Founding Fathers vs. Founders

Margaret Lee mlee303 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jul 30 08:51:57 UTC 2001

Could it be that we now want to disassociate the Founding Fathers
from the possibility of their having *fathered* more than just the
country, especially in the case of Jefferson who is thought to have
*fathered* at least one if not all of Sally Hemings's children?  Just
a thought ...

--- Ittaob at AOL.COM wrote:
>     I just read the July 2 Newsweek, which has an article called
> "Founders
> Chic" about Jefferson, Adams, et al. The article calls them the
> "Founders,"
> stating parenthetically "no longer called the Founding Fathers for
> reasons of
> political correctness." This raised several questions in my mind.
>     1. When did this happen? I am a well-read attorney (not a
> linguist), and
> this is the first time I've seen the supposed change in
> terminology. Are
> there citations out there? Is this real, or did Newsweek make it
> up?
>     2. Why did this happen? I understand and support avoiding the
> use of
> "men" and other male-derived terms to refer to groups of humans
> consisting of
> men and women.  But, gee, for gosh sakes, the Founding Fathers were
> all, dare
> we say it, men. Why does political correctness even enter into the
> equation?
> To fool some sensitive schoolgirls into thinking, for a year or
> two, that
> there were a few women in the group? I don't get it.
>     Will the next article be referring to "T. Jefferson and J.
> Adams (no
> longer called Thomas and John for reasons of political
> correctness)"?
>     By the way, Newsweek elsewhere in the article refers to them as
> "genuine
> statesmen."
>     Steve Boatti

Margaret G. Lee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - English and Linguistics
 & University Editor
Department of English
Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668
e-mail:  mlee303 at  or  margaret.lee at

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