In its actions vis-à-vis the Washington Redskins, the U.S. Patent and Copyright Office has created far more profound problems than government problem-creators normally accomplish. In thinking about certain First Amendment questions, it suddenly dawned on me: the U.S. Constitution, by its very wording, has so many references to “men” as to make it clear that this document – and the political system it created – is applicable only to males. Article I informs us that “No Person shall be a Representative. . .” A “person” is made up, in part, of the word “son,” which means a male child. This word appears a number of times within the document (ooops, “docu-MEN-t,” another problem) and needs to be exorcised lest the Constitution be “disparaging to women.” But there’s that damned “men” again. Can these letters simply be replaced with something less misogynistic? “Female” won’t do, as the last four letters of that word have the same masculine bias. Hmmmm. What to do, what to do? Perhaps altering the word to read “perpeople,” as in “No Perpeople shall be a Representative . . .”, and so on.
The so-called “Amendments” to the Constitution will have to go through the same transformation. The First Amendment, for instance, will henceforth be known as the “First Apeopledpeoplet” (two “men” in the original spelling). And the “Commerce Clause” of Article I, Section 8 will have to be modified insofar as it gives to Congress the power “To regulate Commerce . . . with the Indian Tribes.” “Indian Tribes” is doubly “disparaging” to those who prefer to think of their identities as “Native American,” as well as characterizing their culture in primitive, tribal terms. Those who trace their ancestries to Delhi, Hyderabad, Bhopal, or other locations on the Indian subcontinent, might also take umbrage at the suggestion that the Commerce Clause reaches them.
Law schools will have to get to work on this at once. Since the Constitution no longer serves any purpose other than keeping the government from doing all of the terrible things that it does, faculty and students alike can busy themselves with the important task of cleaning up the language! Failure to devote oneself to this cause will raise a presumption of misogyny.5:38 pm on June 19, 2014 Email Butler Shaffer