Monday, 13 June 2016

Hero = Man?

I might still be concerned about this topic. Let me set the scene for you so that you are not lost. 

I watched a video on YouTube of a woman rescuing a baby and the mother. As the video played the commentator added the statement some think she should be called a hero. I sensed the question in the statement and thought that's strange. She saves the baby why not call her hero. She is to that mother and child. So I innocently go to the dictionary for a definition of hero thinking this should solve the problem. This is what I found. 

"a person, typically a man, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities"

I was so surprised I thought maybe this is a mistake I will check another dictionary. Good we have Internet. 

  1. 1a  :  a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowedwith great strength or abilityb  :  an illustrious warriorc  :  a man admired for his achievements and noblequalitiesd  :  one who shows great courage

  2. 2a  :  the principal male character in a literary or dramatic workb  :  the central figure in an event, period, or movement

Seriously I was surprised and maybe a little annoyed that a 21st century definition includes the word man. So I thought check again. 

"a man of distinguished courageor ability, admired for his bravedeeds and noble qualities"

There it was again. No hiding it. Just plan and simple a hero is a man. Now I am lost for what to do with myself. I am being so serious. When did this happen how did this happen to me. I seriously thought that while sexism exists in the dictionary at least we wouldn't need sexism. I appreciate there is a historical element to the word but surely we have moved past this. But no. The woman who rescued the baby and mother still has to endure hesitation when referring to her as a hero. Why hesitation because by the dictionary heroes are men! What she did might be heroic but are we allowed to  call her a hero. 

I am still trying to figure out what to do with this new information. Hero a person who performs a heroic deed. As long as it's a man they are a hero. 

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