The woke cadre running the museum has now taken a running leap off the cliff of relevancy.
The last time we visited the British Museum at Legal Insurrection, I wrote that the Egyptians petitioned to return the iconic Rosetta Stone, which was used to decipher the hieroglyphics of the long-dead language.
While I defended this venerable institution then, the woke cadre running the museum has now taken a running leap off the cliff of relevancy.
It might seem impossible to hurt the feelings of a 3,000-year-old corpse. But woke museum chiefs have stopped using the word ‘mummy’ to describe the remains of ancient Egyptians, all in the name of ‘respect’.
They say the term is dehumanising to those who died and – of course – an unwelcome throwback to Britain’s colonial past.
The phrase now deemed politically acceptable is ‘mummified person’ or ‘mummified remains’.
The British Museum says it uses the latter phrase to emphasise to visitors that they are looking at people who once lived, while the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle says that it has adopted the new terms for its mummified woman Irtyru, who dates from around 600BC, to acknowledge the history of colonial exploitation and to give her the respect she deserves.
National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh has also removed the word ‘mummy’ from labels on its human remains.
A spokeswoman said: ‘Where we know the name of an individual we use that, otherwise we use “mummified man, woman, boy, girl or person” because we are referring to people, not objects.
They want to be more sensitive.
Using the term “mummified remains” can encourage visitors to think of the individual who once lived, the museums told CNN.
Initial findings from visitor research into the Great North Museum: Hancock’s display of the mummified Egyptian woman known as Irtyru found that many visitors “did not recognize that she was a real person,” museum manager Adam Goldwater told CNN in a statement.
By “displaying her more sensitively,” Goldwater added, “we hope our visitors will see her remains for what they really are — not an object of curiosity, but a real human who was once alive and had a very specific belief about how her body should be treated after death.”
One must ask: How do they know if those remains want to be identified as man, woman…or sheep?
But seriously, if those visitors do not understand those remains were once of a living person, then the region’s education system is seriously deficient. Language policing is not going to fix ignorance or increase sensitivity.
This has been a busy time for the language police. My colleague Mike LaChance recently wrote about a memo from the University of Southern California’s Suzanne Dworek-Peck School of Social Work that says it will be doing away with the term “field” to adhere to anti-racist practices.
Mike also reported on Stanford University’s attempt to ban the word “American,” which had to be rescinded because of the backlash.
This also aligns with concerns Professor Jacobson outlined in an interview on how campus word policing is a serious and ever-increasing manifesting of authoritarianism.
Jacobson also claimed that the people engaged in word banning on campuses come almost entirely from the left, utilizing speech control as a “power play.”
“They don’t really care about the origins of these words. They don’t really care about the history. It’s just a way of imposing their political viewpoint on everybody,” he said.
It also corresponds to a critical point Catholic author Peter Kreeft once made: “Control language and you control thought; control thought, and you control action; control action and you control the world.”
As an amateur Egyptologist, I know that the ancient Egyptians felt they would live again if their names were said. So to those running the museums, I suggest it would be more sensitive and sensible to post the term (if it can be discerned) next to the display and do a better job teaching history…rather than trying to manipulate someone’s words to appease the gods of wokeness.
Besides, “The Curse of the Mummified Man’s Tomb” doesn’t pack the same dramatic punch.
The “experts” and “smart set” who pronounce this have become a laughingstock.
You thought it couldn't get any crazier?
— ''Femalism''🟥 🟪⬜🟩 (@ilovepreserves) January 23, 2023
This doesn't make ANY sense. Her mother's a mummy?
And how far does she think the British Museum's jurisdiction in implementing a "ban" extends???
And how does more careful scientific language relate to woke anyway?
— Pantomime Democracy (@pantodemocracy) January 22, 2023
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