Archive for the ‘Language and gender’ Category


April 15, 2015

Just went past me on television: an ad for Magnum Ice Cream Bars:


(from the Magnum Ice Cream site; “Magnum Ice Cream Bars are made with creamy Ice Cream and Belgian Chocolate”). The bars are big in size and big in flavor. The ads tend to feature (female) models with bars in their mouths: both oral and phallic. Here’s model Lucy Wolfert in one ad:


Magnum things are all about size and masculinity.


Mansplaining in the comics

April 7, 2015

Today’s Dilbert has Alice exploding at the mansplainers in her department:

The pointy-headed boss can’t help mansplaining mansplaining.



April 3, 2015

Forwarded to me by Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, this posting on tumblr, with:

She: What’s the boy word for slut?

He: hey still haven’t come up with one yet. But I’m sure they’re working on it.

The issue has often been taken up by feminist critics.


God’s law and man’s law

March 25, 2015

Frank Bruni in an NYT opinion piece, “Too Much Prayer in Politics: Republicans, the Religious Right and Evolution” on February 15th:

Faith and government shouldn’t be as cozy as they are in this country. Politicians in general, and Republicans in particular, shouldn’t genuflect as slavishly as they do, not in public. They’re vying to be senators and presidents. They’re not auditioning to be ministers and missionaries.

… Mike Huckabee, who is an ordained minister in the Southern Baptist church, put God in the title of a new book that he wrote and just released on the cusp of what may be another presidential bid. He ran previously in 2008, when he won the Iowa caucuses.

The book is called “God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy.” These are a few of his favorite things.

During a recent appearance on a Christian TV program, he explained that he was mulling a 2016 campaign because America had lost sight of its identity as a “God-centered nation that understands that our laws do not come from man, they come from God.” The way he talks, the Constitution is a set of tablets hauled down from a mountaintop by a bearded prophet.

The notion that God’s law is above man’s law is widespread these days, especially among politicians. This is disturbing, especially since it comes from people who claim to know the mind of God. Certainly it wasn’t what the Founding Fathers had in mind.


Gender equity

March 6, 2015

Today’s Dilbert, one in a series:

Wally [um, no, the CEO] explains to Catbert that height and gender determine how much people get paid and complains that Alice just refuses to understand this. Meanwhile, Alice has a plan to remedy things.

Popeye, Bluto, and Danny Shanahan

February 1, 2015

Passed on by Tim Wilson on Facebook, this Danny Shanahan cartoon from 8/17/98, with Popeye and Bluto holding hands at a cocktail party, talking to a bemused woman:


Background information: on Popeye; on repressed homosexuality; and on Danny Shanahan.


Anonymously on the internet

January 19, 2015

Today’s Scenes From a Multiverse (on-line here) has the superhero Colonel UnitedStates woken from 70 years of sleep:

Of course, not to their faces! Insults go behind people’s backs!

Gendered playthings

January 19, 2015

Today’s One Big Happy:

(The strip appeared in my feed today, but it’s dated December 25th, in keeping with its content.)

In any case, both Ruthie and her older brother Joe seem to be fully satisfied with their (stereotypically gendered) Christmas presents.


January 11, 2015

Joe Dator’s January 9th New Yorker daily cartoon:


Extreme manspreading on the New York subway.


Masculinity in court

January 8, 2015

In last week’s New Scientist (1/3/15), a story by Dan Jones — “Booming voices are no boon for male lawyers” (in print), “Masculine-sounding lawyers less likely to win in court” (on-line) — about a paper to be presented at the Linguistic Society of America meeting that begins today in Portland OR. The research is interesting in its own right, but the way New Scientist frames its results, in terms of a rigid gender dichotomy, deserves comment on its own.



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