Gingerbread Man Victimised
Yesterday, I stopped at my local bakery for an impromptu snack. While checking the cake window (because I am calorie deficient in all things sweet) I noticed a plate of Gingerbread ‘persons’. I am sure many others have seen this poor little blighter generically maligned.
I politely asked the assistant why the delicacy was not described as a Gingerbread ‘Man’.
‘Oh, some people say it’s sexist,’ came the reply.
I pushed my view and educated the assistant that ‘Gingerbread Man‘ is the name of a character from a story (and book) by Sarah Cone Bryant, published in 1926.
My view is that a person, business, or institution should not be allowed (legally or morally) to take that character’s name under their own proprietorship and do with it as they please. Taking my stance a step further, will we soon see Superperson, Batperson, Spiderperson and Wonderperson? In all probability though, Wonderwoman would be exempted, because the female gender remains unchallenged in discrimination. Without adopting a sexist view, might I ask why the occupation of midwife has not been renamed ‘midperson’?
Yes, there is a case for exemptions in circumstances where one sex might be disadvantaged over the other; that is when discriminatory measures should be enforced. However, to consciously take a person’s intellectual property and ‘bastardise’ it with another name seems, to me, a greater offence than leaving the poor oven-bake as a simple Gingerbread Man.