Mankind, Womankind, Humankind

Which word do you prefer?

Over thirty years ago I stopped using the word, mankind. The word really bothered me. It is an archaic term, made up by men, to describe all humans on the planet. But the word itself only refers to half of the humans on the planet.

The word, womankind, only refers to half of the humans on the planet — the females — so it makes logical sense that mankind only refers to males, right?

But we have been taught in school since we were very young that mankind really also includes females even though there is no indication of that in the structure of the word. AND WE NEVER QUESTIONED THAT!

We are ruled by anything that we do not question! Personally, I try to question EVERYTHING. Why would a male term be used to describe females? Why would we call ourselves something so unbalanced and non-inclusive? Who taught us this and who insists that we do not question what we are taught? Is it the patriarchy that rules the world? Is it the men who wrote the dictionaries and bibles?

Are we really a male species created by a male God in ‘his’ image with females merely being an afterthought so that there is someone to vacuum and clean the kitchen and have babies so that men don’t have to?

Thirty to forty years ago I was reading a lot of feminist literature. Can you tell?

Words have power and they have energy behind them (whether voiced, written or uttered silently in our noggins). Although things are slowly getting better and more balanced, humankind has been in a state of severe imbalance for a very long time. If we ever hope to achieve a state of gender energy balance we must give our energy to that balance and not to only one side of the equation. By using the words, mankind, or Man, to describe all of us then we are feeding our energy into the imbalance.

And that is why I don’t use those words. I don’t want to empower the imbalance. Yes, I know the word, humankind, also includes ‘man’ in it but it is far more inclusive than mankind. ‘Hu’ brings us a tiny bit closer to balance. And in a state of balance we can ALL evolve more smoothly TOGETHER.

It’s all about energy.


Am I being too persnickety? Am I being a complete a-hole?

I’ll let you decide.

Earthling — Lifelong novelist & essayist —

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store