Re: Etymology is a slippery thing, best not to squeeze it too hard.... Archived Message
Posted by johnlilburne on June 7, 2020, 5:02 pm, in reply to "Re: Etymology is a slippery thing, best not to squeeze it too hard...."
it's as biological as you can get. |
Try arguing that one in a 'gender studies' department.
I know you shouldn't use wiki but:
Regarding gender, Simone de Beauvoir said: "One is not born a woman, one becomes one." This view proposes that in gender studies, the term "gender" should be used to refer to the social and cultural constructions of masculinity and femininity and not to the state of being male or female in its entirety.
That's how 'gender' tends to be used now.
I think it's a useful distinction. But meanings will always be contested.
A purist insistence that supposed original meanings of words should be strictly adhered to won't get you anywhere. Meanings change over time. Especially perhaps when they pass from one language into another. That's the beauty of language, its protean nature.
The Latin word for man is vir.
It is the root of both virility and virtue. I think Nietzsche pointed out somewhere that 'virtue' used to mean virility in a man but has come to mean chastity in a woman. Of course, he was speaking in the C19th.
There you go.
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