The New York Times Style Guide to Alternative Cultural Practices
“The New York Times” decided it will now refer to “female genital mutilation” as “genital cutting”, a term that brings to mind something as harmless as male circumcision (which is why “female genital circumcision” is just as misleading).
“There’s a gulf between the Western (and some African) advocates who campaign against the practice and the people who follow the rite, and I felt the language used widened that chasm,” NYT science and health editor Celia Dugger explained Friday. She also said the widely used term (FGM) is “culturally loaded” in the explanation, which came as a result of inquiries from The Daily Caller News Foundation regarding a reporter’s decision to use the term “cutting” in a recent story about a doctor in Michigan.
We couldn’t possibly have “culturally loaded” terms in case they “widen the chasm” between the supporters and opponents of certain practices – or right and wrong, as some unsophisticated commentators would call it. All cultures are, after all, equal, so we shouldn’t be judgmental.
Because here at The Daily Chrenk we always try to be helpful to our mainstream media colleagues, we prepared this handy style guide to avoid other “culturally loaded” terms in print and broadcast:
Sati – post-marital grief immolation
Infanticide – fourth trimester termination
Female infanticide – gender-determined parenting
Wife beating – hands-on relationship counselling
Cannibalism – hard paleo (also: human protein supplementation)
Honour killing – permanent grounding
Spousal rape – consent-alternative marital intimacy
Scalping – complete ritual depilation
Killing old and infirm – extreme palliative care
Grooming underage girls – community-based, practical sex ed program
Child marriage – age disparate matching
Cousin marriage – kin inter-relationship enrichment
Human sacrifice – spiritually-motivated population reduction
Jihad – faith community self-defence
Slavery – compulsory, exclusive services contract
Sexual slavery – compulsory intimacy arrangement
Stoning adulterers – petrological divorce procedure
Throwing homosexuals off buildings – vertical monosexuality enforcement
Polygamy – concurrent monogamy
Child labour – premature apprenticeship
Headhunting – per capita loss (also: non-literal recruitment)
Torture – alternative investigation aid
Inbreeding – reproductive autarky
Witch-hunting – non-Carthesian threat reduction
The Daily Chrenk wishes you happy, chasm-reducing reading. And remember: we don’t judge!