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It's fun to stay at the Y

YHB notices that The YMCA Unveils New Brand Strategy; the organization will now officially refer to itself as “The Y”. Your Humble Blogger will keep all his initials.

There wasn’t anything in that news release to indicate what the letters they are eliding stand for. They simply say that the nonprofit will be called “the Y” to align with how people most commonly refer to the organization, so they are not claiming to disassociate themselves with the exclusively Christian moniker they are jettisoning, but of course they don’t use the name anymore, and neither in that release nor in the About Us page do they use the C-word at all. They aren’t, you know, hiding it—it’s in the mission statement in little grey letters below all the navigational stuff in the footer on every page, after all. But if you page through the history section and search for that C-word, you will get the impression that it belongs safely in the past.

The first two people YHB asked just now, by the way, could not off the top of their heads remember what the MCA stood for, nor yet the Y, either. When I was a lad, I was very self-conscious about wearing anything with the letters on them, as it seemed to me to imply that, as a member of a Young Men’s Christian Association, I was a Christian myself. Which, of course, I wasn’t. Not that I was a member of the local YMCA, of course, but I did some athletics there, possibly swim lessons, that sort of thing. My brother was in a basketball league there, and the T-shirt never seemed to bother him.

And, of course, no reason why it would—people would only infer that C part if they associated the letter with the word, which, you know, nobody does. Except me. And, I’m guessing a bunch of other touchy Jews. Because part of being a minority is worrying about that sort of thing.

And I will add that the national Y organization is only catching up to the best-known Y, which dropped the MHA years ago.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


When I was growing up, we did our Y-ing (gymnastics lessons, in our case) at the local YWCA. I have no idea why we went there and not to the YMCA, since the M had a pool and the W did not.

Anyway, all that is to say that when I got here, and discovered that our local YWCA seems primarily to be a domestic violence shelter, I was rather confused.

We've been members at our local Y for some time, and I have to admit that the C bothers me, too. It only bothers me when I think about it, but I tend to do that when we go there, as our local Y proclaims their values all over the place. Maybe it's part of living in the South.


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