Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Teach me

I'm wishing all my Jewish friends a happy Hanukkah.  And because it never gets old, no matter what your religion is, The Hanukkah Song.

Meanwhile, I have a question for you.  When speaking of, say, a hat or scarf that could easily be worn by either male or female, do you call it a unisex hat or scarf, or is it a gender neutral hat or scarf?  Or would you call it something else entirely?

I ask because I've always said unisex, but I was recently reading a forums post where the issue was being discussed argued.  Several people felt that the term "unisex" was disrespectful & insulting.  In fact, the conversation had become so heated & insulting, I chose not to take part in it.  But it got me thinking.  Am I really that old & out of touch with things?  How is calling this hat, for example, a "unisex hat" disrespectful & insulting?  I don't understand.  Keeping in mind I'm talking about things, apparel items for the most part, not people, what is so wrong with the word "unisex"?

If you have opinions on this, please share in the comments.  I'd really like to know.  But please, be respectful & use your inside voice.  Don't yell at me, teach me.


  1. Hmmm, I guess I have gotten accustomed to seeing unisex clothing and accessories simply listed as "scarf" or "hat" with no reference to the preferred/suggested gender of the user or wearer. Out here in Portland (motto: "Keep Portland Weird" - seriously) we just don't worry about it I guess. If you like it and want to wear it, then go for it. I may complain about this rainy, grey city a lot but I have to admit the live-and-let-live attitude is refreshing. So what if you are a guy wearing a fuzzy pink scarf or a blonde lady with a severe black beret. To each his own. (And if you need to refer to a gender for sizing purposes, that's fine - "fits a large lady's hand or a medium to small gentleman's hand" would work just fine.)

  2. "Unisex" works fine for me. Maybe "gender neutral" is just one of those things like we now say "Asian" instead of "Oriental".