Feminists are trying to dictate to the rest of us what the masculine pronoun is allowed to mean. For me it means the same thing it meant to Milton, Shakespeare, Jane Austin[sic], Flannery O’Connor[,] and C. S. Lewis. Feminists want us to pretend they all meant to exclude women from practically everything but that is ridiculous. And they demand that we pretend that the traditional use of “man” for humankind MEANS males only. But it doesn’t and pretty much everybody knows it.
So you can demand that the meaning of words be changed. That does not mean the meanings will change. I suggest that you will find only pro-feminists (and people who haven’t thought much about it but are trying to be nice and agreeable) agreeing with you, which proves my point. It is not about communication, but ideology.
Of course the first thing to say about this is that the conflict is not about meaning, but about literary ethics. Sure we all know that folks mean humanity when they say mankind, but the question is why we should prefer to gender our gender-inclusive terms in the first place. What reason would justify talking about men and women in purely masculine terms? That is the question. Obviously.
How sadly hilarious the kind of thinking in this quote really is! What’s insidious about it is the way that it equates anything challenging the status quo with ideology: using masculine language to describe the human race as a whole is the norm; any challenge to that is ideological feminist totalitarianism.
Are we really fools enough to think that masculine-centric linguistic conventions are simply benign? What masquerades as a condemnation of “ideology” actually turns out to be an exercise of pure ideology itself. Certain contingent linguistic norms are enshrined as necessary, natural, and unquestionable. This is anything but the rejection of some new ideology. Rather it is merely the blind act of perpetuating an old one.