Earlier today, someone called me a lady which might have been quite flattering if I was actually female. I was attending a support group (yes, you had always suspected that I needed help didn’t you) in which everyone was female apart from myself and one other man. One of the group leaders repeatedly used the word ladies to describe the group. She did this several times and she was either oblivious to the fact that she was talking to 2 men as well or she was just so used to talking to women that she used the word ladies as she usually did without thinking about it.
Whilst this didn’t bother me (and I actually found it quite funny) it was especially ironic that I could have been made to feel uncomfortable in a situation where I was supposed to be receiving support and encouragement (I was at a support group for parents of children with special needs).
Thinking about this afterwards, I began to feel sad as I considered how churches can easily stray into using just male rather than inclusive language.
Ministers/clergy meetings used to be (and sadly occasionally still are) called fraternals (meaning brotherhood). Many Bible translations (even some of the more modern ones) use male language when really the Bible verse is speaking to all people.
Do we really want people to feel uncomfortable in a situation where we should be supporting, welcoming and helping them?
We should do all that we can to be welcoming and accepting in our churches and part of this means that we must use inclusive language wherever possible.
I hope that all of you
ladies enjoyed reading this.