There’s a story in the news today that female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes. Personally, I think they’re referring to female named hurricanes. I doubt that anyone has been able to verify the external genital characteristics, much less verify the presence or absence of Y chromosomes, in order to accurately determine the sex of these storms (or, for the purists, the gender of their names).
Long ago I read that when they first started naming hurricanes, they named them after politicians. After all, it was an ill wind that blew no one any good (as opposed to an oboe, which is an ill wind that no one blows good—sorry about that, I was a bassoonist). Getting back on track, it didn’t take long for the politicians, or more likely their staffs, given the intelligence of most politicians, to see what was happening and demand (under pain of loss of government funding) that this practice stop, immediately.
So, the weather people (I don’t know if we can truly call them meteorologists back then) knowing that as a government agency they needed funding, complied and sneakily began naming storms after the wives of politicians, which went unchallenged because wives couldn’t vote, and whenever they brought up a logical, legitimate complaint, they were summarily ignored by their husbands and everybody else. Hence, hurricanes, for many years, were assigned female names (not because, as the old joke goes, that they were hurricanes, not himicaines).
Today we choose from male names, female names, transgender names, not-really-sure names, and names that someone just makes up and tells everyone else, with a straight face, “No, really, that’s a name!” These are the same people who you will find cheating at Scrabble.
So, remember, when a devastating force of nature begins to destroy everything that you or your family have ever owned, the most important question to ask, is:
Did we assign this storm with a politically correct name?
Let’s hope we have the courage to answer in the affirmative.