Friday, November 17, 2006

Pentagon Bull

The Pentagon is reclassifying homosexuality from a mental disorder to a “circumstance” as it relates to retirement practices. Other “circumstances” in this Pentagon category include the fear of flying and bed wetting.

The shift in categorization is in response to criticisms over the Pentagon’s inclusion of homosexuality in the same realm as mental retardation and personality disorders. So now it’s just a “circumstance.”

This whole gender-bending trend in western society is quite troubling. I blame Mattel for hastening the wider acceptance of this “circumstance” as the norm, through their continued proliferation of anatomically-vague Barbie and Ken dolls. See user instructions for details.

There are other practical considerations with which society must soon reckon: in restaurants, which wash room to use? Outback Steakhouse, for example, has designated its facilities for “Sheila’s” and “Blokes.” Pappasito’s labels its washrooms for “Caballeros” and “Damas.” Might they have to come up with a third, gender-indefinite designation?

(In researching this notion, it was interesting to note that even with Australian slang terms for gay people, there is still a gender differentiation: gay men are “poofters,” gay women are “ponces.”)

There are other implications that are more far-reaching. While the English language is very descriptive, it is basically gender-neutral, as opposed to German or Spanish, which have masculine and feminine tenses for all sorts of things. Spanish nouns will clue you as to their gender with the “la” or “el” articles, or the “-as” or “-os” endings.

Following this logic, a “gay caballero” could be technically incorrect, under the Pentagon’s classification system. Might the more accurate usage be “gay caballera?”

This whole notion was inspired by a mis-use of the noun for “bull,” as in Red Bull.
I erroneously toasted my Producer, Buddy Cantu, in poor Spanish this morning by raising my blue and silver can of energized nectar by proclaiming, “La Toro Roja!”
Spanish speakers will immediately recognize this as a red, gay bull, syntax notwithstanding. The proper usage should be “El Toro Rojo.” My apologies to Buddy and the makers of Red Bull.

I still don’t have an answer for properly labeling androgynous washrooms. Perhaps the Pentagon will provide a study…at taxpayer expense, of course.

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