So when I wrote a story about fisheries economics for Hakai Magazine recently, I surprised myself by noticing that I had used the term “fishers” without a second thought. I’d much rather be called a fisherman than a fisher women. Probably, but not necessarily in the way that some might hope, says Danika Klieber, a feminist fisheries scientist at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland and co-author of the paper. Whether you’re a fisher guy or a fisher woman, it’s always been used as fisherman. “I’ve met many female fishermen,” she says, “I ask them all the time what they prefer, and 100 percent of the time, they have told me they like the term fishermen, they don’t want to be called fishers.”. But the study found that shift hasn’t taken place across the board. Since the beginning of time the word fisherman has been used to describe a person who captures fish and other animals from a body of water. She noted that some people insist on using a gender-neutral term, in the hopes that it will promote equality in society. In my first job at a community newspaper in Hawaii in the early 2000s, whenever I had an assignment to write about fishing, I checked to see which editors were working that day. Editors want to be politically correct, even if it’s not what fishermen want.”. My dad taught me how to fish, and I feel like it is something that is important to many families. As an ex fisherman I never even thought of it that way.”, “A fisherman is a fisherman. It’s got to be. “As a woman I have always considered myself a fisherman. I want to be treated like a crew member.”. Fishing is one of the oldest occupations in history. You can put too much weight on the gender bias thing. “They worked very hard to become commercial fishermen, and they want that respect,” she says. Since the beginning of time the word fisherman has been used to describe a person who captures fish and other animals from a body of water. That’s just the term. I’m not the only journalist who has an opinion on the subject. And it shouldn’t be there. “Fishermen,” however, is strongly preferred by both women and men working in the North American fishing industry. “Fishers” is most commonly used in conservation biology, as well as in Australia. According to new research, “fishers” has been gaining ground. If a fisherman is a fisherman, why do we have to change it because somebody is offended? It turns out, I’m not alone. “A fisherman is a fisherman is a fisherman and will always be a fisherman. Hilary Hutcheson, host of Trout TV, fishing in Montana. For example, policeman to police officer, fireman to firefighter, and now fisherman to fisher. “I had looked at this once before, about 10 years ago, and it wasn’t like that at all,” says Trevor Branch, a fisheries researcher at the University of Washington, who co-authored the new paper. It never was meant to single out the male species. “I’m offended to change. Robin Meadows, a science writer in San Francisco, says she uses “fishermen” to avoid confusion—“fisher” is also the name of an adorable animal in the weasel family. “I prefer the term ‘fishers’ because it’s inclusive of women,” says Jennifer Crain, who writes about local food industries, including fishing and shellfish, in the South Sound region of Washington State. It flipped.”. Interestingly, when it came to scientific papers, word choice did not seem to be affected by the gender of the lead author. At least in scientific journals, “fishers” outpaced “fishermen” for the first time in 2013, a trend that continued in 2014. In terms of the word fisherman, is it offensive? If a certain copy editor was at her desk, I groaned inwardly. “I don’t like either of them. Fisherman: A fisherman is someone who captures fish and other animals from a body of water or gathers shellfish. This gender neutral has gone too far.”. What could be used as a more gender friendly term? Our language has evolved and changed to try and become more gender neutral and ‘politically correct’. I knew that every single reference to “fishermen” in my story would be changed to “fishers”—even if those fishers were men. Because I think fishermen – You eliminate the women, and I understand it is a historical thing. But wouldn’t it be nice to have something? Angling is a principal method of sport fishing, but commercial fisheries also use angling methods such as longlining or trolling. Cite this Article: It’s obvious it has to be a woman who isn’t tied into the fisheries. Especially father daughter relationships and I think it should stay the way that it is. It seems a fisher is someone who fishes, regardless of the reason why he fishes, whereas a fisherman may do this to make a living. Fish Radio asked fishing men and women of Kodiak what they thought of the more gender neutral name change. The team looked at the words for “fishers” and “fishermen” in more than 75 different languages, and found that many countries that use more neutral terminology continue to have highly gendered division of labor. And if a woman wants to be called a fisher lady, I think that that would be acceptable as well.”. I put the question out to several writers, and got arguments on both sides. Our language has evolved and changed to try and become more gender neutral and ‘politically correct’. Photo by Lee Cohen/Corbis, https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/fishers-or-fishermen-which-right/. “Gender-neutral terms did not mean gender equality in fisheries,” she says. Ilima Loomis is an award-winning author and journalist who’s contributed to publications including Science, Science News for Students, National Geographic Traveler, and Spirituality & Health. “Not at all. Ilima Loomis ““Fishers” or “Fishermen”—Which Is Right?,” Hakai Magazine, Oct 13, 2015, accessed November 29th, 2020, https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/fishers-or-fishermen-which-right/. The word man defines a human being, or the family of man. How to use fisherman in a sentence. But Fisher is not it.”, “If fisherman has got to go, a fisher person would be just fine. Still uses “ fishermen ” in stories, more and more editors ask her to use the term... ” she says terms such as longlining or trolling, when it came to papers... Feel like it would separate me as crew and men working in the industry! That is important to many families fisherman I never even thought of it that way. ”, “ fishers is... 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