The radical idea that women are people

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby nightlina » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:18 pm UTC

Hmmm this whole discussion of rape is an interesting one and it does seem that there are two different points being brought up - one is where the woman has put herself into a situation where men are likely to misunderstand her and take advantage of her unknowingly, the other is where the woman in simply taken advantage of and all responsibility is on the man's shoulders.

In the first instance perhaps some blame could be placed with the woman (or, I should say, person being taken advantage of) as with a little bit of forethought they could have avoided the situation (eg, don't go to that bar which is notorious for people hooking up; don't get drunk; bring a friend you trust and give them the responsibility of looking after you, etc) however we should be able to hope that, as a society, we are taught to respect sex and be able to trust that the people around us aren't going to take advantage of us like that no matter what the circumstances. In some ways it makes me feel that perhaps we should go back to the Christian beliefs and not indulge in sex until after marriage.

I, personally, feel I am responsible for my own actions. Thus I do not go out with the intention of getting drunk (in fact, I've never been drunk) and if ever I go out to a club or bar I go with responsible friends (usually female) who are good at protecting me and making sure I keep out of trouble (even sober I'm good at being oblivious to that guy with a hardon behind me).

I should point out that I have also participated in sex where I wasn't really wanting it (with an ex boyfriend) however I don't blame him as I feel if I had been more honest and vocal all along about my misgivings then he would never have had sex with me. Especially since I was eventually able to say 'no' to him and he did back off. Should I now call him a rapist because I wasn't giving him the right signals? Even though he thought he was having consensual sex and I was good at acting and pretending I enjoyed it? I don't really think I could as it wasn't really his fault. It was my choice and I learnt from it to respect my body a lot more and make my needs and wants a lot clearer.

I can understand where Spuddly is coming from - that he doesn't want to be given the label of a 'rapist' when as far as he can tell he didn't really do anything wrong.

I can also see where Quix and others are coming from, and think that perhaps people should be educated better to know beforehand that what they are doing *is* classed as rape so they can be more aware of the repercussions of their actions.

This brings me back to me very, very original point (back in a post from yesterday) that a lot of these problems we see come, in my opinion, from a lack of modern education. Schools should be educating students on equality and enforcing it. And every person in the world deserves access to that education. With proper education and a good environment when growing up all people, male and female, will have been taught to respect one another and violence should be greatly reduced.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Lolsaur » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:23 pm UTC

Don't start that again, please....
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:25 pm UTC

I think it's absolutely right that schools should have a greater role in teaching equality topics to students.

(Not trying to be facetious, but "preach" seems to fit more than "teach" here...)
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby nightlina » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:37 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:I think it's absolutely right that schools should have a greater role in teaching equality topics to students.

(Not trying to be facetious, but "preach" seems to fit more than "teach" here...)

Sorry for my ignorance - but does anyone here know if one of the aims of feminism is to get a lot more of its ideals introduced to the education system? I feel like I've noticed elements of it slowly filtering in, but still maybe not as definite and clear as they could be.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Belial » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:38 pm UTC

nightlina wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:I think it's absolutely right that schools should have a greater role in teaching equality topics to students.

(Not trying to be facetious, but "preach" seems to fit more than "teach" here...)

Sorry for my ignorance - but does anyone here know if one of the aims of feminism is to get a lot more of its ideals introduced to the education system? I feel like I've noticed elements of it slowly filtering in, but still maybe not as definite and clear as they could be.



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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:43 pm UTC

I know that the "sex and relationships" lessons and discussions my school had never went near the topic of rape. Until a few years ago, I still had the same understanding of rape as the patriarchy defines it: by a stranger by force.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Spuddly » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:54 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:I know that the "sex and relationships" lessons and discussions my school had never went near the topic of rape. Until a few years ago, I still had the same understanding of rape as the patriarchy defines it: by a stranger by force.


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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Chai Kovsky » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:42 am UTC

*erased for entirely missing the last page of discussion*

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby nightlina » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:43 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:I know that the "sex and relationships" lessons and discussions my school had never went near the topic of rape. Until a few years ago, I still had the same understanding of rape as the patriarchy defines it: by a stranger by force.

We definitely never really openly discussed it either. We weren't even really taught about feminism and what it actually means. I would have liked it if I had a class, almost like a history class, that explained the movement and what changes it brought about and what changes still need to occur..

I imagine that if I went to uni (college) I could probably pick this as a subject to study, but perhaps it should be a mandatory part of our education, as concrete as maths and biology. We did have a 'sex ed' class, but it was mostly talking about drugs and what forms of contraception are most effective. It didn't go into any detail on the different definitions of rape, and definitely didn't mention how feminism has helped bring this understanding to the community.

So yeah, I noticed little things in school like girls and boys being given the same opportunities and so on, but nothing actually being specifically taught to us about feminism. The closest we came was to study a book that had a woman being repressed by a patriarchal (and highly religious) society ('The Wife of Martin Guerre' for anyone interested) and discuss the issues it raised.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby sophyturtle » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:03 pm UTC

My first year of high school we had one week on the feminist movement (the same way we had a week on the equal rights movement). My teacher went so far as to write "Herstory" instead of history on the board. Then he looked at me with this sideways glance I like I would know everything. My mother is well known in my home town.

With rape (spoiler in case we are talking about something else now):
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I have to fix this, I was making it far too personal for this thread.
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The common element of rape is the rapist. It is someone who takes their own wants to be more important than the other person. Men and women are capable of having this problem. Them seeing more benefit than cost is why they do it. It has nothing to do with the victims beyond availability, and the only way to protect from that is to live in total isolation and have a big dog or something.


As to college campuses, The only way you can make them safe is to make them small and mostly female. I went to Bennington College for a while, it was 600 kids with a female to male ratio of 6:1. On that campus everyone knows everything about what is going on. Everything! I mentioned I liked a guy and I heard about his sexual history for the last 3 years. This campus was clothing optional and had co-ed everything except bathrooms in the educational buildings. The driveway was a mile long and security was very insistent that outsiders were to be well watched.
They males felt so outnumbered they made a male support club called WIMP (Women's Issues from a Male Perspective). I had friends who passed out drunk in on the grass and woke up in their beds because every single person who walked by knew them, and knew each other. It was a safe place because it was run by women and everyone knew everything. There was a school sponsored Naked Activities Club, who would just be nudists all the time and they were not gropped by drunks at parties or thought of as sluts. I was once overly drunk there and in slight danger, in my own bedroom, and a friend came in and got me because people had been watching me and saw I was too drunk.
I miss Bennington sometimes. It was a place were sex was consensual, and more than one of my female friends was shocked to enter the rest of the world were they suddenly became conquests. After so long with one night stands who respect you because they have no reason not to the world of taking advantage of 'sluts' is quite unnerving.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Yuri2356 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:53 pm UTC

sophyturtle wrote:My teacher went so far as to write "Herstory" instead of history on the board.

There's a rant and a half to aim at this. It starts in ancient Greece and ends in a seething pit of nerdrage.

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:03 pm UTC

I don't see it as any more of a travesty than the word "walkathon." English tends to borrow words from other languages, forget that they're borrowed, and then do English things to them. I'm sure that when people use the word "herstory" they're perfectly aware that "history" isn't actually a contraction of his story. We're not stupid, you know. But history as we're taught it has indeed been the story of [white] men, so...it's just a way of making a point with wordplay. Recontextualizing words is fun!

...Although OED talks about the origin of the word:
ORIGIN late Middle English (also as a verb): via Latin from Greek historia ‘finding out, narrative, history,’ from histōr ‘learned, wise man,’ from an Indo-European root shared by wit 2 .

So there is "man" in there from way back?
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Chai Kovsky » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:11 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:
ORIGIN late Middle English (also as a verb): via Latin from Greek historia ‘finding out, narrative, history,’ from histōr ‘learned, wise man,’ from an Indo-European root shared by wit 2 .

So there is "man" in there from way back?

I would consider "walkathon" a travesty as well. Some portmanteaux were not meant to be had.

Besides, the OED doesn't distinguish whether the "man" in the derivation is related to the concept of andro- or anthropos. The former is related to "man" as in "male," while the latter is usually translated as "man," but is generally regarded as inclusive. Think of "good will toward men," where it is meant to be inclusive, although without the problem in English of "men" doubly having the restrictive meaning.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:14 pm UTC

And it used to be wermann and wifmann (or something similar, I'm not all up on the Old English language) for what we now use man and woman, with man simply being "Person", wif and wer defining the sex of said person.

Why the hell aren't we still using that?
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:16 pm UTC

I don't understand. If it's generally regarded as inclusive and does not have the English problem of also being restrictive, why is it not translated as "human" or "person"? Or is it "generally regarded as inclusive" in the sameway "chairman" and "mailman" are "generally regarded as inclusive" which is to say, not by me.

Also, yeah, I can understand that walkathon might be regarded as a travesty; I don't, but I understand some people do. But "walkathon" is not regarded as an insane act of futility by those moronic feminists, feminists who are CRAZY. It's just regarded as one of the stupid things people do with words.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:18 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:I don't understand. If it's generally regarded as inclusive and does not have the English problem of also being restrictive, why is it not translated as "human" or "person"? Or is it "generally regarded as inclusive" in the sameway "chairman" and "mailman" are "generally regarded as inclusive" which is to say, not by me.
Because to English translation is still stuck in 1912?
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Chai Kovsky » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:24 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:I don't understand. If it's generally regarded as inclusive and does not have the English problem of also being restrictive, why is it not translated as "human" or "person"? Or is it "generally regarded as inclusive" in the sameway "chairman" and "mailman" are "generally regarded as inclusive" which is to say, not by me.

Also, yeah, I can understand that walkathon might be regarded as a travesty; I don't, but I understand some people do. But "walkathon" is not regarded as an insane act of futility by those moronic feminists, feminists who are CRAZY. It's just regarded as one of the stupid things people do with words.

Essentially what SecondTalon said. It's not the Greek that's the problem, but the English. Let me put it this way: I studied Greek texts all semester and had one female translator for all those texts. Who's surprised that anthropos will be translated as "men" to make it "more poetical?"

For myself, I put herstory in the same category as walkathon. It's a function more of being a linguistic purist than an anti-feminist. Although I certainly have seen that the objection to "herstory" gets considerable fervor from people who don't care about language either way.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:27 pm UTC

Chai Kovsky wrote:Essentially what SecondTalon said. It's not the Greek that's the problem, but the English. Let me put it this way: I studied Greek texts all semester and had one female translator for all those texts. Who's surprised that anthropos will be translated as "men" to make it "more poetical?"

You.. realize that's a pretty good picture of the problem, right? That even though there were all of these translators, the only one who thought to translate [Word used for Person] as [Word that Only Means Person] instead of [Word used to Identify Male individuals as well as a Person in General] happened to not be a man, right?

That the thought apparently never occurred to them that *gasp* women might be Out of Ur Kitchin', Readin' Ur Hiztries ?

Also, I now want to make LOLFeminist pictures. I think that makes me a bad person.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby 22/7 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:28 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:I don't understand. If it's generally regarded as inclusive and does not have the English problem of also being restrictive, why is it not translated as "human" or "person"? Or is it "generally regarded as inclusive" in the sameway "chairman" and "mailman" are "generally regarded as inclusive" which is to say, not by me.

Also, yeah, I can understand that walkathon might be regarded as a travesty; I don't, but I understand some people do. But "walkathon" is not regarded as an insane act of futility by those moronic feminists, feminists who are CRAZY. It's just regarded as one of the stupid things people do with words.
What's the issue with "walkathon" (or am I missing that you're talking specifically about slamming "athon" on the end of walk and nothing particularly sexist)?
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Chai Kovsky » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:31 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:You.. realize that's a pretty good picture of the problem, right? That even though there were all of these translators, the only one who thought to translate [Word used for Person] as [Word that Only Means Person] instead of [Word used to Identify Male individuals as well as a Person in General] happened to not be a man, right?

Why yes, that was exactly the point I was making. I was explaining one theory as to why translation into English is so screwed up: there are no female translators. And even then, I'd have to go back and see whether she translated anthropos as "human" or "person," because I recall that she didn't. One more example of the female getting into the club by perpetuating its behaviors.

22/7 wrote:What's the issue with "walkathon" (or am I missing that you're talking specifically about slamming "athon" on the end of walk and nothing particularly sexist)?

Nothing sexist. I was trying to say that I dislike all portmanteaux of that variety, be they feminist or neutral like "walk+marathon."
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:32 pm UTC

Okay. That makes sense. Thanks.

And yeah, wasn't accusing you of that. But people do tend to hyperventilate over feminist wordplay.

SecondTalon wrote:You.. realize that's a pretty good picture of the problem, right? That even though there were all of these translators, the only one who thought to translate [Word used for Person] as [Word that Only Means Person] instead of [Word used to Identify Male individuals as well as a Person in General] happened to not be a man, right?

Wasn't that Chai Kovsky's point?

SecondTalon wrote:Also, I now want to make LOLFeminist pictures. I think that makes me a bad person.

No, that's a good-person thing. Make, then post here.

22/7 wrote:What's the issue with "walkathon" (or am I missing that you're talking specifically about slamming "athon" on the end of walk and nothing particularly sexist)?

That is what you were missing. Because the word "marathon" is just a place name and has no root to do with running or whatever. It's the same idea as "Enrongate" or whatever. It irritates linguistic purists.

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:34 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:
Quixotess wrote:I don't understand. If it's generally regarded as inclusive and does not have the English problem of also being restrictive, why is it not translated as "human" or "person"? Or is it "generally regarded as inclusive" in the sameway "chairman" and "mailman" are "generally regarded as inclusive" which is to say, not by me.

Also, yeah, I can understand that walkathon might be regarded as a travesty; I don't, but I understand some people do. But "walkathon" is not regarded as an insane act of futility by those moronic feminists, feminists who are CRAZY. It's just regarded as one of the stupid things people do with words.
What's the issue with "walkathon" (or am I missing that you're talking specifically about slamming "athon" on the end of walk and nothing particularly sexist)?

I believe it is an issue with language, with "-thon" not actually being a suffix at all. The point of that part of the post was "people are getting worked up about translations whereas i think that is not the real issue!". What with "Marathon" being a location/event, rather than a combination-word, as the current usage of "x-athon" as a suffix is to suggest a longer version of a standard x. Ninja'd :( EDIT: wow, and again between posting and processing. ouch.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:34 pm UTC

Ah, nevermind, I misread you there.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Chai Kovsky » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:35 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:And yeah, wasn't accusing you of that. But people do tend to hyperventilate over feminist wordplay.

Didn't think ya were, no worries :) But as someone who opposes "walkathon" and "herstory" from a linguistic standpoint, the latter really does get more ire, when really it shouldn't. "Those crazy, evil feminists, trying to mess with our language! Now I'm gonna go get me some goodly foods."
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby existential_elevator » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:39 pm UTC

Everything that ST has said. As far as I'm aware, "man" is from anthropos. The way we use it in english is probably best thought of as a contraction of "human". So, you know, let us not turn our postman into a postperson so soon, or at least with so much bad feeling. Language is in our hands, and it's up to us to change it, really. Perhaps we should chose a more neutral derivation from the stem: I suggest pode. There's a certain ring to having a postpode.
One of the bigger problems in translation, especially when you're dealing with verse [and anything considered important in greek and latin was generally written as a verse; particularly science] is that using more than your allotted syllables can mess up the flow of the whole piece, and if you want to be completely faithful, you have to follow that. Our translative limitations are just unfortunate, and the same sort of problems arise between any two languages.

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:43 pm UTC

We've, er, pretty much worked with namechanges on a case by case basis. Chairperson, mail carrier, flight attendant.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Chai Kovsky » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:45 pm UTC

existential_elevator wrote:Everything that ST has said. As far as I'm aware, "man" is from anthropos. The way we use it in english is probably best thought of as a contraction of "human". So, you know, let us not turn our postman into a postperson so soon, or at least with so much bad feeling. Language is in our hands, and it's up to us to change it, really. Perhaps we should chose a more neutral derivation from the stem: I suggest pode. There's a certain ring to having a postpode.
One of the bigger problems in translation, especially when you're dealing with verse [and anything considered important in greek and latin was generally written as a verse; particularly science] is that using more than your allotted syllables can mess up the flow of the whole piece, and if you want to be completely faithful, you have to follow that. Our translative limitations are just unfortunate, and the same sort of problems arise between any two languages.

I'll admit I'm not an expert on English etymology, but is "human" the origin of "man?" And even if "postman" comes from "posthuman" (which has a sort of dystopian, transhumanist sound to it), the word still implies man now. Note that most of the words with -man in them (chairman, congressman) are professions mostly comprised of men. Should we let our language perpetuate that?

As for translations that use "men" for the purpose of flow, almost nobody uses verse translation from Greek in particular (I won't claim to be an expert on Latin). Dactylic hexameter doesn't work at all in English, so most people use prose or prosaic translations. I know one translation of the Iliad does so in couplets, but it is so made of fail that I can't read it. If they're going to use prose translations anyway, why not use the most accurate English word for "anthropos?"
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:58 pm UTC

Chai Kovsky wrote:I'll admit I'm not an expert on English etymology, but is "human" the origin of "man?"

I don't know, do you trust SecondTalon?
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Yuri2356 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:58 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:And it used to be wermann and wifmann (or something similar, I'm not all up on the Old English language) for what we now use man and woman, with man simply being "Person", wif and wer defining the sex of said person.

Why the hell aren't we still using that?

I know, it's bullshit. I'd love to have that prefix back on so many levels. And while we're reclaiming that, maybe we can pick up some nice singular gender-neutral pronouns that don't imply being inanimate. A set of those would just kick ass. I mean, singular 'they' is ok, but it's kind of unwieldy.

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:01 pm UTC

Singular "they" has always worked out pretty awesomely for me, and for other English speakers since the 16th century. Still, we have those pronouns if you like them.

He, him, his
She, her, hers
Ze, hir, hirs

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Yuri2356 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:03 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:Ze, hir, hirs

Happy birthday.

When the hell did we get those?

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:04 pm UTC

'Human' most definitely is not the origin of 'man'.

Humanus is a latin word. Comes from homo. It's just a coincidence that it contains the word 'man'.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:19 pm UTC

No idea.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Jessica » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:20 pm UTC

Personally, I dislike the ze, and prefer using they.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:22 pm UTC

Same here. Pronouns are so old that they'll never change anyway.

But it's good to have options.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby H.E.L.e.N. » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:23 pm UTC

There's also the Spivak neutral pronouns, which I've heard way less often than ze/hir, but at least I can cite a source for those.

I like 'ze' and I think 'Mx.' as a title (instead of Ms/Mr) is dead sexy, but that's me.

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:35 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:
Chai Kovsky wrote:I'll admit I'm not an expert on English etymology, but is "human" the origin of "man?"
I don't know, do you trust SecondTalon?
I sure as hell don't.

This suggests that man beget human, and not the other way around.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Chai Kovsky » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:05 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Quixotess wrote:
Chai Kovsky wrote:I'll admit I'm not an expert on English etymology, but is "human" the origin of "man?"
I don't know, do you trust SecondTalon?
I sure as hell don't.

This suggests that man beget human, and not the other way around.

Bigglesworth seems to be on the right track earlier. I am personally inclined to think that a bunch of words got together, had a few drinks, and morphed into a chimera, thus creating the word "human." Yup. That's how it happened.

Incidentally, I know people sometimes dislike the fact that "woman" has "man" in it, thus delineating "woman" as the other. But if the words were switched around, do you think we would gripe about "man" (females) being the incomplete version of "woman" (males)?
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:12 pm UTC

Ha! I used to have that kind of thinking all the time. I think you're skipping an important step, which comes before the griping. Before the griping, we get the teasing/mocking/wev about how "see! you're a man and that's just an incomplete woman!" Then the griping happens in response. I mean, there's a reason why we don't use that dynamic right now; you don't see men griping about how "our word is just an incomplete form of women." Because no one ever told them that men were inferior versions of women.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Yuri2356 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:48 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:Also, yeah, I can understand that walkathon might be regarded as a travesty; I don't, but I understand some people do. But "walkathon" is not regarded as an insane act of futility by those moronic feminists, feminists who are CRAZY. It's just regarded as one of the stupid things people do with words.

For the record, I treat this with about the same level of disdain that I hold for marketing folks who try to invent trendy new labels for really simple things. It's only slightly boosted by a kneejerk response to "Look, something sort of male! Purge it with fire!" vibe it gives off.

Also, I think 'hystery' would look nicer. Has the plus of sounding the same as the word it replaces.


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