Archive for the ‘Language and the sexes’ Category

Lauren la flâneuse

March 15, 2017

In the NYT Book Review on 3/5/1 7, under the heading “Walk on By” — subtitle (in print) “A tribute to the pleasures of aimless urban exploration, female style”, (on-line) “A Celebration of Women’s Pleasure in Wandering a City” — a review by Diane Johnson of Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London by Lauren Elkin (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016).

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The cover art captures well Elkin’s reconfiguring the identity of the flâneur, for nearly 200 years the exclusive property of men, as a female identity, the flâneuse. Still urban and modern and primarily European in outlook, but now available to women (of independent spirit).

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Animal instincts

November 7, 2016

Today’s Bizarro:

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

Lionesses do most (but not all) of the hunting for a pride, often in groups, so it’s appropriate that Piraro’s character, retired from the hunt to take up office work, is depicted as a female secretary.

Then there’s the idea that hunting down and devouring prey is an almost uncontrollable animal instinct, urge, or drive — in the very nature of lions — which requires constant effort to keep in check.

Ah, we’ve seen an analogous idea in a very different sphere.

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Sexual advance?

October 3, 2015

A Dilbert from a while back (9/23) with co-workers Alice and Ted at cross-purposes:

People are inclined to sexualize social relations between the sexes, to the point where some people are dubious that men and women can have non-sexually tinged friendships, and this inclination seems to be particularly strong among men. The rather dim-witted Ted is a pretty extreme case.

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Annals of advertising: patriotism, sex, and overwhelming mouthfuls of food

June 9, 2015

It burst recently (with actual fireworks) onto the American fast-food scene: the Most American Thickburger from Carl’s Jr. / Hardees:

This clip doesn’t include the final tag, “Because America, that’s why” (with the recently popular because NP construction). But the entertaining businessday (NZ) story about the ad does.

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Crossword puzzle words

November 16, 2014

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

The cartoon is partly about the relations between the sexes, with the man “doing” the crossword puzzle by getting all the words from the woman. It’s also about those words — all of them “crossword puzzle words”, ranging from relatively rare (ARIA) to extremely rare (SMA) in everyday usage.

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doxxing

October 26, 2014

A slang term (also spelled doxing) from the Gamergate controversy (see below), for “researching and publishing personally identifiable information about an individual” (Wikipedia), in a form of cyber-bullying. The Wikipedia article derives the term from dox, which it treats as a clipped version of document, but it seems more likely that dox is just a re-spelling of docs, which is a clipped version of documents, used here with a specialized meaning.

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