Our language has evolved and changed to try and become more gender neutral and ‘politically correct’. For example, policeman to police officer, fireman to firefighter, and now fisherman to fisher.
Since the beginning of time the word fisherman has been used to describe a person who captures fish and other animals from a body of water.
Fish Radio asked fishing men and women of Kodiak what they thought of the more gender neutral name change.
“I enjoy the term fishermen. I much rather be called a fisherman than a fisher women. I feel like it would separate me as crew. I don’t want to be treated like a woman on the boat. I want to be treated like a crew member.”
“As a woman I have always considered myself a fisherman. My dad has always taught me how to fish, and I feel like it is something that is important to many families. Especially father daughter relationships and I think it should stay the way that it is.”
The word man defines a human being, or the family of man. It never was meant to single out the male species. Fishing is one of the oldest occupations in history.
In terms of the word fisherman, is it offensive?
“Not at all. You can put too much weight on the gender bias thing. And it shouldn’t be there. Accept people for who they are. If a fisherman is a fisherman, why do we have to change it because somebody is offended. We are changing so many things in this country because somebody is offended.”
“It’s been used for hundreds of years. Whether you’re a fisher guy or a fisher woman, it’s always been used fisherman. It’s obvious it has to be a woman who isn’t tied into the fisheries. It’s got to be. As an ex fisherman I never even thought of it that way.”
“A fisherman is a fisherman. That’s just the term. This gender neutral has gone too far.”
“I’m offended to change. And I’m tired of it. An old squaw will always be an old squaw and they came up with a new name for that duck.
What could be used as a more gender friendly term?
“I don’t like either of them. Because I think fishermen.. You eliminate the women, and I understand it is a historical thing. But wouldn’t it be nice to have something? But Fisher is not it.”
“If fisherman has got to go, a fisher person would be just fine. And if a woman wants to be called a fisher lady, I think that that would be acceptable as well.”
Politically correct or not, in the world of fish the name will always stay the same.
“A fisherman is a fisherman is a fisherman and will always be a fisherman. Whether it is female, boy, child, man, or woman. It doesn’t really matter.”