Opinion
If you are not sure, don't do it
Publish Date: May 24, 2014
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By Rachael Petua Bakwesegha

“Oh! There hhhheee is ladies and gentlemen, there heee is, woooohhoooo…..” I shout, gleefully, while I emcee the KL International Forum event.

“Come on, ladies and gentleman, am sure you do can better, can’t you? He just won an i-pod. Amazing isn’t it?” The winner draws closer. For a second, my heart freezes. I could be mixing-up the gender, right there. This person looks more of femaleAd by PutLocker-Downloader V9.0 than male. “Here ssshheee is. Wow! How beautiful, amazing. Just look at her.

Gorgeous, isn’t she?” I hail, even louder. The hall is vast. There is a long stretch of a way before her and I have to keep the audience hyped up with my cheers.

Wow! Somebody give this woman another round of applause. The winner gets even closer and I even more boggled at the fact that I can’t figure out the gender which sends me to switch, even more swiftly, this time merging both genders, “Here he comes, yeaaaa, here she comes..keep the clapping going, friends,..theee, there..there sheeee.she.heee…is, ladies and gents”. My tongue feels dry and tortured. I am startled. I must get the gender right!

I am not amused with what is happening. I am somewhat afraid, hoping that the audience does not pick up my blunder. As shame and perplexity begin to hit me even harder, I screw up my eyes, hoping to get a clear-cut evidence of the winner’s gender this time, but still, hope was absent from duty.

I glance at my co-host, who shares the same nationality as the winner. She is standing right next to me and doesn’t seem bothered.

Her hands are folded at her back, her legs crossed, her straight, soft long hair settles on her broad shoulders and her fine dentalAd by PutLocker-Downloader V9.0 is seriously on display. She makes a striking front door portrait.

Not to chase away visitors, but to attract them. All that she is missing is some nice pair of 80′s wooden sunglasses. Forget her classical appearance. I just called “someone” a “he” plus a “she” and I am not sure which is correct!

The problem is that my fine cheekbones may easily be exchanged for a black mark.
 

Frankly, it is important that I correct my mistake, while I still have the chanceAd by PutLocker-Downloader V9.0. However, as the winner finally gets on to the stage, I smile, hand over the prize while I intensively understand the makeup.

I avoid staring and instead carry out the analysis in a more civil manner, but I am still hit by a mind challenging game. Moreover, at a somewhat important event.
 

Being a non-national, I am not familiar with certain cultural names, but I am happy to engage myself with different cultures. Just before the event commenced, I revised the winner’s names that struck me as male. However, upon mixing-up the gender, I believed my co-host should correct me.

However, I establish that she too is as jumbled as I am, but perhaps doesn’t consider it an issue as I do. I thankAd by PutLocker-Downloader V9.0 the audience and my co-host and I walk off the stage while I smile and wave good-bye as a queen of a mess.
 

While we take the lift, up to the secretariat, I express my frustration to my co-host, explaining my regret for having relied on emphasising the gender. “I understand, Petua.

That is OK. I think next time; you don’t need to say “he” or “she considering the situations here. You may keep neutral. No worries,” she comforts with a smirk.
 

The beauty about lessons is they foresee and mold us for the future. However, our present moment can allow us to blunder, but it may be a different story in the future.

If we are ever mandated to run anything more prominent than we have ever done, we would not be expected to go wrong since we should have already learned our lesson. Mistakes happen in anything rather than just gender. You may be safe this time, but sorry the next time. If you are not sure of it, don’t do it.

The writer is a Criminology and Criminal Justice
Griffith University, Australia

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