It's been some time since we've heard of groups felling objectionable statues or renaming parks, but a legislator in Massachusetts is looking to revive the trend — although instead of having a statue removed, State Rep. Michelle DuBois wants a Massachusetts statehouse entrance renamed so women feel less "objectified" coming in to work.
The "General Hooker Entrance" is named for the lauded Civil War general but, Reason Magazine reports, Rep. DuBois thinks the poor general has outlived his welcome, and keeping the name on the building is an affront to women's dignity.
"Female staffers don't use that entrance because the sign is offensive to them," DuBois told local media. She also reportedly complained that teenage boys standing near the sign have been heard joking that people entering and exiting the building are "general hookers."
She's even using the #MeToo hashtag to promote her campaign to rename the entrance.
R U a “General Hooker”? Of course not! Yet the main entrance of the Mass State House says otherwise.#Metoo it’s not all about rape & harassment but also women’s dignity A “funny” double entendres misrepresented as respect for a long dead general?— Michelle DuBois (@RepDuBois) March 14, 2018
1 Keep statue
2 Take sign down pic.twitter.com/3H67dRXAzN
As Reason points out, the term "hooker," does, in fact, derive from General Hooker's last name. At one point during the Civil War, Hooker became famous for encouraging women to follow his troops and provide "comfort" to his soldiers. Those women were known as "Hooker's girls," and then later as simply, "hookers."
The term is, by all accounts, considered a slur — but only if you use it to describe a woman of loose morals, or one who participates in prostitution. It's still the name of a man who scored wins (and took a few notable losses) for the Union in the Civil War.
Most people will have outgrown the temptation to call everyone who enters and exits through the doors of the Massachusetts statehouse a "general hooker," by the time they're legally allowed to vote — but apparently, feminists are unable to tell the difference between teenage hi-jinks and real problems.
Local commentator Jon Keller may have put it best. "There are all sorts of benign words in our language that sound like words unfit for polite company. And they offer us an opportunity to teach snickering kids about Civil War history or outer space — and about showing respect for others while avoiding making fools of ourselves."