particular moment – useful if the Chair{creature} motions Fred up to preside while {he/she} goes out to take a leak.)

That the people who passed the D. of A. and compiled the Constitution happen to have been all male is a historical fact. They can with impunity be called the “Founding Fathers” (noting the careful distinction made by tracer) but, avoiding sexism, can equally well be called the “Founders.”

As in, “three of the leading statesmen of the twentieth century were Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Meir, and Margaret Thatcher.” (By the way, I’ve been given to understand that the “-man” suffixed to other words is a separate root from the noun “man,” corresponding to the German Mann and Mensch, and specifically meaning “human being” rather than “adult male person.” However, fighting that battle is pretty non-PC.

MEBuckner wrote:

I’ve always seen the abbreviation explained as “Common Era.” Which is just PC overload in my book.

MEBuckner also wrote:

Speaking as a godless heathen myself, I have a hard time getting worked up over “A.D.”

By the way does this mean we also need to eliminate Thursday (Thor’s Day) and Wednesday (Wodin’s Day) and Friday (Frigga’s Day, I believe) from our calendars? Of course, I’m all for it if it means a shorter work week.

Guess we’ll have to re-name the planets, too.

God, this is so off-topic.

This week’s South Park contained many (dare I say, a plethora) of references to science fiction films and TV. First and foremost was the previously cited Star Trek ep. with the planet full of children. It also drew heavily on Children of the Corn (car-full of adults arrive in small rural community where the children have murdered the adults at the behest of a supernatural entity. Or, in SP, a statue of John Elway) and Logan’s Run (the ritual human sacrifice called “carousel” was a direct lift) The history-by-way-of-cave-paintings came from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Cartman as the self-appointed mayor of a post-apocalyptic town was ringing some pretty loud bells, but I can’t put my finger on why.

I’m with tracer. If you’re talking about the white guys who wrote the Constitution, “Framers” is unquestionably the correct term.

Well, it isn’t anything I get terribly worked up about, but on the other hand it seems at least equally silly to get terribly worked up about “C.E.” either.

Ah, but those can come in handy. Every once in a while some exceptionally stupid Christian fundamentalist will try to claim the calendar somehow means that everyone is really “acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus Christ” whether they want to or not. No less a worthy than Pat Robertson reportedly said “And you look back on the founding of this nation, the Constitution is signed ‘in the year of our Lord, 1787!’ The year of our Lord is Jesus! It’s in the Constitution!”. It’s nice to be able to point out to people like that just how, ah, “ecumenical” they must be, since every day they “acknowledge the Lordships of” the Sun-God, the Moon-God(dess), Tyr, Wotan, Thor, Frigg, Saturn, Janus, Mars, Maia, Juno, and Julius and Augustus Caesar (both gods courtesy of the Roman Senate).

Ah, but then don’t we need to keep “A.D.” as a rebuttal to Norse zealots?

Tyr was also known as Tiw, as in Tuesday.
The Encyclopedia Mythica

And the episode began with Kyle’s letter to Castro, which was a great parody of “The Year Without a Santa Claus”. Great stuff.