Re: Sie/hir and "muddy waters"

Subject: Re: Sie/hir and "muddy waters"
From: Rose Wilcox <RWILC -at- FAST -dot- DOT -dot- STATE -dot- AZ -dot- US>
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 1994 18:15:00 PST

Michael Priestly writes:
>Just to muddy the waters a little more: although I do write to avoid
>I am not wholly convinced of the connection between gender use in language,
>and sexism in society. There are languages in the world right now that
>don't have gendered pronouns, and historically the speakers have oppressed
>women just as much as (or more so than) English-speakers.

I'll just muddy the waters a little more, to little point, I might add. To
best recall (add standard Rose disclaimer for faulty memory), the English
language used the pronoun "he" for both women and men, until the 16th
century. The timing of the creation of the pronoun "she" corresponds to
a period when the status of women was changing (for the worse) --
although I don't at this point (a dozen or more years since college and
lots of brain cell damage) don't recall the *exact* nature of the dip
in stature. But I do recall that mideval Europe was actually more decent
to women in terms of laws, professions, guild status, and etc., than the
succeeding centuries.... BTW, many folks don't know that the status
of women has varied widely throughout history, and in Western
Civilizations, we lost some rights throughout the centuries that we
gained back only recently. The assumption that last centuries'
oppression goes back 5,000 years is false. The oppression has
varied from time to time, and from century to century. --
BUT! I digress, and grievously, I might add.
If I were me, I'd delete this message and the whole thread as well!
rwilc -at- fast -dot- dot -dot- state -dot- az -dot- us
ncrowe -at- primenet -dot- com

"I am Hera, my very name means courage... You can find me
in the prime of your life. I shall pose to you disturbing questions
in your middle age. 'What have you done?' I will ask relentlessly.
'How have you used the gifts given to you?' Fullness of power
is my blessing."

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