Will calling a ship ‘she’ offend the trans inclusionary faction ?

A few days ago the BBC carried an extensive, interesting report on the discovery of the wreck of a warship named the Gloucester, lost on a North Sea sandbank in 1682. She was a typical Naval vessel of the period, heavily gunned with an elaborately carved quarterdeck and forecastle, all gilded and painted.

The future James II was aboard and narrowly escaped. According to witnesses, he took with him various Catholic priests and his dogs while leaving most of the crew to drown (thus demonstrating what absolute rotters Catholics are, and how fortunate was the Glorious Revolution).

The BBC quotes Prof Claire Jowitt of the University of East Anglia: ‘most significant historic maritime discovery since the Mary Rose.…The discovery promises to fundamentally change understanding of 17th Century social, maritime and political history.’ A large claim, and though I’m unsure how a shipwreck changes the understanding of political history, I will defer to Prof Jowitt on this.

The BBC goes on to speculate that had James Stuart drowned, the Glorious Revolution may not have occurred; what is certain is that neither the Old Pretender or Bonnie Prince Charlie would have existed, which sounds like a Good Thing. However, also aboard the ship was John Churchill and his survival certainly seems fortunate when we contemplate his military campaigns, the splendour of Blenheim Palace, and the eminence of his descendant, Sir Winston Churchill (and overlooking his dreadful harridan wife Sarah, nee Jennings).

I am well aware that in writing the above notes I am guilty of at least one major deviation from the zeitgeist in mentioning Sir Winston with approval, instead of with the abhorrence due to an imperialist, militarist, white, straight, male, racist Conservative. It is also possible that I have offended some Scots of the Sturgeon persuasion, but there we are. More subtly I have noticed of late that there seems to be a movement building against the use of ‘She’ in referring to a ship, I think because it is sexist or trans-exclusionary or something equally awful. And therefore, I will redeem myself by closing with the words of the UEA ahead of their forthcoming exhibition on the discovery of the vessel: ‘While the Gloucester was not a slave-trading ship, many people from diverse cultural backgrounds lost their lives and historians will make sure their stories are told’.

Hell yes. You’ve got to have a diverse cultural background in there, otherwise what’s the point?

Subscribe to Digital magazine

Subscribe to Print Magazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

10 Comments on Will calling a ship ‘she’ offend the trans inclusionary faction ?

  1. As Abortion “Rights” coincide with Gay “Pride”, a nice new slogan for the demos comes to mind:

  2. Brian, you’re right. I will hand myself in. It may be that I have thoughts that are no longer permitted. I am sure the Police will carefully “examine my thinking”.

  3. Further to the very last point, it seems amazing how many Negroes and other non-English appear to be promoted as an ordinary part of the ruling elites as depicted in many TV shows and indeed historical shows… Proving Diversity? And why is Diversity important in any case??

    • I watched a whole evening’s TV recently and an overwhelming majority of adverts featured Negroes exclusively, including (Domestos) an entire school-room class, several in which black men are partnered with white women, usually with mixed-race children, running a close second, and blacks with a few white people coming third. White British are a small minority, and Asians comparatively neglected.

      Diversity also applies to orientation, gender and disability. We have yet to see a Trans “Naked Attraction”, an All-Gay “Take Me Out” and a Disabled Pansexual “Love Island”, but give it time.

      Meanwhile, a GCSE Question: “What happens when a person with a penis who identifies as a woman has ‘sex’ with a person with a vagina who identifies as a man?”

  4. On calling a ship ‘she’ – How do the french get over the issue of the gender of nouns. I’ve always had trouble with them; le. la, les, lui, leur?
    Is there a nemonic for identifying whether an object is male or female as we do the treble clef notes, ‘every good boys deserve fudge.’? And, of course, the inherent gender of ships which one would assume would be common but isn’t: for instance, ‘the ship sails tomorrow.’ translated is, le bateau appareille demain.’ Or to be sure, ‘le navire part demain.’ Either way a ship or any vehicle in the French language is considered male. Perhaps this query is in itself out-of-order. Perhaps this is one for Trudeau.

    • The “OU” has a course stating that the English language itself is racist.
      The “B”BC issued a “Multicultural Education” instruction booklet decades ago which included the same observation.
      To teach Latin and classical Greek is also racist because they represent white European cultural superiority.
      The Germans are racist (or were until recently) but then we knew that.
      Russian, spoken as “mother”-tongue by over a quarter of the Ukrainians, is now racist.
      “We shall be free or die who speak the tongue that Shakespeare spake” (Wordsworth) but then he was a racist, antisemite, imperialist, xenophobe – and as one junior school teacher complained some time ago, “Romeo and Juliet is blatantly heterosexual”. (Not for much longer if the RSC has anything to do with it.)

  5. The academics, including the Professor, are clearly aligning themselves for government funding and grants and accompanying careers as advisory roles. Purely historical purposes, following the costly and ongoing Tudor Rose and Swedish Viking and Vasa precedents, involving and invoking the current shibboleths of equality, diversity and race is a simply potential avenue to secure the funds they seek to raise this hulk in a time of economic disaster. Whether it is worth raising is another natter entirely.

  6. This Gloucester was not glorious, but at least modern PC sensibilities can be acknowledged as she was being used as a trans-port ship.