Mermaids are Feminists

Surprise! Controversial name for the strip, bad pun for the joke.

Merfolk is the Politically Correct term for “mermaids”, which became common in the 3rd Edition of D&D. Roughly the same time lizardmen also became lizardfolk. Because the entire race couldn’t be female for reasons of ecological logic.
Well… that *sounds* right, but is not entirely true. Prior to 3e, merfolk were actual grouped under the far less common “merman” name. Which does exist and has its own wikipedia entry separate from mermaid, despite the latter being the much, much more common term. How much more common? As a very rough gauge, Google has 1.29 million hits for “merman” compared to 897 million for “mermaid”. When writing the Monster Manual, Gary Gygax, in a fit of apparent sexism, decided to go with the significantly less commonly used masculine term for the race. Calling the race “mermaids” would have been just as fair as “lizardmen”, and the race could have easily been a matriarchy or something. But, nope. Mermen. Because… I got nothing. Consistency?

It’s not even like there *needs* to be merdudes. Mermaids could be an entirely female race that employs captured sailors as mates. Or they reproduce through magical or asexual means, such as rescuing babies lost at sea and magically altering them. They could even be cursed women, likely struck down by the gods for vanity as that’s the only sin D&D gods seem to punish women for.