Say what you will, there’s nothing like a totally futile author spat to keep the book pages filled. The times we are living in are peculiar indeed but some things have always been certain.
First, Christopher Hitchens knows how to vex and offend, even if he is right. Second, Deborah Orr should know better than to descend to his level and respond to anything he writes. Third, if you ever find yourself reading the Mail Online, shame on you. Yes I know I haven’t provided a link to that news service. You want: you google it.
Some people believe comments about language as applied to women constitutes “political correctness gone mad”. I am not one of those people. I believe the words we use should be deployed carefully because they change the way we think – and what we ourselves believe.
Both writers are sufficiently skilled to know their words hold power and are old enough to take responsibility for their actions. Hitchens doesn’t sound as though he is taking responsibility – and his defence is pretty ropey. Because he has used the word “sqawking” in a gender neutral manner in the past that he can quote, that means he only ever uses it in a gender neutral way. Clearly false logic. QED.