Why is the Word Secretary Offensive?

Friday, July 30, 2010

We're too politically correct nowadays, so it's time to break apart another bullshit aspect that is completely ridiculous. This time, the target is people being offended at the word "secretary".

Some arguments I've heard:

Argument: "Secretary" has a negative history of seeming like a remedial, simple job.
Response: Newsflash - that never really changed. If you explain to someone what your job is without saying "secretary", they'll think to themselves "oh, so you're a secretary". Even if they refer to you as something else, it's still the same job description. You're doing SECRETARIAL work.

Argument: "Administrative assistant" has a more professional, dignified sound to it.
Response: Yes, it does, but should we be changing all job descriptions like this? Garbage men have suddenly become "sanitation collection agents". Janitors are called "custodians" or "caretakers", despite how the people that truly take care of a building aren't just cleaning up vomit and emptying trashcans. How long before people that are flipping burgers are calling themselves "speed chefs" just to feel better about themselves?

Argument: I don't use a typewriter anymore. I know computers. Therefore, calling myself a secretary means I'm downgrading my much higher level of required skills and selling myself short.
Response: Ever seen the commercial where the 4 year old girl edits her pictures in Windows? Yeah. Using Microsoft Word, printing documents, and maintaining a calendar and email address doesn't mean you graduated valedictorian. Assuming you're even good at it, then it means you're just about on par with elementary school kids.

Argument: I'm bored with the term, so why not change it?
Response: While we're at it, let's stop saying "doctor". We've used the term "lawyer" for a while, why don't we change that? Or, if a job doesn't change, we can...I don't know...keep the title the same, too?

Argument: It's demeaning to women.
Response: So there are no male secretaries? You see, "secretary" isn't gender specific. It isn't like the distinction between "waiter" and "waitress". If you're claiming that the word 'secretary' is sexist because it demeans women, then you in fact are being sexist for generalizing the job as being female-only...but I'm sure you won't admit it to yourself.

Also, why is there an "Administrative Professionals' Day"? People claim it's there to show appreciation for the people that help out the bigwigs, but that's ridiculous. There's already appreciation for doing their jobs, and it's called a paycheck. Secretaries aren't answering phones, making copies, and rescheduling your appointments for the fun of it. They're doing it to get paid. So to respond to them doing their job correctly, you give them money. It's that simple. We're all about equality here, right? So where are the days for giving honor to other jobs out there, like a day dedicated to construction workers or karate instructors or the people that create fake snow?

What is very sad about all this is how unproductive it is. Anyone who takes 5 seconds to think about secretarial jobs - no matter what they're called - will see that it is the job of a secretary. The only potential people that are being convinced that the position has somehow upgraded are the people that are lying to themselves because they feel inadequate, which is pathetic. And you know what else? There isn't a huge reason to be upset if you're working as a secretary in a place that has the slightest bit of credibility. It isn't the bottom of the barrel. It takes quite a bit of patience and organization to pull off something like that.

So cut the PC crap and be honest.

Is the term "Secretary of State" offensive now, too?



This site is dead and has been for a long while, for multiple reasons—not the least of which is that it's of a different era (roughly 2007). You can no longer safely play around with discussing gray areas with a humorous twist. People don't read between the lines. If they want to be offended, they'll twist what you said to mean whatever they want, and you're guilty no matter what. Or, on the flip-side, instead of being too sensitive, they'll think you're somehow defending their awfully bigoted or shameful viewpoints, even if you aren't. Both extreme sides of everything are so black/white dumb that it's an impossible minefield to navigate. If anything on here doesn't age well, sorry; times have changed, and so do people, for better or worse. Get over it. (It being "everything") There is always more important shit out there going on. Out on limbs.



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