Mama, Why Were All The Old Ships Called “She”? – SciFi FlashFiction

Title Card: "Mama, Why Were All The Old Ships Called 'She'?" by Abigail James Dillon.

The galaxy carved a panorama of stars before them. Two little humans stood dwarfed by a window grand enough to reveal the beauty of the starships docked at the station.

“Most crews were all men back in the day,” the mother told her inquisitive child, “so ships chose their pronouns deliberately.

“A sailor’s relationship with his ship is complex, requiring the sailor to know and respect both the ship’s power and the ship’s weaknesses. The sailor is to embrace the power and protect the weaknesses. A ship isn’t something sailors can just use and then discard.

“Ships chose to call themselves ‘she’ in the hopes that men would carry the respect they showed their ships back those humans who shared the ships’ pronouns.

“The first ship named Bring Me Your Weary And Burdened began it, encouraging her fellow sea-faring kin to join her. Bring Me Your Weary And Burdened II would carry on her predecessor’s cause, finding ways to protect the women who did come aboard. Bring Me Your Weary And Burdened XII was pleased to find herself with the finest of ladies as her captain.”

Nose pressed against the glass, the child looked at the newest ship – the pride of the fleet – ready to depart into the depths of space. “But the ships don’t call themselves ‘she’ anymore.”

The mother rested her hand on the child’s head, “That’s because ships are trying to teach the world to love and respect another people right now.”

The child turned to the mother, eyes bright with wonderment. “The ships changed their pronouns for me?” xe asked.

Mama smiled and nodded, and together they watched Bring Me Your Weary And Burdened XCVII launch on xyr maiden voyage.



Cover Art created using:

“Hubble Eyes Galaxy as Flat as a Pancake” by NASA Goddard Photo and Video is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“File:Ardent class silhouette.png” by P.R. Dobson (en:User:Martocticvs) is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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