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Sort 126

What Ships Want

by Dear Jon
March 23, 2002

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Sort 126_Dear Jon-What Ships Want ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,
I saw in the news that the official newspaper of the shipping industry has declared that all ships are now to be referred to as "it" rather than the traditional "she." As an expert in gender affairs, do you think it would be sexist or insensitive to call a boat "her" or "she" or should we abide by the new standard? Are sea vessels female, and does Dear Jon know what they want?

Red Beard

Dear Beard,

Actually, I had heard that one of the insurer's in the shipping industry was going to refer to ships as "it" instead of "she" in their legal documents. Since this insurer is in England, then of course the standard must change all over the world.

We are getting to the point now when many human beings are rather more like "it" than "he" or "she."

I had always thought that ships were like women: powerful, but needing a high level of maintenence; prone to go adrift unless a male does the steering; blown hither by the latest winds yet able to weather the storms; graceful; generally preferring Caribbean climates for vacation.

As you can see from the poll results below, the few who did vote think I am a male chauvinist! Can you believe it? We had low voter turn-out on the poll. I delayed the column a whole day just to see if more people would vote. For some reason, my female fans must have remained uncharacteristically silent as they did not register their opinions. I am stuck with the misimpressions of other male readers who just don't know women the way I do. I say we extend the poll another week to give my true fan-base a chance to register the truth. Once again, vote early and vote often.

Results so far:

Does Dear Jon know what women want?
Yes (6), No (10)

Is Dear Jon a Male Chauvinist Pig?
Yes (9), No (7)

Can both be true?
Yes (11), No (5)

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