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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-30-06 02:05 PM
Original message
Subtle Sexist Language in the news.
I was reading this article posted on Yahoo (by Live Science - which I think is a right wing filter for science info - from looking at their sponsors) and as I was reading the article I was thinking "man" this and "man" that... the article was assuming the religious leaders were men (and I know better)...

ie.

"But inside a cave in remote hills in Kalahari Desert of Botswana, archaeologists found the stone snake that was carved long ago. It is as tall as a man and 20 feet long."

and

"The shaman, who is still a very important person in San culture, could have kept himself hidden in that secret chamber," Coulson explained. "He would have had a good view of the inside of the cave while remaining hidden himself. When he spoke from his hiding place, it could have seemed as if the voice came from the snake itself. The shaman would have been able to control everything. It was perfect.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20061130/sc_livesci...

________

I decided to see if there was another article on the subject - and interestingly - there was - and with no such "man" references. The article is purposefully written to refer to humankind (not "mankind"). And shaman is referred to without gender.

"The Botswana find bolsters evidence that modern humans originated in Africa, along with religion and culture."

"At the back of the Botswanan cave was a well-worn chamber, large enough for a shaman to hide and to speak, perhaps in imitation of a snake."

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L30693310.htm
________


Having read some about older religions where women/Goddesses were associated with snakes and wisdom - I was curious to see if there would be any such reference. There was not.
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happydreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-30-06 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. Man!...
I think you're onto something.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-30-06 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. The sarcastic reply to your very valid point is this:
"Why honey, don't you worry your pretty little head about that sort of thing!!!"

It's just so much easier for the unthinking to be fed the 1950's SITCOM-style paradigm. No thinking required!!!

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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-30-06 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. As in "Women: Know Your Limits"
http://www.glumbert.com/media/women

(Things like this were all too serious at one time - as ridiculous as it was).


As seen posted at Mad Melancholic Feminista http://melancholicfeminista.blogspot.com /


I do love little kittens!
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-30-06 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. That is completely, absolutely, HYSTERICAL!!!! Daphne, we're going HOME!!!!
Look at these venemous harridans...all under 25!!!!
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-30-06 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. ROFLMAO!! I'm sending that to everyone on my email list ASAP. n/t
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-30-06 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
4. How about the way they have treated Nancy Pelosi..
On the November 12 edition of NBC's The MacLaughlin Group, Washington Times editorial director Tony Blankley commented that Pelosi "dresses a lot better" than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY).

In a November 13 online chat, Washington Post congressional reporter Shailagh Murray was asked "Why, whenever a woman comes into a position of power, is there a description of who designed her outfit?" Murray responded that she felt "this trait among my fellow scribes to be annoying," but that "t's definitely legitimate to talk about clothes or anything appearance related, if there's something exceptional to say. For instance, if she were constantly changing her hairstyle."

A November 9 USA Today article described Pelosi as the "Armani-clad daughter of an old-fashioned Baltimore politician."

The November 20 edition of Newsweek magazine declared that the "new" "conventional wisdom" is that "Armani grandma will be history-making Speaker."

In a November 10 Associated Press report on the midterm election results, headlined "Election Scorecard: Arctic caribou, Armani suits win; Big Oil, foot-in-mouth disease lose," Calvin Woodward asserted that "Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi has an Armani suit so nice she's worn it for years -- a blue-gray pantsuit and complementary blouse seen in her first news conference since Election Day and as far back as 2003."

In her November 19 Boston Herald column, Margery Eagan wrote that Pelosi "makes me cringe" and asked if there's "something wrong with her." Eagan asserted that Pelosi "has been all over TV this weekend with that wide-eyed, runaway bride thing going" while "wearing her bright red pantsuit (an Armani, you think?)." Eagen also complained that Pelosi was "smiling too wide."

.snip

Do you think they would refer to Dennis Hastert or Tom Delay this way and the clothes they were?

:grr:
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-30-06 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Someone posted that Tweety or someone like that called her a "girl".
It just goes to show you - we're not done yet.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-30-06 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Jesus, that fat fuck Blankley, of the greasy hair/fake American accent, is giving STYLE critiques?
I think the only thing to do is call the fuckers on it, each and every time. I hereby pledge to contribute to the cause, emailing a gripe every time I hear them pull that nonsense. I already do it every time I hear DEMOCRAT when DEMOCRATIC is the correct word, and I'll do it for the cause of female politicians as well.

It's past time this shit stop. The odds are good we're going to see more female politicians running for high offices in future, and many will be in our party. We sure as hell wouldn't put up with pandering, obtuse, and offensive horseshit like "Mister Candidate So-an-so, of Mexican heritage, speaks without a trace of an hispanic accent," or "Representative Black Guy prefers Brooks Brothers to the gangsta clothing worn by a not insignificant number of people of his race," or, "Unlike the reputation of so many of his heritage, Mister Japanese American isn't inscruitable, but smiles broadly and often when greeting potential constituents." We JUST would NOT put up with that shit. We'd be appalled, angered, and looking for heads on pikes. But it is way too easy for reporters in this 21st Century to continue to pull that crap with the females, and play the "catfight" card when two women discuss a policy matter.

It's hard to believe this goes on in the 21st Century...it's a bit sad, really.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. Doonesbury ran a strip on this topic maybe twenty years ago
In it, a woman newspaper reporter covers, I believe, a city council meeting and she comes back with something like:

"Mayor Smith looked handsome in a grey Brooks Brothers suit with a genuine silk tie. The mayor, the pert father of five, smiled charmingly as he outlined the city's priorities for the year..."

Those aren't the exact words, but the general idea.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-14-06 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. I recall similar statements about Kucinich during his '04 run
In at least two separate media sources I read/saw specific commentary on his "cheap" suits, no doubt with the implication that one can use his perceived clothes-sense as a predictor of his legislative capability. Clinton was also mocked for the short-shorts that he wore while jogging, if memory serves. But, to be sure, this kind of attack is leveled at men only rarely, and even then it's certainly not an automatic first-response by the media.

It's a cheap shot however it's used, and it's sadly not limited to Republican commentators. DU was replete with hair/makeup/clothing advice for Harriet Miers, and Katherine Harris gets fashion pointers every time she's mentioned.



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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-14-06 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
11. Doesn't even make sense
"But inside a cave in remote hills in Kalahari Desert of Botswana, archaeologists found the stone snake that was carved long ago. It is as tall as a man and 20 feet long."


Just how tall is "a man," anyway? I'm about six feet, but I work with a man who's 5'6" and another who's 6'3".

And if you're going to bother with a measurement in feet, why not be consistent about it? "It measures six feet tall by 20 feet long" for example.
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Nobody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-14-06 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. (Look out, bromide coming your way) Man is the Measure of All Things
Good point. But when people use those terms, they've bought into the idea that Man Is The Measure of All Things. The default. The standard.

Book recommendation time:

The Mismeasure of Woman is about how women have been shortchanged by the assumption that males are the standard and that females are the deviation from that standard. One particular example was that women weren't studied in medical tests for a long time. That's changed now, but as recently as the 1980s, the medical teaching standard was the 70 kilo man. Never mind that most people aren't that size, and a 70 kilo MAN is not a 70 kilo WOMAN. Drug tests ignored women because women menstruate and hormone levels might confound the tests. Well DUH. That why women should be used test subjects. (finally women are and it took the aspirin study to make it happen)

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james101 Donating Member (48 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-14-06 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. I find it offensive how the media makes women look bad overall
When I turn on TV all I see is a bunch of women appearing to be whores. It seems most women on TV are represented as easy to have sex with. Especially on music channels. I notice TV doesen't represent the majority of women. The news always brings on some crazy nut radical feminist when discussing any issue. The news gives the impression that women are all trying to liberate themself and are extremely aggitated at the oppression. I even read somewhere on a crazy news site that white women are a minority within a majority. On the news they always show pictures of white women and a minority man with some kids. It's reverse racism. Sure everyone should get along but it's a imbecile to think racism doesen't preserve cultures. If white people weren't racist in the first place they woulden't have conquored the native americans and settled from coast to coast. It's not as if there aren't black and lation communities that are tight circles of people sticking together with their own race. Go down to Los Angeles and many cities and you will find that latinos have their own neighborhoods where only latino people live. Same goes for black, asians, and whites. The sick thing is how the news trys to brain wash people by showing a extreme minority of women as being crazy feminist and slutty. I see women every day and I know what I see on TV doesen't represent them. The news, movies and other media are obviously being used by some people with a very sick agenda to try and change society.
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. re:
"The news gives the impression that women are all trying to liberate themself and are extremely aggitated at the oppression."


I don't know what news you are watching (it wouldn't surprise me if FOX put on people to make feminists look bad) - because I rarely see feminism represented at all. At least when I have watched corporate media - I haven't seen it.

Sometimes Democracy Now! will have feminist issues - legitimate ones.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. My take FWIW
You're 100% right that feminism is very seldom represented by its actual representatives, but I see a fair amount of "feminism" as represented by its detractors. That is, a caricature is put forth and no real feminist advocate is presented to refute the caricature.

I guess it's sort of analogous to the way that broader Liberal issues are presented; a carefully chosen Centrist or a weak representative of the Left is offered up as a spokesperson for the particular issue and is roundly dismantled by the Conservative spokesperson (who is equally carefully chosen, I suspect). Feminism, having for decades been painted as more of a "radical" issue even than Liberalism in general, suffers a greater proportion of the attack and misrepresentation.
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
15. Maybe it was the
phallus between the legs of the shaman that gave it away.
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