Letter to the Editor: What Has Become of All the Actresses?

You won’t find any in a Peninsula Players program. Nor in a Time magazine story on the latest Broadway play.

In fact, actresses are extinct! Now, female thespians are called actors, just like their male counterparts.

Why? I don’t know. Who said media could no longer use the term “actress?” You got me! Sure, I can understand the logic behind the demise of terms like “policeman,” (now police officer) “fireman,” (now fire fighter) and “postman” (now letter carrier), as women entered vocations formerly open, with rare exception, only to men. But actresses have been around forever.

Maybe it’s no longer politically correct to include a gender indication when describing a person. This, I’m afraid, might cause a bit of consternation.

Our Spanish-speaking friends will be serial offenders. Their nouns are either masculine (ending in “o”), or feminine (ending in “a”. A male cat, for example, is a “gato,” wheras a female cat is a “gata.” A male friend is an “amigo,” a female friend is an “amiga.” It’s impossible to leave gender out.

Then there’s Oscar night. There will no longer be a Best Actress category. Now the thespians formerly known as actresses will have to compete not just with women, but with the other gender as well. They’ll only have half the chance to win the big prize.

Hostess Twinkies will become Host Twinkies. And what about that staunch supporter of Wimbledon tennis, the Duchess of Kent? Will she now be the Duke? Speaking of royalty, will Queen Elizabeth II now be known as Monarch Elizabeth II? There’s no room for the words “king” or “queen” under the new rules, so far as I can determine.

Let’s not forget “Mr.” and “Ms?” Will those terms go too? Will people of the future be introduced as, e.g., “Human Smith?”

I’m trying to keep up with the times, but I fear I’ll slip up. The word “actress” has so much more class than “actor.” I bet Katharine Hepburn would agree.

Tom Felhofer

Union, Wisconsin