When a man does something admirable, he is a word that evokes thoughts of rescue, overcoming odds, perseverance, and riding off into the sunset. When a woman does something admirable, she is a word that is one letter different from – and sounds exactly the same as – a word that evokes images of hollowed eyes, sallow skin, stick-thin arms, needle tracks and nights in gutters. I know this is not intentional, but everytime it crosses my path, I am horrified. I can’t get myself to picture someone I admire no end, and use… that word.
So I won’t. I will never use the word “heroine” again. An admirable man is a hero. An admirable woman is a hero.
That is all.