On Facebook, Ann Burlingham has passed on this posting (from February 1st), “Why Are We Referring to Women as Girls?” by Yashar Ali, about men referring to women in the workplace as girls. (Note: Yashar Ali is a man.)
Archive for the ‘Language and gender’ Category
In the NYT yesterday, “Rutgers Updates Its Anthem to Include Women” by Ariel Kaminer:
No one song could ever capture all the motivations that bring students to a college campus, all the experiences they have there or all the ways those experiences changed their lives.
But “On the Banks of the Old Raritan,” the alma mater of Rutgers University, is particularly inadequate. “My father sent me to old Rutgers,” the song proudly began, “And resolved that I should be a man.”
Women were first enrolled in Rutgers in 1972 and now make up half the student body. It was time for fresh words.
I’ll start with a three-strip series from One Big Happy:
The two features at issue here — the discourse particle like and “uptalk” (a high rising intonation at the end of declaratives) — have been much discussed in the linguistic literature. The popular, but inaccurate, perception is that both are characteristic of young people, especially teenagers, especially girls, and both features are the object of much popular complaint.
Item 1, royal names. On NPR’s Morning Edition this morning, people discussing names for the forthcoming British royal baby.
Item 2, unisex names, in particular Taylor.
Item 3, fashions in naming, especially for American Jews.
Alice gives a witheringly sarcastic response to the pointy-headed boss, supplying a definition of collaborate that unpacks some of the connotations of the word for her. The boss then puts her down by maintaining that she is uncooperative (she ought to “play well with others” by collaborating with Larry), and she counters by pulling out the gender assumptions in the boss’s observation (women are supposed to be cooperative and collaborative, men are supposed to be assertive and confident).
So the strip is “about” hair(s), but it’s also “about” How ’bout them Cubbies?
(On a personal hair and holiday note: I’m watching Hairspray for Mothers Day.)
On the heels of my little note on “Manly Deeds, Womanly Words” (a comment from John Baker notes that this is “the motto of the Calvert family “Fatti maschii parole femine” loosely translated [from Italian] as “Manly deeds, womanly words” ”) came two more items on male/female differences: a piece in the NYT Sunday Review on the 21st (“The Tangle of the Sexes” by Bobbi Carothers and Harry Reis); and an Alex cartoon in the London Telegraph on men as rational, women as emotional.
On a postcard (with a pile of images of and information about the state of Maryland) from Chris Ambidge on Saturday, the news that the state motto is
Manly Deeds, Womanly Words
Sigh: men act, women talk. At least in Maryland.
Side note: the Pinhead town of Dingburg is in Maryland.