May 15, 2010

Musings on Language

Feminism does not need to redefine “feminine”. Nor “women”. “Masculinity” does not have to incorporate demureness; nor “man” sensitivity. “Feminine” can keep the non-violent connotation it has.
Feminism needs to redefine how the terms “man”, “woman”, “masculinity”, and “femininity” are used.
Male and female* are biological factors. You are born with testes or you are born with ovaries. Man and woman are a matter of personal identity (As Cocky says “some women have a penis"). Masculinity and femininity are in reality categories of personality traits.
Society says that male, man, and masculinity are all grouped together and are considered to go together; as with their counterparts.
They are not.
The mere existence of transgendered peoples proves this. Once can have a male body and be a woman; as one can have a female body and be a man. Surely masculinity and femininity are the most ephemeral terms. Both are slowly being equalized; often you hear of a woman being described with “masculine” traits and men with “feminine” traits.
A job of feminism is not just to promote the rise of feminine qualities to the same status in society as those of masculinity; it is to demonstrate that these words, these traits and identifiers, are entirely separate of gender.

*In humans, at least

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