Inclusion Confusion

November 2003

Karl Keating, in his September 16th E-Letter, comments on the Official Voter Information Guide for the California gubernatorial recall election. The Guide allowed each candidate (135 in all) up to 250 words to describe himself and his positions.

Keating matter-of-factly reports that Audie Bock (Dem.) “describes herself as ‘a small businesswoman’…. [and] a ‘proud mother’….” Our immediate reaction was: Why does she find it important to point out that she’s small? Keating’s response was similar: “Maybe she’s short….” Of course, you’re not supposed to say “short” anymore, so apparently she chose “small” as an acceptable euphemism. Actually, the politically correct term is “a person of small stature.” Apparently, she figured that “small” would pass muster.

So, again, why does she want voters to know she’s small? Is there a voting bloc of persons of small stature out there, and was she making a pitch for that bloc? Or maybe there’s a sizeable sympathy vote among persons of large stature?

Keating continues: “I think she means she is ‘a small-business woman.’” Oh. Thanks Karl, that’s probably it.

Now, if that female candidate had said she’s “a small businessman,” there would be no confusion. After all, everyone says, “Suzie is a freshman at Podunk State.”


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New Oxford Notes: November 2003

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