Re: Girl, You'll Be A Woman

1

plus, there's still something fucked up about the use of the word "lady".
it's far more prevalent than it should be, and far more implicated in judgments of propriety.
public figures still shy away from 'woman' and use 'lady'.
can't believe the lack of progress.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:43 AM
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I find that I see my women friends as girls. Perhaps this is because I met most of my women friends when we were in our late teens or early twenties--I didn't observe them grow up, on the one hand, but I also met them before they were the case-hardened professional specimens into which time has turned us all.

I find it easy to believe that I'm thirty-three, but my friends are perpetually twenty-two or so, as far as I'm concerned. And since we're all boring little urban bohemian types, we really dress, talk and live in much the same manner as we did after college.

(On an unrelated note, I've found lately that I have the impulse to introduce myself as "Frowner" when meeting new people. Luckily, I've been able to stop myself so far.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:45 AM
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"Woman" sometimes sounds dismissively rude, though. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:46 AM
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May I suggest the charming olde-worlde colloquialism "bird".

I did not have sexual relations with that bird, Miss Lewinsky

much nicer, see?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:48 AM
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Lots of the fun in life revolves around "immature" behavior. Immature behavior is associated with kids. Female kids are girls. I still call friends of mine who are older than you kids. (I also say "Twenty-three skidoo," so I may not be representative.)

I'd be surprised if you use the description "girl" for yourself or other women when the subject relates to professional matters.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:50 AM
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Can I say 'anti-feminist backlash' without accusing everyone who uses 'girl' of themselves of being an anti-feminist? Because I use it sometimes, and I don't think it's diagnostic of anti-feminism.

But I think 'woman', as applied to anyone who isn't either a mother or grey-haired, acquired a sense of "I am a humorless feminist who will move on to criticizing your leg-shaving choices next" when people got all tense about PC language, so there's been a tendency to edge away from the word so as not to sound annoyingly political.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:50 AM
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Scots usage is to use 'wifey' or 'wife' for any woman of more mature years. The 'wifey' category is co-extensive with the English 'woman'.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:51 AM
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Maybe it's the Peter Pan syndrome afflicting
women?

Is there a female equivalent to Peter Pan?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:51 AM
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god it works brilliantly. Some quotes from that bird's article in the Washington Post:

"This is a great time to be a bird. The skills required in business increasingly favor what birds are good at".

"When Joanna thinks of a real bird, she thinks of her mother "


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:51 AM
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7: How medieval of the Scots.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:52 AM
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Lots of women talk about 'boys' where by 'boys' they mean 'men', too.

re: 7

It's straight out of Anglo-Saxon.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:55 AM
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Can I say 'anti-feminist backlash'

I think that's it. For people right around my age, using "girl" to address anyone in college and up was considered (rightly, I think) demeaning. I'm constantly surprised to see things like "girl power" and the like--I'd guess that sometimes it's an attempt at reappropriation, but sometimes just plain backlash.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:57 AM
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Is there a female equivalent to Peter Pan?

Peter Pan was a woman.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:58 AM
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I got yelled at by a law professor for referring to a fellow classmate as "an amazing girl."

The girl and I were the same age (22) and had done well as partners in a law school competition. I told the professor that we owed our success to my friend who was "an amazing girl."

The professor ripped me a new one for 15 minutes.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:58 AM
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see, if you'd said she was a "cracking bird" you'd have been fine.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 7:59 AM
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Is there a female equivalent to Peter Pan?

Kidults is gender-neutral.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:00 AM
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My students are calling me ma'am way more than usual this year. Some of my colleagues sternly correct them to Doctor or Professor, depending on who it is, but I haven't yet picked that battle.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:00 AM
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Lots of women talk about 'boys' where by 'boys' they mean 'men', too.

Yeah, maybe there's some odd thing going on because of language symmetry not matching up with gender position symmetry.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:00 AM
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The male-female word equivalents I think of are:
man-woman
guy-girl or boy-girl (or is there something else that would go with guy? Gal? Too southern.)
gentleman-lady

I usually use guy to refer to men. One time a kid wanted to get my attention and said, "Excuse me, mister man?" Better than sir, at least.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:02 AM
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No one will be surprised to learn that I use "woman" by default and almost always am putting some spin on it whenever I use "girl" for a grownup, to imply either diminutive affection or some immature aspect or both.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:04 AM
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This isn't a uniquely female phenomenon, though. Men do the same thing, but with the word "guy" instead of "boy". It's just that there isn't a female equivalent to "guy" that doesn't sound silly ("gal", I guess). It's an issue of casualness and familiarity, not immaturity.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:04 AM
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11 is a point that I've noticed, and find puzzling. General tends towards infantilization in modern society?

17 should totally pick that fight.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:05 AM
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Scots usage is to use 'wifey' or 'wife' for any woman of more mature years. The 'wifey' category is co-extensive with the English 'woman'

The "woman" meaning is older than the "espoused" meaning. English is the only language where the "wife" cognate has not acquired a pejorative sense: in German, it has connotations of a battleaxe, in Dutch of a slut.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:05 AM
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I feel funny using "woman" to describe a woman I'm interested in; makes me feel sort of old. I do try, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:06 AM
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I'm constantly surprised to see things like "girl power" and the like--I'd guess that sometimes it's an attempt at reappropriation, but sometimes just plain backlash.

There's also an inbetween, calling it 'catering to backlash' sounds harsh, but I can't think of a nicer way to say it. There are a fair number of people out there with what I think of as idiotic issues with feminism, but who I don't actually need to give a hard time to about their attitudes to women all that much -- using language like 'girl', for me, can be a semi-intentional signal that although I'm a feminist, I'm not necessarily going to break your balls over minor things.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:06 AM
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13: And Peter Pan was J. R.'s mom.

Open your minds, folks! The world is too big and strange to fit into your imposed categories!

(Folks -- and laydeez too!)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:08 AM
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I don't tend to think of myself as "a man" most of the time.

What counts as an adult job anyway? I'm essentially doing the same job that I did eight years ago, I'm just doing it better. Does it become more "adult" in the situations where I'm managing other people?

[incidentally this thread is getting all sorts of annoying songs stuck in my head. The title reminds me of this creepy David Bowie song, ad 19 reminds me of the Ben Harper song "Excuse me, Mister"]


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:08 AM
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I have a hep-talking friend/colleague who calls everyone mama or daddy, as in, "What's happein', mama?" I sometimes find myself thinking, I can't believe someone just called me 'mama' and I am not offended.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:09 AM
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happenin'


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:09 AM
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There's also 'grrl power', too, but I think 19 is most of it. There's just no equivalent for 'guy' that conveys the same carefree unmarried twenty-something ideal for women. Which probably says a lot about how we culturally think of women, because someone who'd I'd describe unreflectively as a woman probably is someone married with kids, and another grad student might be described as 'the girl over there with the straight hair and glasses' and if I had to use 'woman' to describe her, I'd probably preface it with 'young.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:10 AM
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I stick to Sweet Pea for the little ladies and Honey Bear for the grizzled men.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:10 AM
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5 gets it right.

In my experience, in college, to refer to female college students as "women" was a self-consciously feminist thing to do. And then, you know, after college you aren't that much different from how you were in college, so when does the "woman" stage of life begin? With kids? Probably.

Another factor is that in the media, the word "man" has been replaced by "guy" for people under 50 or so. and you can't very well say "guys and women". you have to say "guys and girls". (or "dolls", of course. Maybe I'll start doing that)


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:11 AM
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good job


Posted by: seks shop | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:13 AM
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My students are calling me ma'am way more than usual this year.

I instinctively use "ma'am" and "sir" with anybody I don't know over the age of about 16, because it was absolutely drilled into me as a kid.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:14 AM
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Well, I was pwned on bring up the "guy" issue.

My students are calling me ma'am way more than usual this year.

They need to take Becks's advice.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:14 AM
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6: But I think 'woman', as applied to anyone who isn't either a mother or grey-haired, acquired a sense of "I am a humorless feminist who will move on to criticizing your leg-shaving choices next" when people got all tense about PC language

I'm not sure at what particular point people started in with coinings like "womyn," "wimmin" and "womban," but it seemed from my vantage point to be roughly coeval with the rise in popularity of "girl" this and "grrl" that. This could be a fairly meaningless correlation.

Isn't "guy" more gender-neutral these days?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:14 AM
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34: Same. Or, obv., "m'lady."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:14 AM
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Isn't "guy" more gender-neutral these days?

Plural, it is. Not singular.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:15 AM
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It's just that there isn't a female equivalent to "guy"

"Bitch".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:15 AM
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40

In my case, I wouldn't have minded if the professor had simply said "maybe you should use the word woman instead of girl." (My friend regularly referred to herself as a girl.)

But, instead, the professor was vicious to me. As a sidenote, she didn't last long at the law school due to being regularly unduly harsh.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:16 AM
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will, you should have started habitually referring to "bros" and "hos" in her class.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:16 AM
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When I meet people for the first time, I often hear, "I thought you'd be a girl," never that I was mistaken for a woman.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:17 AM
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But, instead, the professor was vicious to me. As a sidenote, she didn't last long at the law school due to being regularly unduly harsh.

I'm sure she was mean, but I do wonder how many male professors find their careers limited by harshness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:18 AM
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I still think you'll be a girl, Armie.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:20 AM
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I use "woman" and "lady" pretty damned regularly.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:21 AM
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When I meet people for the first time, I often hear, "I thought you'd be a girl," never that I was mistaken for a woman.

"Kristin" is a girl's name, having never been given to anyone in this country before 1977. Things would be different if you had a woman's name, like "Nansy", or "Patrisha".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:21 AM
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I'm sure she was mean, but I do wonder how many male professors find their careers limited by harshness.

It was much more than that, including not publishing (which I think is a stupid requirement). But, there were some other more important issues that I would rather not get into. In the end, it was really kind of sad bc she had some nice things to offer the school.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:22 AM
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When I meet people for the first time, I often hear, "I thought you'd be a girl," never that I was mistaken for a woman.

If you're meeting people on chickenhawk sites, that's what's going to happen.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:23 AM
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Armsmasher is one of the baits on To Catch a Predator?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:25 AM
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When I meet people for the first time, I often hear, "I thought you'd be a girl,"

When I meet people for the first time, I often hear, "I thought you'd be black."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:30 AM
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Off-topic: I want to move to France


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:32 AM
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For people right around my age, using "girl" to address anyone in college and up was considered (rightly, I think) demeaning

Yeah, that's my response too (and I think we're about the same age). Plus, when you're teaching 18-22 year olds you don't want to sound like a patronizing ass when talking about students, etc.

When I meet people for the first time, I often hear, "I thought you'd be a girl,"

I get that too, thanks to my RL name, and the fact that Americans are retards.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:35 AM
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When I meet people for the first time, I often hear, "I thought you'd be black."

You think you hear that a lot - "Jammies" is short for Jamaal. Usually the follow-up question is "Um...(stammer, stammer)...do you mind if I ask how you got your name?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:35 AM
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Sadly, for a long time I thought the words to the song were "Girl, you'll be a woman soon... but soon, you'll be a man," which would have solved all the problems being discussed here.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:39 AM
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I usually use guy to refer to men.

"Boyo" is sadly neglected.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:46 AM
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The one that's been annoying me is one that LSS uses: calling women "females." At least when you say "girl," "woman," or "lady," you're referring to a particular social construction of humans in society. (I tend to use "girl" to signify familiarity or intimacy, "woman" to signal respect, and "lady" as a playful gesture, and I use all three for the same women in different circumstances.) But "female," Jesus, you might be talking about a dog.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:46 AM
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calling women "females."

I prefer "elegant females."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:50 AM
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Usage is not always useful when considering these questions, though I thought it might be. Consider:

"[Girl/Bird/Woman/Lady], your lord and master has spoken. Obey!"

"Damn, [Girl/Bird/Woman/Lady], you is one fine [Girl/Bird/Woman/Lady]."

"[Girl/Bird/Woman/Lady], you will be the death of me."

Of the four, "woman" seems most appropriate to old school sexism, while "girl" seems a little more 21st-century fox. "Lady" just seems awkward.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:50 AM
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56: you might be talking about a dog.
See 39.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:51 AM
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58, I think it's abnormal to use any of them in the second person.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:52 AM
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56: Such usage of "female" seems racially marked.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:52 AM
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58- I do use lady in a negative sense, such as with a bad driver- "That lady just cut me off," also, "There was this crazy lady at the front of the line trying to use 500 coupons."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:53 AM
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This is one of those data-free articles isn't it. (I couldn't find any data skimming it.) We really have no idea about the relative frequency of the words "lady" "woman" and "girl" for an adult female human.

My hunch is that people are vastly overestimating the effect of 60s feminism on popular speech. This is another dumb case of a journalist inventing a trend by looking at her friends, and no one challenging it because her intended audience is from a nearly identical socioeconomic group.

Google retrieves 364 million hits for woman and 220 million for lady, but I bet written language will always favor the more formal.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:53 AM
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57: Yay!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:53 AM
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Also- is lady derived from lad, which would make it a strange word choice for the formal use?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:54 AM
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Female = 'I address not thy person, wench, but thy ovaries.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:54 AM
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"Females" clangs for me, but I don't think it's generally ill-meant. I'm pretty sure that one comes from the original thought process "If I say 'woman', that means I've been pussy-whipped by teh evil feminazis*. But 'girl' is way too casual in this context, I'm speaking formally either out of respect for the women I'm talking about, or because it's a formal context. I know, 'females' is an appropriately formal but not feminist-tainted option!" Not malicious, just backlashy.

*or some toned down subconscious version of that which is what I referred to as anti-feminist backlash above.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:55 AM
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My mom's best friend calls her "lady" when she's trying to boss her into, e.g., letting her pay the check at lunch. I think it's adorable, and have found myself doing the same. I tend to use "boy" and "girl" when talking about dating. "Woman" is used when I am referring to someone I know to someone who doesn't know her.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:57 AM
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We've discussed "female" before, which is how we got "blogger with ovaries." I don't use it often, but when I do, it's when I'm speaking specifically of someone's sex, eg., "we need a female blogger."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:59 AM
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Scots usage is to use 'wifey' or 'wife' for any woman of more mature years. The 'wifey' category is co-extensive with the English 'woman'

To clarify: usage is to use "wifey" or "wife" when referring to a woman of more mature years. When addressing such a woman, one should use "hen".

E.g.: "this wifey carved me up at the lights" vs. "nice to meet you, hen".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:00 AM
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General trends towards infantilization in modern society?

There was a book that came out a few years ago called Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes, and the Reinvention of the American Grown-up. I thumbed it a little in the bookstore, and it gave me the distinct impression that there was still room for me to write my trend piece about this phenomenon, which is less approbative.

I'll call it Grow the Fuck Up: Avenue Q, Indie 'Kids', and the Apologetics of Not Participating in Society as an Adult While Other People Run the Planet into the Ground.

Cupcakes will not be exempt. I mean, it's fine to cultivate a sense of "play" in your life, but grow the fuck up.

n+1 is very good on this point w/r/t McSweeneys.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:00 AM
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To clarify: usage is to use "wifey" or "wife" when referring to a woman of more mature years. When addressing such a woman, one should use "hen".

I thought they preferred to be addressed as "crone", with "hag" reserved for referring to them in the 3rd person.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:02 AM
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Also- is lady derived from lad

no, from Anglo Saxon for "kneader of loaves".


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:04 AM
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I demand to be addressed as "loaf-ward". People have started taking their loaves for granted around here.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:07 AM
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69: Yeah, 'female' is completely neutral and unobjectionable as an adjective -- bitching about it is only for when it's used as a noun.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:07 AM
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71: Well, you can guess what generation I blame that on. Seriously, Gen X has been represented as wholly without will to succeed since some of us were like 10. Whom does that benefit? In part, I think the "infantilization" is a way of resisting some of the trappings of adult life, even as most of us are doing perfectly fine for ourselves as adults.

What I want to know is why an adult life that occasionally involves going out, being single, screwing around, etc., is treated as infantile. Is it because the previous generation did all these things at 15 or something? All my friends spent our high school years totally straight-edge so we could prepare for high-powered careers, and it wasn't until much later that we realized we could also get away with all the fun stuff if we were careful.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:08 AM
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69: I think "lady blogger" sounds more respectful. And "lady professor" for heebie (17).


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:09 AM
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I demand to be addressed as "loaf-ward". People have started taking their loaves for granted around here.

Pinch it, Ned!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:09 AM
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76: "Immature," maybe, but not "infantile." Children don't do cocaine and fuck around the way some of my friends do.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:10 AM
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I think "lady blogger" sounds more respectful

I tried to get "blogress" off the ground but no luck.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:11 AM
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Perhaps the wisest course is to revert back to using the terms "innies" and "outies."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:11 AM
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I love in that Samantha Bee clip when she says, "These days, women are doctresses and lawyesses, and even CPOesesses."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:13 AM
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"we need a female blogger."

We've got those. What we *need* are some lady bloggers up in this joint.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:13 AM
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I object to "female" because it's often not needed, except when you're doing a little affirmative action. Is it really necessary to comment, for example, on someone being a "black blogger" unless it's in the context of talking about RSS affirmative action? If someone is a feminist blogger, or blogs about race, then you're talking about content, not genitals or skin color.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:13 AM
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83 pwned by 77. Sigh.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:13 AM
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(Not trying to be annoying on that point; I've just had a lot of shit recently with some of my poetry students obsessing about gender and race of poets, as if only white male poets can be discussed in terms of what they're arguing, and women and minorities only write poems because they're all bitter and stuff.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:15 AM
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At this point, most of us would settle for a blogger who didn't know, correspond, sympathize or pick fights with other bloggers. A free spirit of the blogging world, unattached and unbound!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:15 AM
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75: And for me, for some reason, the plural 'females' doth irk more than the singular.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:15 AM
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If someone is a feminist blogger, or blogs about race, then you're talking about content, not genitals or skin color.

Not clear to me that such is true. It doesn't seem crazy to think that people's personal experiences make certain types of arguments ring more true. Indeed, that often seems to be the biggest factor.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:15 AM
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"Blogatrix" has been used now and then by people trying to insult feminist bloggers.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:16 AM
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80: Doing cocaine and fucking around are not really on trial here. It's fetishizing childhood and prolonging it well into adulthood. There's a sense of "Yay! We're the kids!" that I get from indie rockers (I was overcome by this feeling at a Moldy Peaches show and had to go frown in the corner).

I'm sympathetic to the idea that people get adulthood drilled into them as children and, as a reaction, relax a little when they reach adulthood. But I also feel that there's a stifling aesthetic of cultivated childishness that's promoted both in a culture-industry and a peer-to-peer fashion, and it irks me. I'm not saying don't have fun as an adult.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:17 AM
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It's fetishizing childhood and prolonging it well into adulthood.

What's distinctive about the independent lifestage is that you're liberated from the direct control of your parents or other authority (off at college, living in the city, whatever) but you're not yet enmeshed in family responsibilities yourself. So it's like all the benefits of adolescence with none of the drawbacks.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:20 AM
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Plus, once you get rich enough, the toys are better.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:20 AM
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Everybody I know calls all homines sapientes of the female gender "women" if they're over 16. This is, I'm sure a generational thing - they're all second wave feminists or supporters thereof. At my age I find the generalisation of "girl" sounds really weird.

Anyway, in these parts, you'd be lasses. Young lasses or owd lasses, but lasses one and all.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:21 AM
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91: I can see that. I was always weirded out by the girls at Nerd U who wore nothing but Winnie-the-Pooh-themed sweatshirts and kept their hair in ponytails. Man, those girls got laid all the damn time, too. All I saw was little children.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:21 AM
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"Today, a megayacht is indispensable," said Olivier Milliex, head of yacht finance at the Dutch bank ING. "It's not like 15 years ago, when a yacht was a luxury item."

Took the words right out of my mouth.

"Head of yacht finance."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:24 AM
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Today, a megayacht is indispensable

How true. The megapoverty line needs to be adjusted.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:26 AM
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I'm going to my 10-year high-school reunion in two weeks. I was thinking, last night, of the people who I'll see there, and whether I would tell them about a mutual friend who just got married this summer.

"Oh, X, he just got married, this summer, to a wonderful girl Y."

And then I corrected myself in my head, "No, I should say, 'a great woman, Y', because we're not 22 anymore." But it was weird to correct myself like that. I still think of myself, for instance as a 'guy' or a 'young adult,' even though that's becoming less and less true every year.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:27 AM
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Plus, once you get rich enough, the toys are better.

That article is fantastic:

"Today, a megayacht is indispensable," said Olivier Milliex, head of yacht finance at the Dutch bank ING. "It's not like 15 years ago, when a yacht was a luxury item."


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:27 AM
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A megayacht would be a million yachts, right? The rich really are different from you and me.

That top 0.1% of the US population who have been seeing 100% of the benefit from the so-called good economy does make up 300,000 people. That's a big enough market that entire industries can flourish without even being aware that the mass market exists.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:28 AM
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98: Me too! Did we go to high school together, arthegall?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:28 AM
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I'm slow.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:28 AM
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99: fantastic perhaps, but only containing one relevant quote. I suppose I don't need to actually read it.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:28 AM
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There's a sense of "Yay! We're the kids!" that I get from indie rockers

It's the plague of fey that wards me away from Brooklyn. McCarren Park is kind of nightmarish.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:29 AM
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"Female" as a noun used to refer to a human makes my head pop off. "A lot of the females in my sociology class are really assertive."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:30 AM
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[OT, but inspired by the n+1 article about McSweeney's: the Borges article in the new issue of The Believer is lovely. Go read it at the bookstore or soemthing.]


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:30 AM
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I don't think even being in the top 0.1% can get you a megayacht- them thing are expensive. We're talking things similar to jets- tens of orders per year are a big deal for the companies.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:31 AM
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95: I used to be weirded out by the childish sweatshirts and stuff, but now I'm not. It's an age thing. An eighteen-year-old into Pooh and CareBears might not really be all that mature because they're not all that far from an age where that would be acceptable. At 28, I am old and decrepit enough that were I into CareBears, I'd either be a mom or being ironic about it, and I could see a particularly savvy 18-year-old pulling off the knowing Lolita thing with Hello Kitty accessories.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:32 AM
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I won't settle for anything less than a bespoke yacht:

Their customers do not want off-the-rack yachts; they want custom-built boats that will not be replicated.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:33 AM
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I don't think even being in the top 0.1% can get you a megayacht- them thing are expensive.

Sure, and where would you park the whole million of them?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:35 AM
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Ever mistaking Dave Eggers for Andre Breton is more embarrassing than fetishizing childhood. I'm sympathetic to the N+1 dislike of the Kindercore types, but a lot of it seems to be an argument over favored cultural styles more than anything else.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:36 AM
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108: Ironic references to childhood are not exempt from the very mild scourge of my wrath.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:36 AM
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So these yachts are around $30m? That is more than I would have guessed. Oh well, maybe for Christmas, then.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:37 AM
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And the lackadaisical editing at n+1 drives me crazy.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:38 AM
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113: Plus you have to hire a crew. It's expensive to be rich.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:39 AM
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Ironic references to childhood are not exempt from the very mild scourge of my wrath.

Come along with the Snorks. Play along with the Snorks.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:40 AM
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The US rich will be less and less relevant. We will lose to the chinese in superyachts as in so much else.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:43 AM
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I'm disappointed that I have to be the one to make the lame gigayacht joke. And no off-the-rack gigayachts for me, no sir! My $30,000,000,000 has to be me a unique gigayacht!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:43 AM
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Head of yacht finance

Now this is kind of troubling. People are borrowing money to buy yachts?. Enough of them to keep a whole bank department in business?

Somewhere the ghost of Thornstein Veblen is smirking.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:45 AM
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113: that's hardly the attitude. Olivier Milliex and his team have all sorts of adjustable-ARM delayed-amortisation interest-only sub-prime teaser-rate products, designed to get ordinary Americans like you on the first rung of the yachting ladder.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:46 AM
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Not necessarily borrowing:

Some wealthy customers, for instance, prefer a mortgage for their yacht, taking advantage of low interest rates, rather than tying up cash in a yacht purchase.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:47 AM
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I get a weird charge out of addressing women as "Lady," as in, "Hey lady, you dropped something," or "Listen, lady, I'm sorry they gave you the wrong number, but I can't help you." I don't have the nerve/opportunity to do so very often, though.

I must be around Ogged's age, because I, too, had "girl" and "chick" beaten right out of my vocabulary in college. As a result, I kind of love saying "chick" and "dude" now that I'm old enough that it's eye-rollingly inappropriate. The training stuck well enough that when I was searching for a way to refer collectively to a group of women friends (that I could use in front of them), I didn't consider just calling them "the girls" until I noticed several of the girls doing so themselves.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:48 AM
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adjustable-ARM

This is a mortgage where you can adjust how adjustable the rate is?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:48 AM
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101: I wish. I bet my reunion would be more interesting, if we had.

As it was, I was talked into going by two good friends. Who then, after I bought my ticket, ditched me. "Sorry, I'm on call that weekend." And, "sorry, I'm honeymooning for a month in Argentina that weekend." Damn them both to hell. Now I need to get a haircut and shave off this damn beard, all because of them.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:48 AM
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Plus you have to hire a crew. It's expensive to be rich.

My father-in-law used the be the physician of a somewhat well-known gajillionaire. This patient offered my FIL his yacht for a week to take a cruise "Take the wife, it will be just you, everything is provided for" etc.

He was tempted to take the offer until he heard from another acquaintance who had done the same thing. Apparently, one has to tip the crew in these situations. And when you give $100-200 per person to a 15-person crew, your "free" outing quickly becomes rather expensive.

It still might have been arguably worth it for the experience of living like a plutocrat, but my FIL never took the offer and now his patient is dead, so he missed his chance.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:52 AM
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#123 basically yes. umbrella term for option ARM, flex option, step-up and similar part fixed, part floating mortgages.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:53 AM
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126: Huh, I thought I was making a joke.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:55 AM
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Not necessarily borrowing

Uh, Ogged, that's what a mortgage is. They are borrowing money and pledging the yacht as collateral. As for "Some wealthy customers, for instance, prefer a mortgage for their yacht, taking advantage of low interest rates, rather than tying up cash in a yacht purchase," there is an argument that some of these guys are making double digit returns on their investments and can borrow in the mid-to-high single digits, but it doesn't change the fact that they are borrowing.

If someone said "I put my new motorcycle on my Amex so as not to tie up my cash," you'd be skeptical.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:56 AM
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I must be around Ogged's age, because I, too, had "girl" and "chick" beaten right out of my vocabulary in college. As a result, I kind of love saying "chick" and "dude" now that I'm old enough that it's eye-rollingly inappropriate.

Never heard "chick" in my life. Except in rap songs where it is used as a radio-friendly substitute for "bitch".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:56 AM
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124: Fuck it, arthegall; you should come to my reunion instead. I'll make everyone feel bad that they don't remember you.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:57 AM
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My $30,000,000,000 has to be me a unique gigayacht!

Yachtzee!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:57 AM
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122: I sometimes fantasize about calling older strange women "Mama." Makes me wild with glee.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:58 AM
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21: No one will be surprised to learn that I use "woman" by default, as well, and when I use "girl" it usually indicates someone, say, 17 or younger.

Sure, it's generational; second-wave feminist training, as someone mentioned above. "Girl" infantilizes, etc.

LB's 25:

using language like 'girl', for me, can be a semi-intentional signal that although I'm a feminist, I'm not necessarily going to break your balls over minor things.

This is interesting.

I must be more stubborn than you are; using "girl" in this way would stick in my craw so badly, and come out in such an ironic way, that I might well be reduced to barking out a Clintonesque cackle if I tried to do it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:58 AM
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Uh, Ogged, that's what a mortgage is.

Ok, sure, but they're not "borrowing money to buy a yacht" in the sense that they can't afford it otherwise and are putting themselves in hock to sail around like rich people. They just have better things to do with their money.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:01 AM
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I choose not to pay off my debts because I have better things to do with my money, like let other people own it until such time as they decide to give it to me.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:04 AM
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I don't say "girl," but I do use "chick" and "chicky" pretty regularly. And I was calling girlfriends "shorty" long before The Wire came along, I'll have you know.

Never heard "chick" in my life

It's interesting how stark the dividing lines are when people are just 5-10 years apart. Although Ned seems to have never heard/seen lots of common behaviors.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:05 AM
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122: I sometimes fantasize about calling older strange women "Mama." Makes me wild with glee.

I'm always on the lookout for a situation in which I can respectfully call someone "old timer", but it hasn't happened yet.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:05 AM
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"Yacht finance" doesn't always mean mortgages - sir would presumably like to be structuring his ownership of said yacht in as tax-efficient a manner as possible. Also a lot of the purchasers of these yachts are likely to hold a lot of their wealth in offshore vehicles which can't be liquidated at a moment's notice without fairly severe adverse tax consequences, making a mortgage against the yacht (serviced by the trust) the most straightforward way of acquiring a yacht. I know of at least one family of discretionary trusts where the trust couldn't buy you a house but could make your mortgage payments and allow you to live in the house rent free.


Posted by: derauqsd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:06 AM
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I'm always on the lookout for a situation in which I can respectfully call someone "old timer", but it hasn't happened yet.

Buy me a drink some time.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:08 AM
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Although Ned seems to have never heard/seen lots of common behaviors.

I was thinking about this last night. Am 25 and have lived in Pennsy/vania all my life. P/ttsburgh or an area similar to P/ttsburgh but not urban.

I've also never seen any evidence that the phenomenon called "hitchhiking" exists. And have never seen people get into a real fight, where they actually wanted to hurt each other.

Also had never been...well, even acquaintances with a Latino/Hispanic person until grad school.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:11 AM
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It's interesting how stark the dividing lines are when people are just 5-10 years apart.

Not just time, but space. In the great gay conversation, I noted that I'd never heard it meaning lame rather than homosexual until college, but other people my age had. Speech patterns have a lot of variation in them from one group to the next.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:11 AM
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No one has mentioned "babe". Was that a transient fashion?

Awhile back I suggested to the med school people that the term "fellow" for post-doc types is sexist and archaic. I suggested a more contemporary, non sexist "dude" and "babe". "Next our new neurology dude and cardiology babe will present their papers."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:11 AM
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More seriously, it causes me mental anguish to have a debt and also have cash available to pay it off. I could pay off a fair part of my mortgage but I have to keep telling myself that my investments are making a better return than the interest rate / tax advantages. I think the problem is that investment returns are still subject to risk (might not make x% per year) but I'm damn sure paying the x% interest on the mortgage.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:12 AM
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138: It is interesting that the mega rich never let these complicated ownership relationships impinge on the fundamental pleasure they get from buying crap like this, which is to jump up and down and say "Mine! Mine! Mine!" I mean, if they were honest, they would have to say "Mostly the bank's, but I could pay it off if I wanted to as long as I accepted a major tax hit!"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:14 AM
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143: You have investments that return a higher rate than you are paying on your mortgage? Whenever we get a little money and think about investing it, it always turns out that the best thing to do is pay down the mortgage.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:17 AM
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128: You're just mistaking equality for identity, in a mathematical/financial sense.

Ogged is merely working from a deeper, more ancient understanding of the differences between mortgages and loans.

130: You're going back with the express purpose of making people feel bad? Even I don't have the guts to do that. I'm kinda scared stiff that I'll run into my high-school ex-gf while I'm there. EEeeee.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:18 AM
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145- My mortgage is low enough that CD rates were slightly higher than the morgage for a while, though not anymore thanks to helicopter Ben- that seemed like a safe bet. It's the whole hypothetical return of stocks, etc., where it gets dicey- sure, the market averages 8% or whatever over the long run, but mentally it's hard to convince yourself because paying off the morgage is like getting a guaranteed x% return for 20-something years.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:22 AM
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You have investments that return a higher rate than you are paying on your mortgage

Not SP, but I got a mortgage during the really low interest rate period so my money market fund is returning almost what my mortgage rate is. Other investments are doing substantially better then it. Not to mention the tax advantage that SP mentioned.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:22 AM
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Plus, holding a mortgage is a good inflation hedge, or so I'm told.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:23 AM
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Ogged is merely working from a deeper, more ancient understanding of the differences between mortgages and loans

Islamic yacht finance! Now there's a lucrative niche market!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:24 AM
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I know what you mean about it feeling weird to refer to yourself (or other women) as women.

It gets a lot easier with practice. I highly recommend it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:25 AM
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I'd feel very weird referring to myself as a woman, but I don't know if it would get easier over time.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:27 AM
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You're going back with the express purpose of making people feel bad?

Not exactly. My friend who comments here sometimes, tonks, and I are going to go and we're determined to have an excellent time somehow, and the only ideas we've come up with so far involve the creation of small scandals. Most of our class has gone on to be just as not-fun, or even more so, than they were as humorless 16-year-olds.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:28 AM
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The Kansas City police have been put on alert.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:29 AM
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Never heard "chick" in my life.

I'm going to assume you mean literally, as people use it on this forum occasionally.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:30 AM
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150: The bank buys you a yacht, and then rents you out a spot on it for a period of years. At the end, they offer to sell it to you for a reduced price, because they're nice that way. But no loans are involved, at any point. Also someone sells some kind of insurance on the side, I forget exactly how the whole thing works -- but it's an interesting paper!


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:32 AM
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Yeah, never heard it come out of somebody's mouth. Maybe in an ironic way.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:32 AM
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Was "chick-dude" as a goofy feminine form of "dude" my high school only? I admit I haven't heard it since then.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:33 AM
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153: I admit that I don't think anyone's going back to my reunion that I really care about -- I've kept in touch with most of my friends from high-school, and most of them wouldn't go near this kind of thing if you paid them. Which I offered to do.

But now that I've committed to going, I'm trying to figure out how to do it in a way that makes me seem least like a tool. Which is hard for me.

It's good that you've got a friend to go with you.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:34 AM
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Please, arthegall. In what way would you come off as a tool?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:38 AM
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I think "lady blogger" sounds more respectful. And "lady professor" for heebie (17).

I am assuming you are being tongue in cheek here, but since it's a major pet-peeve of mine, I'm going to go ahead and rant. I loather the use of "lady" to modify any given role. Lady blogger, lady professor. We had this issue (not really, I had this issue) over the summer in little league when the girls were thinking up a team name and the dumbass coach kept tacking on a "lady" to every suggestion. "The Hawks!" "Lady Hawks?" and so on for a good half dozen suggested team names. Fortunately, the girls diligently ignored him the way good 8 year olds do someone who is talking stupid and picked a team name. But that need to throw "lady" on just so plainly communicates "there's real athletics and then there's lady athletics." Ugh, I still kinda want to rip the guy's head off.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:43 AM
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I guess I can see this anxiety if absolutely no one who will have a real conversation with you will be there. I am somewhat anxious about the contentless chitchat this thing is likely to produce. I suck at chitchat.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:44 AM
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"Women" is sometimes used as an adjective, too, e.g., "women writers in seventeenth-century England." It may sound a bit strange the first time you hear it, but I do think there's something oddly (and thus potentially offensively) biological about using "female writers" instead. Also, I've used "mama" and "chiquita" as direct-address terms of endearment in intimate dating relationships for a long time without objection.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:46 AM
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adulthood is no longer as much of an aspirational status, it's as simple as that. And "woman" doesn't even have the positive connotations that "man" does, because in traditional gender narratives it's just a matter of getting older and not achieving something. Girls don't have to prove their womanhood by joining the Marines or whatever.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:48 AM
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Fortunately, the girls diligently ignored him the way good 8 year olds do someone who is talking stupid and picked a team name.

Di, your daughter should be in cheerleading, supporting the boys and slapping her own ass, like a good little girl.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:11 AM
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161: Having "lady" on sports teams is awful. In addition to being demeaning, it creates some horrible neologisms, like the "Lady Kings" Why not queens?

Perhaps things would work better if they let the girls gender the name of their sports teams. I know my four year old would love to be on a team called the Princess Hawks.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:14 AM
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Don't you prove your womanhood by passing a living creature the size of a bowling ball out of your vagina? That's got to count at least as much as joining the marines.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:16 AM
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166: Pretty much every college team gets this. Lady Vols, Lady Irish, Lady Panthers, Lady Lions... I don't know if Nebraska are the Lady Huskers but I and Catullus hope so...


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:18 AM
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167: There are those who would suggest you prove you are a "real woman" by cooking meals, keeping a clean house, and being perpetually sexually available to your man.

Passing the bowling ball out your vagina is just the supportive thing you do to help prove your man's masculinity -- after all, the big guy is the stud who knocked you up!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:20 AM
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God, the teams in PK's AYSO soccer league--the girls are all in light pastel uniforms and have unthreatening names like the dolphins or starfish, and the boys are all shit like the sharks and dragons. Drives me batshit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:22 AM
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Are the women's teams at the University of South Carolina called the Lady Cocks? Because that would be teh awesome.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:23 AM
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Speaking of girls, this commercial makes its depressing point very well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:25 AM
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B, you should sponsor a girls' team and call them the Black Widows, with appropriately colored uniforms.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:25 AM
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171: Gamecunts, right?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:25 AM
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171: Now I want a tshirt that says GO LADY COCKS on it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:27 AM
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151:

I know what you mean about it feeling weird to refer to yourself (or other women) as women.

Is this tongue-in-cheek?

I didn't read the linked Post article, and maybe it is guilty of declaring a trend based on a survey just of one's friends, but my sense is that young women today do indeed prefer "girl." Too bad that "woman" has accrued problematic connotations.

I'm in the odd position of being unmarried and childless, yet I suspect it would be a strain for people to call me a girl. If a woman is a mother, then I am neither girl nor woman: neuter!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:27 AM
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The Brown Recluses would be better. Shy people can be athletes too.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:27 AM
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If a woman is a mother, then I am neither girl nor woman: neuter!

I believe "babe" was suggested earlier. Or "lady" if you prefer.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:28 AM
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173: Oh man. I gotta whisper that in someone's ear, yep.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:28 AM
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The University of South Carolina's 19 varsity sports teams are known as the Gamecocks. While the men have traditionally been the Fighting Gamecocks and the women were previously the Lady Gamecocks, this distinction was discontinued.

Link.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:29 AM
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The video in 172 is awesome.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:29 AM
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In my neighborhood the AYSO teams wait to see the uniform before picking a name. My girl's AYSO team last year was the "Spotted Polka Dotted Mad Dogs". And wouldn't you love to have the AYSO uniform concession. New uniforms for everyone every year! And pictures! And you must volunteer! And you must sign up in April for next fall! Get a job, you over- organized stay at home Mom.


Posted by: tassled loafered leech | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:31 AM
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172: That commercial is fucking awesome.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:35 AM
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Now I want a tshirt that says GO LADY COCKS on it.

Zionist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:35 AM
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You may never read me doing this again, but the relative values in Just like a woman, when I heard it, sealed my sense of woman vs. girl. Why Lay lady lay or Rainy day woman made less of an impression I have no idea.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:37 AM
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a goofy feminine form of "dude"
That would be "dudette" in my circles.

horrible neologisms, like the "Lady Kings" Why not queens?
They're all in drama club. (rimshot)

Di: how about "lady parts?" Would that fall under the peeve?


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:43 AM
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If your lady parts are falling under the peeve, you should see a doctor.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:45 AM
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yeah, 172 is amazing.
when the redheaded kid comes out at the end crossing the street i started crying. still am.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:54 AM
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In my neighborhood the AYSO teams wait to see the uniform before picking a name. My girl's AYSO team last year was the "Spotted Polka Dotted Mad Dogs".

I wish we had gotten to do that. Our teams were named after the teams in whatever the hell the successor league to the NASL was in the late 80s-early 90s. Just like Little League teams are always the Yankees, the Indians, the Orioles, etc.

Seems like a cool idea, but I never had any idea that there was a professional US soccer league or that our team names hadn't been made up on the spot by some drunken relative of the guy who founded the league. Sounders? Timbers? Rowdies? Blizzard? WTF? I don't think any other kids knew there was a professional US soccer league either.

The worst part is, nobody ever got to be the Raging Rhinos.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:01 PM
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Speaking of the Dove commercial, by 4 YO is not just getting into princesses but starting to fall into some of the notions of femininity that come with it. The other day she told me that she only wanted pretty people people to come to her birthday party. I told her that if someone comes to her party that she doesn't think is pretty, she should look harder at them because you'll find something that is pretty.

She then said, "No, I mean they should wear dresses....except the boys. Boys can't be pretty anyway."

I told her the party would be more fun if people could come as they are, you know, be themselves. Now I'm thinking I should have said that she could have a "dress up party" and then steered her away from bad gendering in dressing up.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:04 PM
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Kids learn the darnest things. I think I have mentioned my otherwise intelligent son stating that women don't invent anything. He is surrounded by smart, hard-working women and he comes up with this crap!??!?!?!?!? ARARRAGGGG


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:14 PM
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women don't invent anything

Divorce lawyers know this to be completely untrue.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:21 PM
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This Jack Handey joke was potentially funny when he told it, but not any more:

I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick 'Americans' as their mascot.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:22 PM
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My son likes to wear pink- he has pink shoes, usually a pink shirt. At preschool last week, a girl asked my wife (who was there helping that day) if he was a boy or a girl.
"A boy."
"Are you sure? He's wearing pink."
"Yes, he's a boy, he just likes pink."
"But girls wear pink.'
"Boys can wear pink too."
"Okay.... but you're sure that's not a girl?"
The irony is that the girl asking these questions is the kid with two moms.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:23 PM
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190: Some people will tell you that if you encourage/fail to discourage this princess stuff, you are actively shirking your duty to advance the cause of gender neutrality in all spheres of life. Other people will tell you that if you discourage/fail to encourage this princess stuff, you are actively denigrating the feminine in a manner that inadvertently supports the false male universal. In my experience, the most vocal adherents of either position will tend to be those without children.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:24 PM
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190: Rob, I beg you, explain to your daughter that it's just as ridiculous to say boys can't be pretty as it would be to say that girls can't ___."

191: Well, how many women inventors do they get introduced to in school? Not many.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:24 PM
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Boys can't be pretty anyway

Hahahaha. I beg to differ.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:24 PM
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Actually, the the list of women inventors has some fun entries on it: Kevlar! The windshield wiper! White out!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:28 PM
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The bra! the Snugli! Vacuum canning!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:31 PM
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Typical...
Kevlar- defensive armor, always with the make love not war, must stop guns feminism.
Windshield wiper- Cleaning and housekeeping, as usual.
White out- Secretaries to the end.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:32 PM
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I was joking, but actually it's logical that most historic inventions would be in spheres women were more likely to populate- female clothing, child rearing, food preparation.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:34 PM
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I was ignoring the more famous inventors, like those who advanced X-Ray technology, programmable computers, and variable frequency remote controlled torpedoes.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:35 PM
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195: Heh. I had a total "humorless feminist mom, raising humorless feminist kids" moment over the weekend: big party at a good friend's house with two daughters each slightly younger than my two. There was a pack of little boys in the 4-5 range at the party that we didn't know, as well as two brothers, S and S, who we know well.

The little boys we didn't know were behaving objectively horrifically -- charging around and breaking stuff and interfering with reasonable play. One of the girls, in response, made a sign "No Boys Allowed" and taped it to the door of the TV room.

Sally showed me the sign with an "Isn't this a great idea?" attitude, and I started with the "Well, those boys are being annoying. But that's not all the boys. What if some of the boys were people you wanted to play with?"

Sally's response was "Oh, S and S can come in. They're all right."

"So how do you think the sign makes them feel?"

Sally: Long pause. You're-no-fun-anymore face. Stomps over to the door and rips down the sign.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:36 PM
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Are the women's teams at the University of South Carolina called the Lady Cocks?

Sadly, no. "Women's basketball," "Women's soccer," etc. is the preferred usage now. But the phrase is still around and so are the "COCKS" t-shirts.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:38 PM
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Don't you prove your womanhood by passing a living creature the size of a bowling ball out of your vagina?

Of all creatures that have breath and sensation, we women are the most unfortunate....Men say that we live a life free from danger at home while they fight with the spear. How wrong they are! I would rather stand three times with a shield in battle than give birth once.

From Euripides, Medea.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:39 PM
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Actually, the the list of women inventors has some fun entries on it: Kevlar! The windshield wiper! White out!

Is reverse cowboy listed?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:41 PM
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195:

In my experience, the most vocal adherents of either position will tend to be those without children.

For the record, unless you're simply suggesting that the issue cannot be cast in such black and white terms, this is a silencing maneuver.

I assume instead that you're tracing the outlines of the extremes of each position. I haven't heard the pro-feminine position put so starkly before. It's interesting!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:41 PM
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196: B. I assure you we have the "boys can do [sotto voce]almost[/sotto voce] anything girls can do" conversation quite often.

The nice thing about the princess stuff is that Joey is into it, too, since he wants to be like his big sister.

Also Caroline now firmly associates princesses with Bollywood, and we watch this movie often, which at least adds variety.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:46 PM
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The irony is that the girl asking these questions is the kid with two moms.

Hahahahahaha


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:53 PM
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208: There are no nice things about the princess stuff. The princess stuff is objectively evil.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:54 PM
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My brother and sister-in-law tried to avoid the uber-femmy princess stuff. There was no problem with the kids (one daughter liked femmy stuff but had a very assertive personality, one and adored her teachers and was schoolmarmish.) But the grandmother tried to interfere, and the majority of the peer-group moms were completely old-school (usually with a yuppy upgrade, of course.) Everything worked out, but I don't think that we have to worry at all about Feminazis taking over. The old ways have hardly even been shaken.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 12:59 PM
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The title of this post stirred the question in my mind: Has anyone ever written a feminine version of Kipling's You Will Be a Man, My Son?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 1:06 PM
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For "feminine version", read "feminist version", if you are so inclined.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 1:11 PM
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203: You may have been no fun, but you know in the long run it will be a good thing to have done.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 1:13 PM
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195: Other people will tell you that if you discourage/fail to encourage this princess stuff, you are actively denigrating the feminine in a manner that inadvertently supports the false male universal

207: I haven't heard the pro-feminine position put so starkly before. It's interesting!

We've an unfilled position at the moment for a defender of the pro-feminine position, but I'd be surprised if IA wants to fill it.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 1:39 PM
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Title of thread to 212


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 1:41 PM
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We've an unfilled position at the moment for a defender of the pro-feminine position,

I don't know about that -- Bitch talks a fair amount about valuing femme stuff, and making sure PK has space to explore it, as do a fair number of other posters. Ogged's got the anti-feminine position locked up, but there's plenty of appreciation of femininity around here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 1:44 PM
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We've an unfilled position at the moment for a defender of the pro-feminine position.

My guess is because defining what constitutes "feminine" is horribly fraught. Sure, tiaras and glass slippers represent traditional notions of femininity, but why should that be privileged as "feminine" any more than being a kick-ass soccer player or a little brainiac?

Rory went through a hard-core princess-y stage at 4, which was bizarre to me as a relatively non-femmy person. She still gets more excited than I ever did about clothes and putting together a killer outfit, but she's more recently tapped into the rough-and-tumble side that I can more readily relate to. I could discourage or not, but at the end of the day she's going to be who she's going to be.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 1:50 PM
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I don't know about that...but there's plenty of appreciation of femininity around here

The contributor whom I'm imagining would tend to defend the actual positions and practices of women as they are today, against the presumption that the behavior of women needs in most cases to be strengthened, improved, disinhibited, whatever. I agree that defense of the rationality, or at least comprehensibility of women's ways does happen to some degree, and perhaps everybody is ambivalent to a degree on different issues, so that who speaks up tends to vary and shift around. And this maybe a better situation than having a consistent champion of femme.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 1:56 PM
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Sure, tiaras and glass slippers represent traditional notions of femininity, but why should that be privileged as "feminine" any more than being a kick-ass soccer player or a little brainiac?

Because one is something girls but not boys do, and one is something that both girls and boys do. If the word "feminine" has any meaningful connotations at all, which maybe it shouldn't.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 1:57 PM
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to defend the actual positions and practices of women as they are today

Which women? If such a position meant anything, it would have to be defending some particular set of roles -- imagining some defender of 'women generally' as in opposition to the commenters around here seems peculiar, to say the least.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:00 PM
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215: I'd like to apply for the position of Princess.

To some extent, I would be willing to defend the actual practices of women "against the presumption that the behavior of women needs in most cases to be strengthened, improved, disinhibited, whatever." But to some extent only, given that I would like to improve the actual positions of women. It's the equality/difference dilemma, which is fraught with perils and pitfalls on all sides.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:12 PM
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o defend the actual positions and practices of women as they are today

I put it in that abstract and vague way to avoid rehashing old arguments I neither completely agree with nor have the authority or skill to uphold. And what such a commentator—who may not exist for a reason, i.e. that nobody thinks that honestly, although I'm not sure—would mostly oppose would be the assumption, the aspirational assumption, that we were on track, as a society or at least as an educated subculture, to build a better world by bringing up girls , to be stronger, more assertive, more competitive than our poor benighted parents brought up us to be, as women.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:14 PM
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223 hadn't seen 222. Honour the princess!


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:17 PM
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than our poor benighted parents brought up us to be, as women.

I suppose making a joke about not having known you were FTM would be in poor taste.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:18 PM
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225: No, that's fine. I was actually concerned you might be irritated by the whole question, which I'm trying to refine without specifics, never a good thing to try around you.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:24 PM
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I definitely identify more as "girl" than "woman"

Me, too.


Posted by: froz gobo | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:28 PM
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Two owe six is ell owe ell, will.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:29 PM
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You were right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:29 PM
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While you're all pussy-footing around trying not offend one another and in fact just obfuscating the matter, here's the original formulation from 195 I found interesting:

Other people will tell you that if you discourage/fail to encourage this princess stuff, you are actively denigrating the feminine in a manner that inadvertently supports the false male universal.

The princess stuff does not equal the feminine. If, when we discourage the princess stuff, we are supporting the male (masculine, rather?) universal, then I fear there is only a tiny, tiny space for the feminine (or female?)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:35 PM
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Nicely said.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:36 PM
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Bitch talks a fair amount about valuing femme stuff, and making sure PK has space to explore it

I can't help but think that there's a fundamental aspect of the situation that might bear on the relevance of Bitch giving PK space to explore femme stuff to the value of femme stuff at large.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:37 PM
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230: Good point. The problem with the princess stuff as currently instantiated isn't that it encourages the feminine, it's that for the most part it makes a laughable, weak caricature of the feminine, and encourages that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:40 PM
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The princess stuff does not equal the feminine. If, when we discourage the princess stuff, we are supporting the male (masculine, rather?) universal, then I fear there is only a tiny, tiny space for the feminine (or female?)

I'm sure that's right, and why IA put herself between extremes. It's the larger question, not this stuff, of how to question the masculine universal that interests me.

Your Highness?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:42 PM
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Has anyone ever written a feminine version of Kipling's You Will Be a Man, My Son?

Term does not refer. You're thinking of Kipling's "If".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:45 PM
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The princess stuff does not equal the feminine

Exactly right. I guess I'm anti-feminine even in some broad ways (heh) but it's not traditionally feminine things like empathy, filial duty, and domesticity that I object to (for either gender) but the narrow, weak and giggly notion of femininity that gets peddled. We have arguments about what belongs in each category, but that's just for fun, right?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:46 PM
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134: I think this get at why I object to calling the princess-y stuff "feminine" -- not that I object to that stuff so much as I object to the implication that everything other than tiaras and glass slippers is masculine.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:51 PM
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Right. It's the implication that the world's being divided in two parts, and we get to keep the bit with the plastic jewels on it, while the boys get the rest.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:55 PM
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I would say that princess tiaras are feminine, and Alpha Delta Force Air Strike Stinger Tigerforce Commando Command Center toys are masculine, and most things a kid would do are neither.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 2:57 PM
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I would say that ejaculation is masculine and birthing babies is feminine and the rest of it is fair game!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:00 PM
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Actually the whole gestation process is pretty gendered.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:02 PM
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In the gendered toy frame, trucks aren't neither, they're masculine. In fact cars generally are, as are planes. Outer space? Masculine. Tools? Masculine. Sports? Masculine.

The toy-store structuring of things doesn't have a large area for 'neither'. Board games, I guess.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:05 PM
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Which, to be clear, makes me hate the toy-store gendering of stuff generally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:06 PM
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ejaculation is masculine and birthing babies is feminine

Shit! You mean I have to birth a baby every time my man comes? That scarcely seems fair.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:06 PM
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Shit! You mean

Grammatically, isn't that an ejaculation? Minus two girl-points.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:09 PM
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I think the total mass (or volume?) of babies birthed by you should roughly equal the mass (or volume, depending) of ejaculation that takes place within the same rough time frame.

Or so the mullahs would have you believe.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:09 PM
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How about realistic-looking toy irons and boards, or better yet child-sized real things, like vestibule brooms?

We gave my son one of those, which he loved using—it just occurred to me that I'm the one who uses brooms around here—even though my daughter had shown no interest. Miniature kitchens? I can remember thinking stuff like that was cool when I was very little.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:13 PM
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You are correct, princesses do not say "Shit!" in an ejaculatory fashion, cum exclamation point.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:15 PM
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247: Are you asking whether those are good toys, or what aisle of the toy store they're located in?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:15 PM
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I tried to tell my seventh grade science teacher that "ejaculate" is sometimes used to mean something like "interject," but he didn't believe me and I couldn't find the Sherlock Holmes story I'd read it in. I'm still a little peeved about that whole thing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:15 PM
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cum exclamation point.

"Cum!" is forbidden as well.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:15 PM
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I'm asking whether those are good toys.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:16 PM
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252: To what end?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:17 PM
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To play with?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:19 PM
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You're thinking of Kipling's "If".

Of course, should have known that.

In my defense, the copy that I have was a handout from my French employer, in French translation, and the title of it is Tu seras un homme, mon fils


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:19 PM
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254 to 251? If so, yes.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:21 PM
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254: We gave my son one of those, which he loved using--it just occurred to me that I'm the one who uses brooms around here--even though my daughter had shown no interest. Miniature kitchens? I can remember thinking stuff like that was cool when I was very little.

Looks like you've already figured out an answer there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:22 PM
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"ejaculate" is sometimes used to mean something like "interject,"

I was aware of this meaning for years before I learned the sexual one, which amusingly brought to mind images of shouting penises until the sexual meaning crowded any other right out.

I kind of regret when perfectly good words get so strongly associated with a sexual connotation that they're no good for anything else any more. Sometimes "molest" would be just the right word for somebody bugging you, even if they're not trying to get your pants down.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:25 PM
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Picking up on what IA said, some kinds of sexist men can go down the list of feminist criticisms of girlyness and femmyness and princessyness and completely agree, but for the wrong reasons and drawing the wrong conclusions. I am strongly tempted in that direction myself, as people might have noticed. I always have to ask myself whether I'm overdoing it, and often enough I slip, especially around here where we're all trying to shock one another.

Right now living in the family house with my sister, I'm frequently driven nuts by her remodeling and redecorating. Basically she's converting the house into a showplace of her taste, which means that things are torn up a lot and changed around all the time, and until she's finished to her satisfaction (which will take another couple of years), she's uncomfortable letting anyone in but old family friends.

This is stereotypical local femme behavior, and it bugs the hell out of me, even though my sister is a wonderful, fun person and I have no past or present issues with her of any kind.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:25 PM
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A friend of mine was trying to speak French once and found out that "introduire" in French is what you do with, for example, penises, not guest lecturers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:27 PM
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vestibule brooms?

Wait... is that foreigner-talk for "vacuum cleaner?" I hope so, because that would be awesome, and the only thing I'll call a vacuum cleaner ever again.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:27 PM
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As a significant counterexample to the implications of:

The toy-store structuring of things doesn't have a large area for 'neither'. Board games, I guess.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:28 PM
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As I reported to B's delight, my grandnephew loves to play with his little tea set.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:28 PM
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"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

Probably pwned above, but it's that "that," not "woman" that makes the sentence rude.

Cf.
"I did not have sexual relations with that girl"
"I did not have sexual relations with that lady"
"I did not have sexual relations with that gal"
"I did not have sexual relations with that bird"


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:30 PM
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found out that "introduire" in French is what you do with, for example, penises, not guest lecturers

And yet seduire is something one can do with professors--students, even--without implicating anyone's sexuality.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:30 PM
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Picking up on what IA said, some kinds of sexist men can go down the list of feminist criticisms of girlyness and femmyness and princessyness and completely agree, but for the wrong reasons and drawing the wrong conclusions.

Yeah, this is huge -- the difference between "stereotypically feminine behavior/thing/whatever X is limiting and silly so women shouldn't be limited to it" and "feminine behavior/thing/whatever X is limiting and silly which just goes to show you how limited and silly women are" is night and day, but the two positions are very easily confused.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:30 PM
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a commenter on another blog just used

'za

to refer to pizza.

may i take this opportunity to say how utterly stupid i think that abbreviation is?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:31 PM
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Sometimes "molest" would be just the right word for somebody bugging you,

"This is nothing more than verbal molestation."

Hm. "intellectual molestation"?

I don't know, cerebrocrat. Call it a work in progress.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:32 PM
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I'd like to be able to use 'attractive' of people I find it pleasant to be around without the strong connotation of specifically sexual attractiveness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:33 PM
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'molest' outside sexual contexts now strikes me as a gallicism.
works fine in french, and if your ear is trained that way it sounds right.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:33 PM
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until the sexual meaning crowded any other right out

This is a variant on the general pattern of usage: perjorative meanings always tend crowd out non-perjorative meanings. Sexual connotations have the same effect: intercourse, oral, venerial, prophylactic, climax, and so on.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:34 PM
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I think I remember someone from a French or Spanish background using "irritate" to mean something like "stimulate". It's possible that he was just overgeneralizing from a biological usage.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:35 PM
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271: The universal "heh" principle.

"Hot monkey sex" used to be a technical term in biology, for example. "Fucking the brains out" was used by taxidermists.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:38 PM
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Scientific terms are often the last redoubt for non-sexual usage. The word "promiscuous" gets used a lot when talking about molecules that bind to other molecules.

Sometimes "molest" would be just the right word for somebody bugging you, even if they're not trying to get your pants down.

Try "pester".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:39 PM
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Is 262 a response to 257? That is, are you suggesting that, e.g., toy kitchens are marketed in a non-gendered fashion -- they're in the 'neither' part of the toy store with the board games, rather than in the girls' aisle? Because that doesn't accord with the toy marketing I've seen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:40 PM
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Toy kitchens may be for girls, but toy brooms might be found in the "boring toys that we will make no effort to market to anyone" section. Except this broom.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:43 PM
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"This is nothing more than verbal molestation"

"That is nothing more than intellectual onanism," my boss used to say to me.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:45 PM
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The vestibule broom is not actually a toy, it's a miniature real broom. But I can remember we had a toy carpet sweeper that was obviously a toy but worked.

I wonder whether things like that are still common, or if toy vacuums or ironing boards or whatever are always pink with unicorns or fairies on them these days, if they exist at all?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:46 PM
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If you're going to make your children play with toy vacuums, you should at least make certain they are functional toy vacuums. Everyone can benefit.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:48 PM
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I doubt there are toy ironing boards with pink unicorns on them. That would, I think, properly incense people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:49 PM
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I think I remember that my mom tricked us into thinking that using the carpet sweeper was a fun game.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:49 PM
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274: On the other hand, I've heard roomfuls of scientists titter when a colloquium speaker used words like that.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:50 PM
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280, but don't you want a pretty ironing board? That's our princess!


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:50 PM
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274: In Boy scouts, inherited from the military, there's a usage "police up the area" which basically means "clean up the campground". Somewhere is Foucault he refers back to this mostly archaic usage.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:50 PM
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282: "Invagination" being a particular favorite in the anatomy and botany fields.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 3:55 PM
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The toy vacuums I found googling were in primary colors and didn't look at all realistic.

Toy kitchens are plentiful, and preschools had them back in the day when I was in preschool, as they still do.

I've a memory of liking to bathe dolls, with girls, and being teased confusingly about this, in preschool. Must have been over fifty years ago.

Some of the working miniature hand tools first given to my older brother survived to be given to my son. He likes doing things. My daughter's play has been reading, listening to music, and being on the computer since she was very small, although now she also knits.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:08 PM
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280: I don't see any unicorns, but, you know, pink, and clearly marketed only to little girls.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:16 PM
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Yeah, this is huge -- the difference between "stereotypically feminine behavior/thing/whatever X is limiting and silly so women shouldn't be limited to it" and "feminine behavior/thing/whatever X is limiting and silly which just goes to show you how limited and silly women are" is night and day, but the two positions are very easily confused

To say nothing about not being the only choices in evaluating stereotypically feminine behavior/thing/whatever.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:17 PM
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I agree that the princess stuff does not equal the feminine. But it's not entirely unrelated to the feminine, either. I see it as a disneyfied, commodified caricature of a certain notion of femininity. And I was being lazy, and using it as a shorthand for something more like the acquisition of a gendered identity that is recognizably more feminine than gender-neutral or masculine.

I draw the line at the Barbie Sparkle 'n Style Electronic Vacuum.

I'm pretty sure children's toys are more insistently gendered nowadays than they were during, say, the Victorian period.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:18 PM
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And 287 should have noted that is hardly a unique model. There seem to be lots like that.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:22 PM
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Not read the whole thread, but ajay is right in 70.

Although 'hen' can be used by older women to refer to young men, too, sometimes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:30 PM
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289:Than they were in the fifties, I think.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:33 PM
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I'm pretty sure children's toys are more insistently gendered nowadays than they were during, say, the Victorian period.

Yeah, my niece wears very girly clothes, likes sparkly things and princesses. My sister, at the same age, essentially wore the same clothes as me and liked climbing trees.

That said, my niece does quite like (play) fighting and combines the girly stuff with a will of iron.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:33 PM
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Although 'hen' can be used by older women to refer to young men, too, sometimes.

"hon"?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:35 PM
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re: 294

No, it's 'hen'. Different word. I presume the source of phrases like 'hen-party', too.

http://www.dsl.ac.uk/dsl/getent4.php?plen=3224&startset=2415530&query=HEN&fhit=hen&dregion=form&dtext=sndn#fhit

Look under sense 4.

[for quotations from the Dictionary of the Scots Language]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:40 PM
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The accent can be little tough to figure out; you'll get the hang of it, ttaM.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:43 PM
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289:

And I was being lazy, and using it as a shorthand for something more like the acquisition of a gendered identity that is recognizably more feminine than gender-neutral or masculine.

It's a poor shorthand.

If I read this correctly, it means that the legitimacy of a recognizably feminine gendered identity is felt to be under threat.

Not sure what a recognizably feminine identity is, but I bet we know it when we see it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:43 PM
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Well, you know, the Scots are outliers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 4:50 PM
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289, 292, 293 Far more insistently gendered than they were only about 10 years ago (as are children's clothes). e.g. the Early Learning Centre - popular high street toy shop - used to sell green-and-orange tape players, but now sell a pink version and a blue version. I don't know how much of it is anti-feminist backlash and how much of it is commercially driven: "ha, make them buy a pink one for heir daughter and then they can't hand it down to their son and they'll have to buy a new one!"

My youngest is far more princessy than my eldest ever was - in fact she dressed up in princess clothes to receive her presents on her recent birthday, and you know what? That crown is from Legoland and it's sold as a "King's Crown". Anyone see anything inherently masculine about it?

The whole thing makes me fucking sick.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 5:04 PM
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It's a poor shorthand.

It was first raised by Rob in 190 ("my 4 YO is not just getting into princesses but starting to fall into some of the notions of femininity that come with it") and I think it's pretty clear what he is getting at. So I consider it a pretty good shorthand. But feel free to suggest an alternative.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 5:08 PM
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If we're talking about defending or preserving, even restoring gendered identities, recognizably more feminine than gender-neutral or masculine, then examples extant or from the recent past should be possible to identify.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 5:12 PM
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Right. It's the implication that the world's being divided in two parts, and we get to keep the bit with the plastic jewels on it, while the boys get the rest.

This plus that being on one side of the line means you cannot be on the other side of the line, in particular, is not good for little girls. I've mentioned before that for a while my dad was terrified that I'd get into femme things (like wearing make up or caring about flattering clothes or boys) and suddenly forget how to do well in school, because he saw those things as totally opposed. You could not be a girly girl and succeed.

My poor dad. He believed his daughters could be 'anything but a daddy' but seemed to think they'd only manage that if they could stifle all the feminine stuff. It's like the feminist message only took halfway with him. And then reconcile all that with latent Catholicism.

We wore him down eventually (there kept being more daughters...), to the extent that my friends now think of me as a little bit princessy (the wedding gown did not help my case.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 5:15 PM
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The princess stuff is, right now, = feminine. It *shouldn't* be, but it is. And the only way that's going to change is if parents of boys encourage their boys to enjoy the same things about princess stuff that girls do: posing, playing dress up, enjoying shiny and sparkly things for fun, being cute and petted, and all the rest of it. Discouraging girls from doing things that they're smart enough to know are "girl things" sends the message that "girl" is low status. Which, on the one hand, it still is in some ways; but on the other, that's not the message you want to send. And discouraging boys from girl things--or refusing to even make girl things available to them--sends the same message (in the context of our present society, that is), as well as the message that boys who kinda wish they could play dress up oughta be deeply ashamed. Recipe for misogyny, right there.

As to the toy kitchens, actually the Magic Cabin catalog, to its credit, has a picture of a boy with a toy kitchen in it. Of course, it also has an uber-pink version of the kitchen with a girl in front of it, and is kinda racist to boot, but they do *try* to have pictures of boys playing with the dress-up and cooking-type stuff. You can find that sort of thing, but you have to look pretty hard for the progressive (expensive) toy retailers.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 5:29 PM
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301: If we're talking about defending or preserving, even restoring gendered identities, recognizably more feminine than gender-neutral or masculine, then examples extant or from the recent past should be possible to identify.

IDP, if that's what you're talking about, you should be able to come up with examples. I don't know that anyone else is talking about the same thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 5:31 PM
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I tried to tell my seventh grade science teacher that "ejaculate" is sometimes used to mean something like "interject," but he didn't believe me and I couldn't find the Sherlock Holmes story I'd read it in. I'm still a little peeved about that whole thing.

You lost that argument when you couldnt explain how "interjecting on her breasts" was an appropriate sentence for a 7th grader to write?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 5:41 PM
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300:

It was first raised by Rob in 190 ("my 4 YO is not just getting into princesses but starting to fall into some of the notions of femininity that come with it") and I think it's pretty clear what he is getting at. So I consider it a pretty good shorthand. But feel free to suggest an alternative.

No, it was not clear what Rob was getting at in 190: his description of his daughter's pretty-dresses thing was not entirely the same as the Princess motif whereby you get affectations of helplessness, delicacy, and a primary assignment of value in terms of physical dependency: she languishes.

Okay. Two visions of the princess in play here:

(a) Princess modern pretty. Sparkly, gay. Pretty, dynamic. Still, somewhat vacuous. Dependent.

(b) Princess weak. Pretty of course, but sort of pale, languishing. This is Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. This is the more common motif, but it's giving way to the sparkly-gay of (a). Huh. Who still thinks she'd better wear pretty dresses.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 6:13 PM
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Princess (c) a huge and unearned sense of entitlement. Very strong and assertive in demanding the removal of peas, even when they are buried beneath many mattresses.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:25 PM
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307: All children are like that.

It's only a problem when the parents think it's fucking cute and buy the kid license plate holders that say shit like "Spoiled Princess."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:50 PM
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Hey, I like my license plate holder, and my mom only got it because I asked for it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:52 PM
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My kid's kindergarten teacher told of requiring a kid who showed up in a t-shirt that said "It's All About Me" to change it on the spot.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:05 PM
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My kid was offended by another kid's t-shirt, which said "Art Stinks."


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:08 PM
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310, the high school teachers have worse things to deal with.

This is my nominee for worst shirt in this or any other potential universe.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:10 PM
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Is your kid named Art?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:11 PM
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Is your last name Stinks?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:12 PM
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312(1) is pretty much why the strict dress code (almost a uniform) was instituted in the high school first.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:12 PM
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Hmmm, Art Adjunct. Seems to be a lot of people with that name.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:13 PM
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312: it's not available in XXXL, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:13 PM
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308, 310: yeah! civilization pushes back!


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:19 PM
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310 is awesome. Good for the teacher.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:20 PM
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313, 314, 316: Philistines!


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:21 PM
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Sigh.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:05 PM
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The title of this post stirred the question in my mind: Has anyone ever written a feminine version of Kipling's You Will Be a Man, My Son?

In grade 5 I came home with a copy of "'If', For Girls". I think the boys were given the Kipling poem. I can only remember three lines - "If you can meet deception undeceiving, and learn to look to God for all you need" and the last line: "and what's more, you'll be a woman, dear.

My mum threw it in the garbage and said it was a bad poem. I was impressed, and a little afraid the school would find out and expell me.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:06 PM
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It's okay, 'Smasher. Art doesn't really stink. Usually.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:07 PM
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I love your mum, Penny.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:17 PM
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Dammit 'Smasher: there you are. I just five minutes ago had a conversation about art in which I referenced Marcel Duchamp, no doubt incorrectly, and you were nowhere—nowhere—to correct me, excoriate me, and then prove my point by other, more-clever means.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:18 PM
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Has anyone ever written a feminine version of Kipling's You Will Be a Man, My Son?

The last line aside, wouldn't it be exactly the same? There are no other specifically male attributes in the poem.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:43 AM
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IOW: all the virtues listed in the poem - persistence, clear thinking, humility, fortitude, hard work etc - are universal.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:44 AM
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Thanks, I love my mum too B. I'd never seen her do anything disrespectful to a poem before, so it was kind of a shock.

326: I thought about the feminist version being just the regular poem itself, minus the last line, and then I got slightly creeped out by "Yours is the world, and everything that's in it". Maybe it's just because I'm tired, but I'm having a hard time getting behind that. I should re read to see if that's really the line.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:45 AM
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Art doesn't really stink. Usually.

So many links from which to choose that I'm just paralyzed. No, wait... there's the one.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:55 AM
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Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it

Which is obviously a reference to the holdings of the British Museum.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:55 AM
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"If for Girls" is online, of course, and it's pretty wretched. Good on your mom for throwing it out, Penny.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:11 AM
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My mum threw it in the garbage and said it was a bad poem

Do many of the rest of you get links from loved ones and acquaintences on the level of this poem or worse, fairly often? Can help keep you grounded, and remind you how much you'll have to trim your arguments.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:19 AM
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331: Oy. And likewise blech.

Another vote of confidence in Penny's mom.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:23 AM
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328: I read that line as the equivalent of "the world is your oyster" (it's "world", not "Earth", in the original, but that's immaterial) rather than "you get to own everything". Not terribly objectionable...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:53 AM
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334: I think you're probably right about the intended meaning, ajay, but
330: is hilarious, and exactly the image that came to mind, unbidden.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:51 AM
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Do you think the word 'skirt', as applied to women, is a mass noun? as in, "hey, call up some skirt you know and lets go clubbing." i assume that would heighten the offense someone would take?

i could see 'brah' replacing dude to some extent in the near future


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-07 8:23 PM
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Yeah, 303 is right, although i don't htink 'misogyny' most accurately describes the evil is causes


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-07 8:58 PM
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