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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Ladies And Gentlemen Are Kaput

The phrase "Ladies and Gentlemen" used to signal the start of an exciting event, the evening news was on TV; the audience would come to order, the circus had begun. The demise of "Ladies and Gentlemen" is an annoying change, but a change which will eventually make everyone more comfortable.

Fifty years ago, "Ladies and Gentlemen" could be a provocative expression when some snickering boy misquoted it as "Ladies and Germs". Even funnier, some men would sotto voce, "Ladies and Genitals". Before cable TV you made your own fun.

Police officers sarcastically refer to the criminals they collar as "gentlemen", a euphemism that has weakened whatever strength that word once had.

Calling women "ladies" is presumptuous. When people used to referred to me as a lady, in a corrective tone as if to admonish me to behave, saying "This lady wants...", "Show this lady where...", I occasionally bucked my traces and admonished them right back, saying with a snarl or a laugh as the mood might have been, "You are making a lot of assumptions when you call me a lady."

Caption: Air Canada drops "ladies and gentlemen" for gender-neutral terms.

Fox Nation, 10-18-19


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