It’s the little things

I’ve been keeping my mouth shut lately. The small inequities that I’ve noticed have gone unvoiced, like when a 30 year-old female character in a film I’m watching for an English class is called a “girl”. Or that the mail my parents receive from Marquette University is still addressed to Mr. and Mrs. John Doe, although my mother has asked they address the mail to Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Doe. Or that a classmate assumed a professor I was talking about was a male, although I made no inclination that the professor was male or female.

But my threshold has been met, and I am fed up. I received an email from a club sport listserv I’m on. It address the emailed as:

Hey Ironmen (and women),

While maybe the smallest thing of all, this subjected my roommate to a 30 minute feminist rant/rambling of mine.

Why are we, the female members of the club, a second thought only to be added in parentheses? I’ve wondered this when thinking about how naturally most people (myself included) say “men and women” and when “women and men” is said it feels forced or weird in my mouth. What does that say about society and how I think of myself as a woman, does it say anything or am I being overly presumptuous?

One Response

  1. Well put. I am currently teaching feminist ethics in my phil course and I spoke of this very issue. In particular why are we so quick to call a woman in ther 30s a “girl” when we don’t call men that age boys. I suspect it’s indicative of viewing her as somehow less than he. Very terrible. And Our language is flooded with this. So for example, “girl” is often used as an insult, so “girlie drinks” or “you throw like a girl” or “quit crying you girl,” are used frequenlty to belittle, whereas on the other side we are told to “be a man” when urged to be couragous and tough. This is a serious problem. And one we must all talk about more often.

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