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Feminist Accuses English Language Of Being Sexist, Gets Brilliantly Schooled By Linguist
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Other4 years ago

Feminist Accuses English Language Of Being Sexist, Gets Brilliantly Schooled By Linguist

It started off with a premise that, to be fair, deserves discussion and scrutiny. A Tumblr user, who refers to herself as ‘Feminist Chewbacca’ wanted to discover the root causes of patriarchal domination in society, and turned to the English language to investigate the inherent sexism it allegedly contains.

In these days of fake news and agenda pushing however, it has never been more important to check your facts. This is where Feminist Chewbacca came unstuck. Reblogging a post she had found on Visual Poetry, she had probably not counted on being fact-checked by an actual linguist. Her poorly chosen examples were deconstructed one by one, until she began to look rather basic, and a bit silly.

A couple of things to note here. Firstly, by introducing her post with the words: “Men fabricated the idea that they are the default sex to compensate for their biological inferiority and general superfluousness,” Feminist Chewbacca sets a militant tone that isn’t going to endear her to many people, and she needs to have rock-solid arguments to respond to the inevitable attacks on her position.

Secondly, it is of course by no means clear that this ‘linguist’ is indeed qualified or not, and his facts also deserved to be checked. After some cursory research I can gather that while some claims hold water, others are open to argument themselves. There is certainly more to the issue, and Feminist Chewbacca is right to shine a light on it. She just went about it in the wrong way.

So what to take from this sordid affair? Well, I guess it’s easy to pass off someone else’s arguments as your own, but at least maybe check if they are factually correct first. Also, if you begin from an extremist position and with fighting words, expect people to fight back. If they come armed with facts and you are just regurgitating opinions that suit your political outlook, you are just asking to be made to look stupid.

Scroll down to check out how it unfolded below, and let us know what you think in the comments!

Tumblr user ‘Feminist Chewbacca’ picked up artwork that resonated with her beliefs, that sexism is rooted in language

Image credits: Richard Tipping

But this linguist wasn’t having it, and wrote a detailed and qualified response

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Mixedupste
Community Member
4 years ago

Brilliant!!! Stay in your lane!! haha

C.Marrero
Community Member
4 years ago

Haha

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Damien T
Community Member
4 years ago

Feminist perspectives do not postulate that men are biologically inferior.

Lynn Smith
Community Member
4 years ago

Indeed, that is bad feminism.

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Nadine Ducca
Community Member
4 years ago

Excellent schooling and very interesting information. It's funny that the Old French "femella" is current day's word for female in Catalan ("mascle" = male and "femella" = female).

Max Vincent
Community Member
4 years ago

Femella is Latin, not French.

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Cynthia McCarver
Community Member
4 years ago

Many male commenters have erroneously concluded that this clapback proves the patriarchy doesn't exist. The patriarchy is real--the clapback points out only that you shouldn't fabricate evidence to support your view.

Andrew Keane
Community Member
4 years ago

Of course patriarchy exists! Unfortunately it's most dumb people who have the most bullshit to say.

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Daria B
Community Member
4 years ago

English, as we know it, is a very young language. Please, dig deeper before making conclusions. I send my thanks to the linguist who took the time to explain and educate the internet nations.

Rosanna Jackson
Community Member
4 years ago

Interesting. In my education classes we we never made fun of anyone. Perhaps this why I try to bolster peoples dignity when showing them a new perspective, while keeping my smugness over 'knowing things' in check. But, I could be wrong. Maybe I will try this much celebrated method of educating.

Alib
Community Member
4 years ago

Please don't! There's nothing more appalling than a smug, self-righteous educator. This dude is possibly correct (I'm not going to fact-check him) but, man, does he come of as a complete and total a-hole.

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Hans
Community Member
4 years ago

Like a boss. (Irregardless of the boss being male or female.)

Russell Levine
Community Member
4 years ago

It's 'regardless.' Irregardless isn't a word, FYI.

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Amey Park
Community Member
4 years ago

The linguist might be correct, but can't we be more classy in making arguments? Why do we have to stoop to sounding superior? I love an argument that puts the facts out there without swearing. Of course, language changes over time and swearing is become commonplace and accepted, even among academicians, but I long for academic civility.

CommonSense
Community Member
4 years ago

if a feminist can act superior with fake notions of language, why can't a reasonable person act superior with facts and evidence?

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Oscar Paolantoni
Community Member
4 years ago

Well done! I just wish to add that in Latin the word "persona", besides person (deriving as said from Etruscan phersu), also meant "mask". "Personam tragicam forte vulpes viderat; quam postquam huc illuc semel atque iterum verterat, 'O quanta species' inquit 'cerebrum non habet.'"... Gaio Giulio Fedro, a Roman writer and fabulist (20/15 b.C. ca. – 51 a.C. ca.) A give a very rough translation: Casually a fox found a theatrical mask. After having turned it over and over the fox observed: what a magnificent appearance indeed, but it has no brain... By the way.

Ida Kreutzman
Community Member
4 years ago

I mean, the fact that the word "man" use to mean "human" - says something about how we view gender. We are socialized into understanding humans as men and women only as secondary, and of course this is reflected in how language has evolved. So no, languages are not in themselves sexist - but they are reflections of patriarchal structures that sees men and women differently. I recommend Simone de Beauvoirs groundbreaking feminist theory for those who want to learn more ;)

Mr. Hollywood
Community Member
4 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

I completely disagree. Men are considered as disposable that they are here to protect and to always do for women. Just look at the past boys were raised and taught they must always provide even die in wars to protect and they must work work work to make sure Woman has it all. And you know it’s true. Men had to work and work back then was actual manual work, working in coal mines and building railroads and buildings etc. Men made the money and most all went to her. “Happy wife happy life”. It’s like feminists ignore or just make sure to see things from one point of view. All you have to do is look around and you see the truth. Women can force men to be like a slave (woman gets pregnant and she has choices whereas a mans future will depend on what she decides to do, to have the baby or not and no where does a male have such power over another. If a man doesn’t want to be a father Feminists just say “well you shouldn’t have had sex” whereas you can’t tell that to a woman)!

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Josh Samuels
Community Member
4 years ago

I actually found this very informative. Good read.

Aunt Messy
Community Member
4 years ago

Too bad he reveals himself as an MRA freak at the end of his little screed. I'm not saying he's wrong, but someone can be right and still be a whiny jackass.

Ross Trent
Community Member
4 years ago

So it's ok to say men are biologically inferior, but not ok to suggest that said statement is misandrist?

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William Teach
Community Member
4 years ago

Let me guess: rather than responding, she blocked him, right?

Captain Planet
Community Member
4 years ago

That's what people do when they know they can't win because they know they are wrong. Happens here too. It's called the voting system. Instead of replying and using words. People use votes to hide comments that don't align with their views. It's a really bad system and kind of censoring. It removes a lot of really interesting views and comments. A shame. Then we are left with very few perspectives. So far for freedom of speech here.

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The Cappy
Community Member
4 years ago

Learned something on BoredPanda. Outstanding.

Fox Purtill
Community Member
4 years ago

The linguistic etymology of those particular words are pretty well documented and we covered that in high school English. English, like most languages, is a growing and twisted history that often come from unrelated root words. I was thinking of historical mangle of things... "Let's go, it will be gay!" (1918) = "Its effin sick dog, no joke!" (2018)

Aunt Messy
Community Member
4 years ago

Or, "You don't have to be happy to be gay!" (Laugh-In, Goldie Hawn)

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blugeagua
Community Member
4 years ago

Even if it wasn’t the correct way. She’s still right about the fact that we live in a very patriarchal and misogynistic society. Words can be used against women in many ways.

Miguel Ángel Morales Caballero
Community Member
4 years ago

Is she also right about men's "biologic inferiority"? Or can we just agree that that post was indeed misandric and toxic?

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Z
Community Member
4 years ago

I wonder if she thinks only English speaking places have sexism? Or only the English language exists...? Or matters...?

M
Community Member
4 years ago

Feminists aren't women who hate men. They can be any gender, and all they want is for equality for everyone. More people need to understand

Full Name
Community Member
4 years ago

Not this one. She very specifically states in no uncertain terms that men are inferior. "...to compensate for their biological inferiority...". She's a misandrist cut and dried.

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Tiago Cruz
Community Member
4 years ago

This guy knows some things!

Johanna Zamora
Community Member
4 years ago

*Slow clap* Masterfully done, Sir.

Joni Nelis
Community Member
4 years ago

What a burn!

Markus Nobis
Community Member
4 years ago

Yep. English isn't a sexist language at all. If anything, it is a mongrel language with Celtic, German, Scandinavian, and Roman influences all mixed up in such a messy way that spelling and pronunciation are completely unrelated and make no sense at all. A German word with an 'a' in it, is always pronounced the same. In English, words with an 'a' can sound completely different, like 'saw', 'ran', 'raft', or 'hate'. Oh, yes there is even more confusion when you put words with a 'u', who also sound like 'a' in the mix, like 'sun'. Crazy.

Lexi Nicodemus
Community Member
4 years ago

I think many words have gained sexist meanings though.

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Sohail Kumar
Community Member
4 years ago

This guy though...... He knows his shit!

softhofitsolution
Community Member
1 year ago

Sohail Kumar good

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Rogue
Community Member
4 years ago

Just a typical tumblrina.

Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
4 years ago

I bet that in the time-honoured tradition, she engaged in a respectful conversation with him and admitted she'd been wrong. :D

Joe Sauer
Community Member
4 years ago

I don't know why, it made me think of the "Wo man" poem in, So I married an Axe Murdered. In case you want to check it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlkoQ4bUE5k

Alib
Community Member
4 years ago

I love that movie and Mike Myers is brilliant in it!

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Amina Hays
Community Member
4 years ago

I'd heard about the other words but had no idea people were getting offended by 'person'! That's beyond ridiculous! I want to marry this linguist.

Jace
Community Member
4 years ago

Woah, slow down there. Maybe you should meet the guy first...

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Vincent Jay
Community Member
4 years ago

Very interesting. Unfortunately for me, I'll forget every word of it within the next thirty minutes.

Tony Moon
Community Member
4 years ago

As a graduate geochemistry/geology student this amazes me as I am always trying to learn new things, and I love it when someone gets schooled because they choose to oversimplify a system that is much more complicated, and so very much not the system they believed it to be to begin with. Simply spectacular. Oh, and wait, "Stay in your lane..." fantastic.

Becky Bowen
Community Member
4 years ago

I think he's a bigger asshole than she is.

Giulia Betke
Community Member
4 years ago

i hate what she said to begin with, "men fabricated the idea due to their inferiority and general superfluous". As a feminist myself i hate people like her who give a bad name to it. The definition of feminism is equal rights to both men and women. To even the playing field she should work on empowering women not degrading men because in doing so she is no better - in fact worse than the men who degrade women as she hides behind the facade of doing the right thing. Bravo to the linguist

Full Name
Community Member
4 years ago

She's definitely not helping the cause.

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Parks White
Community Member
4 years ago

He is a cunning linguist!!!

Lu
Community Member
4 years ago

We might not all be linguists, but we should constantly remind ourselves we don't know it all!

Gabi Horvath
Community Member
4 years ago

So basically, English is made up from other languages.

Aunt Messy
Community Member
4 years ago

It's also a rotten language to learn. My husband used to volunteer teaching ESL, and said his students were perpetually frustrated because there don't seem to be any real rules, and the rules that exist are completely counterintuitive.

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Miklós Nagy
Community Member
4 years ago

As someone whose mother tongue is gender neutral I always laughted on these people. Tought it was always funny seeing their head became red when they tryied to apply their theories to us.

Gabi Horvath
Community Member
4 years ago

And that's why our language rules :D

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Petra Christovová
Community Member
4 years ago

Dumbasses calling themselves feminists like this lady just discredit feminism by such nonsense and ignorance. I am really sad how this ideology which originally changed world into much better place for women evolved into total bullshit at some point.

Jace
Community Member
4 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

It hasn't evolved into total bullshit. It's just that some people who suck at critical thinking and communication have chosen to promote themselves as being members of a movement that they are harming by association.

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Pi...
Community Member
4 years ago

My gosh I've so much to say to the linguist guy who clearly seemed like he got the first opportunity to unleash his superpower of....word origins! By no means am I a super feminist to go about defending the lady who got roasted, by I DO remember asking my Mamma when I was very young about 'early woman' (Coz she used to tell me about early man being a collective term for men AND women) . At that point I remember feeling "so unfair!" ... so, maybe I don't agree with the root words being anti feminist, but I DO agree that colloquially, language seems a tad gender biased.

Lexi Nicodemus
Community Member
4 years ago

I totally agree! I think with the way words have developed it has begun to sound somewhat sexist, though I get that wasn't the orgins.

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Ingrid Tsai
Community Member
4 years ago

Wow, I never knew that!

Hope Yaawwn
Community Member
4 years ago

I appreciate his advanced knowledge of etymology and linguistics but that doesn't change the fact that a patriarchal society decided and changed those words to the meanings that they carry today. Dropping stems and altering words based on other etymologies, that he admits to not understanding, may in fact have some patriarchal undertones. Besides, if anyone wants to alter language to empower themselves, that is completely their decision. Americans did that with the changing of pronunciation of words like garage and the spelling of gray and color, etc.

ROOST er
Community Member
4 years ago

Patriarchal society is fine if it just does stuff like change language

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Michaela Robbins
Community Member
4 years ago

Excellent! Plus, I love learning the origins of the words.

Bang Dang
Community Member
4 years ago

@boredpanda, please correct the above images: - visual-poetry posted the photo - mitosisisyourtosis is the 'feminist' you were referring to - rhysiare is the 'linguist' you were refering to This is the never ending chain on tumblr - https://dedalvs.tumblr.com/post/141948202482/madmaudlingoes-langsandlit

Colleen Luckett
Community Member
4 years ago

Good learning opportunity. Too bad this person had to be a snide asshole about it. Can we just TRY to take the personal insults out of it? Ugh.

Fernanda Cerqueira
Community Member
4 years ago

Well done!

Morgan Baade
Community Member
4 years ago

Love that you took the time to get the right info out there and not to mention fantastic username mitosisisyourtosis.

-LittlePotato-
Community Member
4 years ago

Roasted!

AN_UNAMED_USER
Community Member
1 year ago

Another reasonable response I found and love https://xkcd.com/1562/ (no I in vowels)

Gage Franke
Community Member
2 years ago

People like her are what drive people to thinking feminists are idiots, when that is anything but true.

Becca
Community Member
4 years ago

Dang I hope that she saw this

Black Dahlia
Community Member
4 years ago

Just refer to all people as "he", possessive form "her". Problem solved.

Atanu Nath
Community Member
4 years ago

Why the hell do misandrists call themselves feminists? Man hating is as anti-feminist as woman-hating!

Ella
Community Member
4 years ago

Can we finally draw a line and stop calling women like that "femists" and call their by their real name, which is misandrist? English is LITERALLY a genderfree language, because it lost the grammatical gender after Middle English. I'm sick and tired of feminazis. As the misandrists they are, they are exactly on the same level as all the misogynists out there.

Jace
Community Member
4 years ago

Actually, they're not. You are equivocating. Sexism is weighted such that, institutionally, men have WAY more power and influence.

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Christopher G. White
Community Member
4 years ago

Lol. I think this is pointless. It is like patiently telling your dog that the mailman is not going to kill us all. He will listen, wag his tail, and then tomorrow he will bark all over again. Actually, this is a bad analogy because the feminist will not listen, nor wag her tail, but will definitely continue to bark.

Elizabeth McCarthy
Community Member
4 years ago

She is not a feminist...she is a misandrist as well as a moron.

Jojo Alejar
Community Member
4 years ago

love this !!! :)

Squick Lam
Community Member
4 years ago

theres actually a great podcast on the history of the English language called The History of the English Language. I'm only on episode 7 but this dude's argument is pretty spot on (according to the podcast)

Squick Lam
Community Member
4 years ago

There is a great podcast on the history of the English language called the History of the English Language. I am only on episode 7 but this dude is pretty spot on (according to the podcast)

Maria K
Community Member
4 years ago

Whoo!!!

Linda Newhouse
Community Member
4 years ago

I read the article and I read many of the comments. I think the middle ground comes from the feeling given by the words in a mysogynistic society. We have made some progress, but have a ways to go. The original meaning and origin of a word may not have much relation to the current connotation. I have noticed with racial groups too. The group is identified by a label. The group is subject to prejudice and belittling. The label then picks up the meaning promoted by the prejudice and belittling. If the label is changed, it does not change the denigrated attitude to the group. The new label usually picks up the same negative connotation as the old label. So while the original poster is incorrect about the origin of the words, the feeling of less than remains and the similarities feel like a deliberate put down. She is expressing her hurt about the situation, maybe not in a way that is clear to others or gathers empathy, but carries an underlying message about her pain.

Paradocks7
Community Member
4 years ago

As a linguistic myself, I love this!

Paradocks7
Community Member
4 years ago

*linguist

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Aoki
Community Member
4 years ago

Thank you!

Thomas Turnbull
Community Member
4 years ago

Loved this - certainly puts things in perspective. Please engage your brain before commenting, it always helps.

Lyone Fein
Community Member
4 years ago

THANK YOU for posting this one. I am an old school feminist, and get sooo embarrassed by these modern feminazis.

Pamela
Community Member
4 years ago

Genesis 1:27 God created man… male and female He created them. Genesis 5:2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.

Full Name
Community Member
4 years ago

Not quite. Those looks like English words, not ancient Hebrew.

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Clara The Idiot
Community Member
4 years ago

Can I just say that she isn't a feminist. At the start she spoke about men's inferiority towards women, a feminist believes, and potentially preaches the EQUALITY between men and women. They don't get annoyed about stupid little things like all crossing lights are men, they accept that they are people. A feminist gets annoyed when a man isn't allowed to hit a women but the other way round is fine. That's not equality. A feminist gets annoyed when women are bought and sold like possessions. These are true examples of inequality. She has the wrong idea. If you don't believe me then look it up. And we're not all crazy, its people like her who aren't real feminists that come out and give us a bad name. Xx

Mont
Community Member
4 years ago

Using the failed logic of the tumblr feminist, you could just as easily say that all masculine words were derived from the feminine versions. But, as has been clearly demonstrated, logic was not present in the initial post.

Terry Firth
Community Member
4 years ago

does she realise chewie is a male?

Mike Huntly
Community Member
4 years ago

Who knows whats under that hair !

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Jordy Star
Community Member
4 years ago

amazing bravo

therealpixie
Community Member
4 years ago

As a logophile myself, I have a new hero.

CommonSense
Community Member
4 years ago

I suspect the feminists screamed "mansplaining biggot" from behind her screen at home and her IQ remained the same as before, smaller than a plant.

Matthew Ansaldo Taylor
Community Member
4 years ago

Thank your to the school-er (and scholar) I learnt the word proselytise which I hadn't heard of before, and I intend to use against militant Veganist I have no issue with Vegans, so long as they leave me to my food decisions

Jace
Community Member
4 years ago

The stronger a person feels about a particular perspective or ideology the harder it is to be confronted by the absolute opposite of it. As a vegan myself, I try to gently promote the ideologies of kindness and respect toward all animals, without trying to assault people who haven't come to the same determination themselves. I wasn't always vegan. Just like it annoys me when adults bash teens (don't they remember being bashed by adults when they were teens???), I won't abuse someone for being something I myself had been. It pisses me off when vegans act like dicks. It hurts everyone.

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Dan Mongosa
Community Member
4 years ago

Sounds like she certainly is a cunning linguist🤔

Jace
Community Member
4 years ago

Not even remotely. How is your pun even relevant?

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Nora Watts
Community Member
4 years ago

It seems to me that some people like this linguist are grasping at straws to avoid seeing their own responsibilities to humanity as a whole. Men can be free of feminism when they look at themselves and support women as human beings. All the rest is details.

Lindsay Ameye
Community Member
4 years ago

OH SNAP!!!

Krysta Pandoo
Community Member
4 years ago

Yeah!

Vera Gallagher
Community Member
4 years ago

She got 'taken to the woodshed' most eloquently!

Peter Goff
Community Member
4 years ago

I really appreciate the time that the responding author took to counter each point, rather than simply labeling the blogger as ignorant and being done with it. It would have also been nice if the responding author - who appears likely has the knowledge to do this - provided the blogger with some facts that may provide a stronger basis for her argument, presuming they exist.

Terry T.
Community Member
4 years ago

That guy deserves the highest of fives!

Kjorn
Community Member
4 years ago

and this is just for ENGLISH!!! in french: woman = femme. man=homme. so nothing to be crazy about

Terry Nelson
Community Member
4 years ago

I would bet “this” person will search until they literally pass out attempting to find “something” to justify their paranoia!

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Kjorn
Community Member
4 years ago

men hater don't want explication. they just want to bash men. like anti-vaxxer don't want explication. They're all too stubborn

Ansu Seesay
Community Member
9 months ago

You killed her in 5 different languages

Mary Birdsong
Community Member
3 years ago

PART 2 of 2: One would think that someone so passionate about linguistics and etymology would have a gentler, more mature approach. But even so, if this linguist can’t find it within her/himself to be kind, they could at least not butcher the english language while trying to prove what a linguistic expert they are. Among my favorites were: “…who think like you along these lines and for good reason, because you are wholly ignorant…” Not only is the above sentence painfully redundant; it also says the same thing twice! And I don’t even have time to go into, all, the, misplaced, commas, and general molestation of quotation marks and grammar. The one redeeming factor in this linguist’s post is the on-line handle: "mitosisisyourtosis." It took me a while to figure it out, but “my tosis is your tosis” is pretty great. That one redeeming gem forced me to raise this sad linguist’s grade from an F to a C minus. mary-milkt...292c1b.jpg mary-milktini-2-5b8cd9a292c1b.jpg

Mary Birdsong
Community Member
3 years ago

PART 1 of 2: The response written by this "linguist" is so chock full o' grammatical errors, spelling errors, incorrect punctuation and just plain REALLY BAD WRITING that I find it hard to take her/him seriously. The thing that bothers me the most, though, is the punitive, snarky, immature tone of his/her rebuttal. It's hard to know when this linguist says "In my linguistics class in undergrad, we actually made fun of people…” if s/he is a professor, or a student. Either way, it’s sad. If this person is an educator who openly admits to encouraging his/her students to “make fun of people” then it’s no mystery why there’s a bullying epidemic in our schools. And if this linguist is referring to a time when s/he was an undergrad student, it’s still pretty sad that they chose to pass their time sitting around making FUN of people who were simply ignorant or misguided about certain areas of the english language. How about being KIND (or at least civil) when correcting others? IMG_1613-2...89ea64.jpg IMG_1613-2-5b8cd8789ea64.jpg

Sandra Luz
Community Member
4 years ago

Well done!

Terc Erus
Community Member
4 years ago

Holy crap, Mr. Hollywood is exactly right! Men are taught from the time they are like boys to break themselves for women. Provide, fight, support, live, love, die! That's it bitches, ALL OF YOU, get your asses I'm the kitchen and make me 50 million sammiches!

Jeremiah Shackelford
Community Member
4 years ago

For a linguist, this guy's writing is pretty sloppy (just assuming it's a guy). In addition, though he was successful in demonstrating (though without citing any actual sources beyond his own linguistic accumen) that the original posters argument was flawed and based on a very superficial knowledge of the English language, he was not successful at all in debunking the claim that patriarchal bias is built into English and other languages. In fact, there is even more to support that claim in the text than in the original poster's short blurb. Example: He/She When an entire population is divided in terms of those who are "here" (he) vs "there" (she), those described as "here" are clearly dominant and designating those "there" (she) as the "other." The linguist continually points out—while being apparently ignorant of the significance—instances where the language is similarly divided along gender lines to favor a dominant male gender. Whether this division was done by design or was....

Jeremiah Shackelford
Community Member
4 years ago

(2of2).....Whether this division was done by design or was a more evolutionary result of an already male dominant society is not clear from the text but clearly the separation and bias is there, regardless of our dear linguists arrogant and unsupported insistance that it is not. While the original poster that our linguist is responding to seems to have gotten the linguistic mechanics wrong, their point remains valid and is, in fact, supported in many ways by the information our dear linguist has provided. It just goes to show that citing a lot of scholarly sounding information does not make you right or justify making unsupported claims. Nice try Mr. Linguist.

myplane150
Community Member
4 years ago

It's as if some internet commenters think that everything was just thought up in the last few centuries or so. They never consider that words are thousands of year old. Kinda like with pronouns.

Mikel Doucette
Community Member
4 years ago

what denigrating nasty people.

Travis Williams
Community Member
4 years ago

he was then promptly squelched and blocked, and his comment deleted. A new tweet went up simply stating that "her post offended a man so much she had to block him because he was so rude"

Cathy Paulino
Community Member
4 years ago

The only thing worse than being wrong, even ignorant, is being right but also being an arrogant condescending A$$hole. This person had the opportunity to teach, to share knowledge that many people may not have been aware of...but instead just alienates and proves that it is possible to be intelligent (at least about one subject) but totally clueless in other ways that are more important. EQ trumps IQ...look it up while you are cruising in your own, rude, lane.

ROOST er
Community Member
4 years ago

He still was taking the higher ground

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Rachael Lefler
Community Member
4 years ago

I'm not a feminist, but to play devil's advocate here... Even if the historical roots of the words, like "person" and "son" have nothing to do with each other, she could be saying the way language is now is a problem. Because the way the words exist now give that impression, even if false.

Diane Kelly
Community Member
4 years ago

I am going to throw one more stick in the fire: Chairman, fireman, etc etc. came from the latin "manibus" and later french "Main" which meant hand : The hand of the chair, the hand of the fire - the person who controlled the chair, fire etc., etc. It was meant to be gender neutral. We could have just gone back to using the french "main" to make it so again. People do not know about their own language...

Roger Greaves
Community Member
4 years ago

Do linguists study grammar and punctuation?

Christopher Simmons
Community Member
4 years ago

A “simpleton’s way of deduction. This feminist is educationally “LAZY”, and stuck in the victim hood/me too/millennial mindset. Feminism has destroyed the West. Sweden (feminist ruled), is virtually dead

Chris Pitch
Community Member
4 years ago

So it's not blurred in the eyes of some?

David Perkins
Community Member
4 years ago

Shame a linguist said "like you are doing off of." You'd think a linguist writing in English could at least speak it. Nonetheless, nice roast.

Jan Wohlgemuth
Community Member
4 years ago

here's the original post on tumblr: http://rhysiare.tumblr.com/post/138012970426/mitosisisyourtosis-visual-poetry and some more discussion: http://tumblinguistics.tumblr.com/post/142090790851/smallwanderer218-dedalvs-madmaudlingoes Would it have hurt your author to credit where they took this from? It's a 10-second google search ....

Glynis Lailann
Community Member
4 years ago

The complainant must belong to one of those "Burning Bra Movements". One cannot simply launch into a tirade without doing your homework.

Dennis Pan
Community Member
4 years ago

His Tory to Her story then haha

Wednesday Friday
Community Member
4 years ago

At least he wasn't a condescending prick about it. Oh, wait...

Patricia Ross
Community Member
4 years ago

Hmmmph, I guess she heard that!

Missy Finley
Community Member
4 years ago

I frikkin hate Feminazis. The idea that anyone would think that idiots like this speak for me makes me sick. I don't need a "movement" to have my back to be a strong woman. I can do that quite nicely all by myself, and I don't have to vilify men to do it.

Laraine Ryan
Community Member
4 years ago

He could have just explained. Most people would be ignorant of that. He doesn't have to gloat so much about having known it. The first three paragraphs are about how embarrassed she should be. Just get to the point.

Linda Keating
Community Member
4 years ago

Interesting use of pronouns in this article... Nothing that I read would indicate that Feminist Chewbacca was 'she' or that mitosisisyouryourtosis was a 'he' and yet these were the pronouns used without any sense of irony when discussing how a feminist had been 'schooled'

Daniel Koždoň
Community Member
4 years ago

I think that the linguist could be more polite and be above this whole "feminism/masculinism" scenario. Clearly, the main reason for using his skills wasn't to correct the woman but to mock her and humiliate her to show his superior masculinity over her. BUT the woman was calling for it so, who can you blame? BTW That last sentence of the linguist really got me laughing hard. "I will school the everloving hell out of you, STAY IN YOUR LANE." :D :D :D Masculinism level over 9999 :D I think both of these characters may have experienced some bad things from the opposite sexes, but is this really the way to cure it? Maybe temporary relief, but THE EGO is always hungry. KEEP YOUR EGO IN LINE INSTEAD. The lesson has been learned and I hope that the majority of the people watching this case didn't choose any side of those two people and could see through this feminism/masculinism sh*t. Please, stop fighting each other and stop proving what doesn't even exist..... let's have a harmony :) <3

Daniel Koždoň
Community Member
4 years ago

I think that the linguist could be more polite and be above this whole "feminism/masculinism" scenario. Clearly, the main reason for using his skills wasn't to correct the woman but to mock her and humiliate her to show his superior masculinity over her. BUT the woman was calling for it so, who can you blame? BTW That last sentence of the linguist really got me laughing hard. "I will school the everloving hell out of you, STAY IN YOUR LANE." :D :D :D Masculinism level 9999 :D I think both of these characters may have experienced some bad things from the opposite sexes, but is this really the way to cure it? Maybe temporary relief, but THE EGO is always hungry. KEEP YOUR EGO IN LINE INSTEAD. The lesson has been learned and I hope that the majority of the people watching this case didn't choose any side of those two people and could see through this feminism/masculinism sh*t. Please, stop fighting each other and stop proving what doesn't even exist..... let's have a harmony :) <3

Nichole Kelley
Community Member
4 years ago

Research, research, research. Or .. get schooled by those that have. ANY school will teach you that before graduation. She must have forgotten is all. shiesh.

Ojberretta Berretta
Community Member
4 years ago

feminist in the west = blame natural developements of language is patriarchal and destructive to women feminism in muslim countries = take off your hijab even if it means getting tortured and raped and often even killed i wonder where feminism is needed in countries like uk where the prime minister is a women or in muslim countries where 30%of the women are genital mutilated and in all sharia ruled countries have exactly half the rights a man does

Jane Flury
Community Member
4 years ago

Someone should check their grammar before an all out language attack. While very informative and enlightening, this article has several typos. Signed, an artist.

Jane Flury
Community Member
4 years ago

A certain person should check their grammar before an all out language attack. There are several typos in this article. Signed, an artist.

David Stranch
Community Member
4 years ago

And what language is not? Pointless to complain about the language. You should be more focused on how people use it.

Mike Wolstenholme
Community Member
4 years ago

While I agree with the writer's comments I must take issue with his/her atrocious grammar. For instance, as a linguist, one would assume the writer would avoid tautology, e.g. .....conspiratorial thinking like you are doing off of. (end of point four) I realise I'm being pedantic but as a lover of the English language I hate to see it misused especially by someone purporting (late Middle English (in the sense ‘express, signify’): from Old French purporter, from medieval Latin proportare, from Latin pro- ‘forth’ + portare ‘carry, bear’. The sense ‘appear to be’ dates from the late 18th century) to be an expert.

Christopher G. White
Community Member
4 years ago

Lol. I think this is pointless. It is like patiently telling your dog that the mailman is not going to kill us all. He will listen, wag his tail, and then tomorrow he will bark all over again. Actually, this is a bad analogy because the feminist will not listen, nor wag her tail, but will definitely continue to bark.

frederic eeckman
Community Member
4 years ago

So basically she complained about sexism but at the same time she said that men "compensate for their biological inferiority and general superfluousness"...

Clive James
Community Member
4 years ago

Oh my god. . . this was interesting enough to perk up even the most bored panda.

Caleb Kurowski
Community Member
4 years ago

This linguist is using 'Proto-Indo-European,' a language that is basically made up by linguists to theorize about what earlier languages may have sounded like, to debase a significant part of this feminists argument which DOES happen to be true, which is that woman and human are derived from the word 'man'. In doing so he is being disingenuous and sexist, trying to shut down someone who is pointing out a very true fact about most languages, which is that they are sexist often at their base. The simple use of 'man' and 'he' as base pronouns in texts about general people is an strong indicator of this. No one should have to think twice about whether the English language is quite often sexist in use.

ROOST er
Community Member
4 years ago

Ur being sarcastic right?

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Gwenyth Hayes
Community Member
4 years ago

Talk about playing semantics...

Katie Steele
Community Member
4 years ago

"She" derived from 'that/there' and "he" derived from 'this/here'... But it's TOTALLY NOT MALE-CENTERED AT ALL! And "man" used to just mean "human"... while "wifman" meant female human and "werman" meant male human. Then through the evolution of language "wif-" became "wo-" but for REASONS UNKNOWN BUT TOTALLY DEFINITELY NOT PATRIARCHY "wer-" was dropped and "man" somehow mysteriously became 'male' and was synonymous with human.

David Pugh
Community Member
4 years ago

....and here, on this platter is your ass!

Jeremy Hall
Community Member
4 years ago

They both sound like absolute jerks. I'll agree to a certain extent with the original poster's second paragraph that it is a patriarchal language, but her first paragraph is so combative and patronizing (inserting herself into that role that she disparages) that it absolutely begs to be challenged. That said, the respondent's post is equally smug, combative, and diminutive, also begging to be challenged. 1) the fact that "He" comes from "this/here" and "She" comes from "that/there" VERY much gives credence to the argument that the masculine perspective is the central/dominant/default first-person ideology. 2) "Man" dropping its "were" (for unknown reasons) again shows that culture simply accepted the masculine as default without question, because of patriarchal society. 3) The lack of "any direct correlation" why the two word would morph into a masculine progenitor-based term again blindly glosses the larger social structure in which it happened.

Jeremy Hall
Community Member
4 years ago

In the end, the original poster is largely correct that our language does reinforce a patriarchal society. But she's wrong that it was didn't develop naturally, in the sense that culture and language evolved together over time from the same stimuli. There was no intention behind crafting the terms to make up for "biological inferiority" or "general superfluousness," a weak argument that really deserves more of a biological lesson in the Darwinian necessity of both sexes than a linguistic response simply baiting her.

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Kierwin Mondina
Community Member
4 years ago

Using an argument that is poorly thought of, and is making the males of the society look bad is not Feminism. The patriarchal nature of society is bad, not the males. This article is misleading as it attributes “feminism” to an act that is otherwise not striving for equity of genders. i suggest that we all (including anyone who sees this) have a better understanding of what feminism is.

Jerry Paris
Community Member
4 years ago

(To reiterate) More fundamentally...If men have been able to so totally dominate women for countless millennia that they have forced women to accept derivative pronouns when speaking of themselves, doesn't that fact in itself demonstrate the superiority of males?

Jerry Paris
Community Member
4 years ago

More fundamentally...if men have been able to so utterly dominate women for countless millenia that we can force them to accept derivative pronouns, doesn't that fact itself kinda demonstrate male superiority?

Beans
Community Member
4 years ago

By the way the credits on this are wrong. Visual-Poetry is just a tumblr that posts pictures of cool stuff, mitosisyourtosis is the person that said the stupid thing about partriarchy. You can see it here: http://www.pomofo.com/article/feminist-called-out-english-language-being-sexist rhysiare is the user that wrote the linguistics thing, and they aren't even credited in this post. Who wrote this article?

Mercedes Ventura
Community Member
4 years ago

Just an observation, but doesn’t he prove her right with the first one? If he meant here/this and she there/that, it’s using ‘he’ as the rule and ‘she’ is measured against that. It’s othering 101.

David Miles
Community Member
4 years ago

Somebody had an opinion, and somebody had facts. One of those is worth something.

Martin
Community Member
4 years ago

...or maybe neither?

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Adam Thaxton
Community Member
4 years ago

"Wer-" began to disappear in the late 13th Century - it is highly likely this was subconsciously part of that period's post-war crackdown on women starting to own things, which had taken an uptick during the early 13th Century and appeared to be developing into a trend.

Bill Herman
Community Member
4 years ago

Just someone else looking for their 15 fkn minutes. Hey ladies who did god make first? Yeah, man, then how did he make a wo-man? A man's rib. LOL, now stop being so damn stupid and find something important to do in your life. You got that Gal? LOL

Leona Farless
Community Member
4 years ago

I love this post more than chocolate.

Vince Tolomei
Community Member
4 years ago

People have decent points to make sometimes but then many go overboard and overanalyze and blow away potential allies in their struggles.

Heatherz_myBoo
Community Member
4 years ago

Oml this is me

Sean Taeschner
Community Member
4 years ago

Her chart makes as much sense as forming the word SHIT out of SOMEONE HIT the ball.

Sean Taeschner
Community Member
4 years ago

She would have to want to be schooled, first! In German the worn for "one", as in 'one person is 'man' as in 'one should consider...' "man soll..." and it has NOTHING to do with sex. It is a SEXLESS pronoun. Maybe the lady forgot that she was formed from sperm and eggs....not dropped to earth by Isis or Osiris.

Just saying
Community Member
4 years ago

I'm going off on a tangent now.....the really sexist word is vagina. Why? Because it's a euphemism - it's the Latin for sword sheath. So the word vagina defines female genitalia purely in terms of it being something for a man to put his mighty sword in. The C word is infinitely preferable - it derives from the word for triangle.

Jace
Community Member
4 years ago

This is all quite interesting and valid. Thing is, the use for vagina that you're referencing is so old, and so unknown, that men and women don't ever use it that way. Men tell other men they have manginas when mocking their masculinity. Why? Because they think that giving female attributes to a male is a cutting way to demean their masculinity. They're thinking of vagina as entirely female; not thinking of the word's etymology.

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Just saying
Community Member
4 years ago

It also annoys me when people say 'history' has anything to do with 'his' and then try to change it to 'herstory'. It actually comes from the ancient Greek 'istoria - the apostrophe at the beginning is a rough breath sound vaguely equivalent to an h, and it has nothing to do with the ancient greek masculine genitive, 'ou

ROOST er
Community Member
4 years ago

People actually do this ?

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Sick Boy
Community Member
4 years ago

But see how easy is to accuse and seduce, and how hard and long one has to work to get to the truth...

J Browne
Community Member
4 years ago

I find his hypothesis equally weak. He leaves several up to "coincidence" without fully exploring or understanding it. As well the hypothesis of it could be argued the male aspect of self reflection of importance being "here" and "there" being the secondary version. Certainly the english language was created from a male point of view as the latin derivatives of French, Spanish and Italian share an equal male/female base and importance. Co-incident is a word often used haphazardly. It means an incident that happens alongside another having value and purpose. It gives no justification that it was a mistake as he is suggesting. Do I think he roasted her? No, I feel they are equally careless in their assessments and he drops off when it comes to the hows or whys of the reasoning of the English language actually choosing the final version.

Mari
Community Member
4 years ago

Apparently this linguist's explanation is flawed in some ways, according to some other linguists. https://www.tumblr.com/dashboard/blog/mitosisisyourtosis/170951112628

Michèle Gyselinck
Community Member
4 years ago

As a graduate of a B.A. in Linguistics, I would say his arguments make sense. The word "masle" would be VERY Old French, like around the time William the Conqueror invaded England and the Middle Age. There were no accents in French at that time, and words like "island" in English probably date from that period. Isle became "ïle" later in French. On a somewhat different angle, I came across the English word "coward" being interpreted in novels set in early 19th Century England to mean "cow-hearted". because people thought cows were naturally cowards. Nothing of the sort. The word "coward" comes from the Old French word "couard" which became phonetically assimilated.

Eva van Loon
Community Member
4 years ago

This writer is a linguist? Seriously? I see abysmal skill levels in grammar, style and usage. The content is interesting but obscured by error and ambiguity. Don't leave your day job, because you do not have a clue about writing clear, meaningful prose.

Linda Riebel
Community Member
4 years ago

The rebuttal is unconvincing and simply reiterates the problem being identified.

ROOST er
Community Member
4 years ago

The problem doesn't exist though

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Terry Nelson
Community Member
4 years ago

O.K. What is desired here? Are us men supposed to lay down and admit we are nothing but a piece of shit? Furthermore, us, “white men” are the scum of the Earth? I mean, at least so called minority men have one thing going for them? What does a woman like this desire? I have no problem trying to appease her wants and/or needs, just explain to me what it is you truly want? I can’t change history, but perhaps I can make some! Come on ladies, oops, I’m sure you break that down as wrong as it contains “lad” known as a harmless gentleman, or should we change the definition of lad to be a horrible, crime committing, young male, never known to do anything good? WHAT DO YOU WANT, LADIES!

Eric Hairgrove
Community Member
4 years ago

Iveta and the linquist should find career paths that don't require critical thinking or professional writing skills. And based upon some of the comments, I presume that Bored Panda is a site that services anti-intellectual Trump supporters. Am I correct?

Lazy Panda
Community Member
4 years ago

I'm all for feminism but seriously, come on! Being a feminist doesn't mean complaining about everything or whatever that lady was trying to do

Daniel Knight
Community Member
4 years ago

"You're just trying to confuse me with jabber, asshole." ~ this bitch immediately after, probably

Chris Pitch
Community Member
4 years ago

Hey other bored pandas. Where is the line of feminism and sexism drawn??

Martin
Community Member
4 years ago

Right down the middle ??