With the gender specific city code revolution ongoing in Berkeley, California, the landscape of our language is drastically changing. Physicians throughout the country are voicing concerns that certain inherently exclusionary medical terms are causing irreversible harm.
One such term at the forefront of the debate is HERpes, with advocates suggesting that HIMpes might be a more appropriate gender reversal term. “While the physical pain of a HERpes lesion is temporary and can be treated with medication, the emotional turmoil of such a gender specific word can have lasting effects,” noted someone…probably.
Scholars are exploring other possible changes, including: HERmaphrodite to HIMaphrodite, HERceptin to HISceptin, HERnia to HIMnia and HEReditary to HEreditary.
Surprisingly, women are very reluctant to accept the proposed change from HERpes to HIMpes. It seems that most women didn’t even know they actually “had” it, but since this has come to light, women everywhere appear to be taking ownership.
“In the male dominated world of medicine, it’s nice to have something like HERpes as our own,” noted a prominent female ID physician and staunch advocate for female equality. “I never realized how important HERpes was for us as women, and I just can’t imagine giving it away so easily. Holding on to HERpes is something I think we should really strive to achieve.”
Echoing the seemingly universal male sentiment, an anonymous male resident noted, “I’ve had HERpes multiple times which is very frustrating. I think HIMpes could really be a game changer for a lot of men. It would mean a new start, so in this instance I am very much for male equality. I’ve never had HIMpes, and it feels wonderful!”
In arguing for change, Dr. Manguy Steele, a scholar leading the charge stated, “The loss of manhole, manmade and manpower has men everywhere feeling, well, a little bit like women. HIMpes could be just the victory needed to bring some masculinity back into our lives.”