With reference to Lucy Ellmann’s starkly eloquent letter (), I have spent 30 years teaching secondary geography pupils that we don’t use the term “manmade” any more – it’s gender-biased. We should use “anthropogenic” instead. It also makes you sound cleverer.
I’m not sure that I’ve been doing the right thing. The climate emergency is indeed a very gendered fact of 21st-century life. The primary drivers of it have been male-led and male-dominated entities, and the primary victims will be poor, brown and female.
It may be time to approve of the term “manmade” once more – with qualifiers.
While I agree with Lucy Ellman that all the world’s problems might well have been created by men, not all men created the world’s problems. Please be aware that many of us do care, and act accordingly.
Lucy Ellman asserts that all (and only) men are to blame for climate change. Yet it is the population-driven scale of pollution that matters. While manly emissions are necessary, they are not sufficient for runaway population growth: ruinous birth rates have been the cause, and for that there can surely be no one to blame but mothers.
Meroo Meadow, New South Wales, Australia