Ze: One refers to a person with ze typically (a) when their gender is unknown, and one wishes to avoid assuming their gender, or (b) when they are neither male nor female in gender, making he and she (and also either/or terms like s/he or (s)he) inappropriate and potentially hurtful.
I had a friend back in Secondary school who found a scrap bit of paper in the classroom bin. It dictated a conversation between two unknown individuals – what with the famed 00s’ coloured gel inks – with a special shoutout to “Tish the class b*tch”, who had the “gall to refer to herself as the future Miss Universe.”
Yes, this really happened. But I was 14 and ambitious, pre-realisation of my passion of being a writer, and not just a pretty face.
Sexism is a f**king problem. Think of this situation as having a giant pink elephant standing in the middle of the room. Everyone notices its presence, and how ridiculous it looks just rooted there, furiously trumpeting its long pink trunk and stomping its salmon feet.
Yet the world merely tiptoes around the pink elephant without bother, putting up with this absurdity because they either fear the ridicule in being the sole lunatic who pointed the elephant out, or the crippling dread of being alone (think herd mentality).
It’s one of those situations where your mother doesn’t – and simply can’t – prepare you for in life. I mean, how would you prepare your 10-year old daughter for the overwhelming tsunami of unwelcome sexual references, and uncalled for remarks on her dressing/makeup/gait/hairstyle/speech/lunch preferences etc.?
I had a very interesting conversation recently about cruel Asians.
No, I’m not talking about Bridget Jones referring to Mark Darcy’s ‘cruel-raced ex-wife’. I’m talking about inconsiderate, self-centred and selfish Asian people – or to give it some context – Singaporeans.
I used to fantasise that I were secretly related to people I didn’t get along with.
The haughty office colleague, the unfriendly classmate, even the nasty lady at the gym who routinely dominated the squat bar, ruling her territory with fear and icy glares.