I did my Ironman race this past Sunday and so, according to tradition, I am now an Ironman.  Not an Ironwoman, not an Iron(wo)man, or an Ironlady, certainly not an Irongirl, and nothing like an Ironperson.  There is merchandise clearly targeted at the Ironman of the female variety, all pinks and mauves and the occasional flower, but nowhere in this gear does the IM symbol (see image on the left) become a W with an I in the middle instead of an M with an I.  Female ironmen along with the men get this IM symbol, and no other, tattooed on the back of their right or left calf.  There is merchandising for Ironmates, Ironmoms and Irondads, but nowhere will you see the expression Ironwoman.  Anyone who finishes one of these things is called the same thing, making the expression perhaps not so much inclusive but completely neutral.  A surprising and wonderful phenomena for an expression that contains the word ‘man’.  I might not be a man (and have no desire to be) but I am an Ironman.

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