The Man-/Male- Prefixes

There’s some things about the English language that just need to be junked. Done away with completely. The whole “who/whom” thing is one of them, for example. Why bother with “whom” unless you’re trying to show-off? “Who” works perfectly fine.

One bit of dross our language would do well to toss is the recently acquired habit of putting “man-“ or “male-“ in front of certain things. Man-purse, man-crush, man-whore, man-cave, man-ass, man-boobs, male nurse, male prostitute, male model; all these need to go away.

Perfection, possibly.

Perfection, possibly.

Why? First, they’re redundant. If someone is male, and works as a nurse, they are a nurse. You don’t need to specify they are a male nurse. If you see, and I’m picking entirely at random here, Zac Effron’s ass, you don’t need to describe it as “man-ass”, when you can simply describe it as perfection ass.

Second, frankly, it’s rather twee. It smacks of people being rather cutesy. It’s also pretentious, though not as bad as, say, The Matrix Series.

Ultimately we don’t need these prefixes. There’s no point to the, and we’d be well done to get rid of them.


3 Responses to “The Man-/Male- Prefixes”

  1. Kristian Says:

    Here in the UK they have something called ‘man flu’ which is a sexist way of saying men are lazy and take sick days for the slightest thing.

    Can I also throw in ‘white slavery’, which has long offended me (I’m Caucasian). Does the addition of ‘white’ make it more abhorrent than the ‘normal’ kind? If you want to emphasise it’s happening now, say ‘modern-day’ or something.
    (I realise it’s probably used for historical reasons from back when the ‘normal’ kind was mostly considered OK. Or it may just refer to people forced to work at White Castle.)

    • Chris Says:

      “Reverse racism” has always been one of my least favorite phrases like that. Racism is racism, no matter what ethnic group it’s against.

      • Kristian Says:


        (So, Tea Partiers, would you like proper anti-discrimination laws to be in place now, while you are still the majority, or in 100 years time, when you’ll have to talk to your gay black senator in Spanish?)

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