“Mankind” vs. “humanity”

And now for a short post on semantics, or, “words do matter.”

Just yesterday, we all celebrated the 48th anniversary of men first landing on the moon (that’s a true statement since so far, unfortunately, they have all been men). My husband is a space freak, and some of that has rubbed off on me, only I concentrate somewhat on the female side of it, reading books like “The Mercury 13” and such.

Which is not to say that I am not full of admiration for the men that did it. I enjoy seeing this clip as much as anyone. But does anyone else get that twinge in your head when Armstrong says “mankind”? (That little inward feeling that says you weren’t included; the prototype for the human race was male.) (and if your response was “But woman was created from Adam’s rib” then you really are reading the wrong blog, and get out)

But it was 1969. It was a different world. Maybe they just weren’t as conscious of those things back then.

Flash forward to 1996.

Independence Day? Really? (And once again, I am a HUGE FAN of this speech; it’s an example of the St. Crispin’s Day speech in Henry V. More than one movie features a variant of this speech.) We should have known better in 1996 — or at least most of us should have; the writers of the movie clearly did not. (Devlin and Emmerich, responsible for Stargate, another of my favorite movies! Here I am denouncing my favorites all in the same post!)

Can we all agree, in 2017, to call the race “humanity” or “humankind”, instead of the exclusionary “mankind”? Would it kill us to do this? Because the human race isn’t composed of just men.

Thank you.