Wednesday, June 11, 2008

...ISTS and ISMS..

Current political events have led me to ponder the suffixes -ist and -ism.

Why, I wondered is bad to be a racist, ageist, or sexist -- while not so to be a feminist? Is there such a thing as maleism or maleists? Or just chauvinists and misogynists?

If I were an adoptionist - would that make me for it or against it, I pondered.

So, I looked and found:
The suffix -ism denotes a distinctive system of beliefs, myth, doctrine or theory that guides a social movement, institution, class or group.
The suffix -ist is used to denote a person who either practices something or a person who is concerned with something or a person who holds certain principles, doctrines, etc.

Made sense. If you play the flute, you are a flautist. If you play the piano...a pianist. But those who love dance are not dancists. Hmm.

If you believe in socialism, you are a socialist, but if you believe democracy you are not a democacist or even necessarily a democrat! And if you believe in Christ, you are a Christian, not a Chritsist. Perhps you have to believe an ism to be an ist?

The only conclusion I have come to is that this election is hurting my brain with its "ists" and "isms." It seems to be creating far more divisiveness about our DIFFERENCES, than uniting us...and the lines of difference get finer and finer by the day.

At what age is someone "too old" to run for office? It's like trying to figure out who is "too fat" or "too thin" these days - especially hard if you are in show biz. I think there is one and one ideal weight and anyone a few pounds over that limit - like Kirsty Allen - is labeled "fat" or worse, yet fall a pound or two below the exact acceptable weight and you're suspected of being anorexic (though not an anorexist)!

I think it all has one name with no ism or ist. I think it's all called discrimination!

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