RevJamesLSnyder 300 aKENTUCKY (7/14/13) - All through my life, I have been awkward when talking to someone of the opposite gender. I had thought by the time I got to this stage of life, post-young, I would have left a lot of this behind.

I was doing fine until I heard a news report giving information that the word “freshman” was no longer a politically correct word to use when speaking of college students. They are now referred to as “First-Year Students.” According to this report, the word freshman is offensive to women.

I brought this to the attention of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage to see if maybe she could shed a little bit of light on the situation. Unfortunately, she was as much in the dark about this as I was.

I sat down with my wife and we began to figure out how that I, a very sensitive and politically correct person, could address somebody of the opposite gender.

“I guess I can still call them women,” I said with a degree of certainty in my voice.

My wife looked at me and slowly shook her head. “I’m afraid that the word ‘women,’ is offensive to some of these politically correct individuals because the word ends in ‘men,’ which is a masculine gender. It also applies with the word ‘woman’.”

“So,” I said rather thoughtfully rubbing my chin, “I will have to begin calling those individuals females.” I smiled and thought I had come up with a solution. I looked at my wife to get her approval.

Shaking her head, she said, “That word is not acceptable anymore, either. If you look at the word, you will find that it ends in the word ‘male,’ and as you know that is masculine.”

“Well,” I said in a little bit of desperation, “I guess I’ll just have to call them lady.”

“Not so fast,” she said looking at me. “How do you spell lady? The first three letters spell the word ‘lad,’ and everybody knows a lad is a boy.”

I finally came up with the word I thought would solve all my political correctness dilemma. And I threw it at her. “I will just call them a person.” I was proud of my accomplishment.

“Buster,” she said, “you still don’t get it, do you? The word person ends with the word ‘son’ and everybody knows a son is a male child.”

I cannot call them women or woman or female or lady or person because somewhere in those words someone sees something masculine.

“I know what I’ll do,” I said to my wife with a smile dancing across my face, “whenever I see someone of the opposite gender I will shout out loud and clear ‘Hey, you.’”

“I think you’re getting worse as you go along here,” she said. “You do know what the word ‘hey’ begins with?”

I thought for a moment, sadly shaking my head, I looked at her and said, “He?”

I will never arrive at any degree of political correctness, at least during my lifetime. And, I will never understand any one of the opposite gender, whatever you call them. I do take a little consolation in God’s Word. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11 KJV).

I do not have to be politically correct when I come to God because His Word is final.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . His web site is

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