Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gendered Language and Positions of Responsibility, or, "Yes, Prime Ministress"

GENDER/LANGUAGE: Rejecting the Derogatory 'Feminine' By Miren Gutierrez and Oriana Boselli

"ROME, Dec 26 (IPS) - What happens to language and the way women are addressed when they start to occupy positions of responsibility? Well, it depends on the language."

Spanish leans to the feminine form of the word, while Italian simply applies the masculine form regardless of the person's actual testosterone levels - 'il ministro' to minister Mara Cafagna, who is a woman. Hm.

Some interesting notes on the "dynamic of the exception" in the sidebar article, so be sure to read that. My male readers, I trust, will be able to take it seriously because it is espoused by fellow men. So it can't just be radical man-haters, right?!

(Oh, how I long for the Revolution, when all obstreperal lobes will be free from patriarchy-induced explosions and we spinster aunts can lounge about with our margaritas in total comfort. In the meantime I console myself with I Blame the Patriarchy. I mean, shit, people, these languages's NOUNS have GENDER. Girl nouns! Boy nouns! On the one hand, ew. On the other hand, maybe it's more honest, you know?)

Monday, December 28, 2009

This is Just a Great Description of Someone

The Mexicans of Mexico On "Wab."

"The final word on 'wab' goes to Dr. Armin Schwegler, a professor in UC Irvine's Department of Spanish and Portuguese who specializes in dialectology and Spanish in the United States. He's taught at the school for 20 years and drops language trivia like some people default on their house payments."

It's just that this particular simile is unique to the current economic situation. It makes me wonder what someone 15 years from now might think reading it. (Hopefully, they won't understand the comparison but will still get it from context...)