Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hot Dogs & Tacos

A curious thought was born into my mind the other day shortly after my friend took a huge bite of a dripping, beefy cheeseburger. Instinctively, I asked, "How is she?" I wouldn't have thought anything of my words prior to taking this class, but something about that phrase caught my ear as it left my mouth.

Why do we classify inanimate objects as feminine? It's widely socially accepted, and has been since gosh knows when. Is it flattering to the female population that a sexy sports car is a "she," or offensive that a dump truck is as well? How about a beautiful forest or a landfill? Or is the problem here simply that, because we classify things as female, we're gradually conditioned to classify females as things?

Perhaps this contributes to men rampantly objectifying women. Should I stop making mouth-love to my burrito and saying things like "she's so... *sob* beautiful..!"?

I'm also currently in Spanish 1230. It's hard not to notice that Spanish has some feminine inanimate nouns while others are masculine. Could this possibly be connected to the different social positions that Spanish and American females have? In this light, could Spanish women be considered heroines simply due to their culture?

My main question is, should I completely stop referring to objects as female? Or should I call some objects "he" and others "she," depending on their phallic qualities? (i.e. Mr. Hot Dog & Ms. Taco)

1 comment:

  1. Ok, so I'm in Christopher's other class (the hip hop and poetry one), but having taken a women in literature class last semester and retaining an avid interest in feminism in today’s society across cultures, your post caught my eye, with a very clever title I might add.
    But yes, I too think about the objectivity to which women are exposed; in our society, people often personify inanimate objects, and I would agree that more often then not, the object to which they are referring is replaced with a feminine pronoun, rather than a masculine one.
    In response to the Spanish thing, I think that although in the romance languages they classify objects as feminine or masculine, this is a strictly grammatical question, one that has been around for an extremely long time and will not change out of convenience; no one in Europe actually sees the objects as literally masculine or feminine.
    In any case, I don’t think you need to stop referring to your food “she”; I honestly think it’s socially acceptable because of the humor that entails from personifying something. I just think there should be some thought put into why we classify things according to female gender. It always helps me to recognize that there are millions of women who are in social situations where they are literally treated like objects (as they are subject to physical and emotional abuse from men), and this helps me catch myself before I say something inadvertently offensive to my own gender.
    Hope that helps a little!



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