The indignation of the persecuted hegemon: An illustration

Sometimes you encounter a specimen of something that is such a perfect example that it's difficult to do more than just stand back and gawk, marveling at the sheer purity of the thing itself.

We've discussed here the feigned offendedness of the IndigNation — those who seem addicted to and intoxicated by finding or manufacturing reasons to self-righteously puff themselves up with artificial umbrage.

And we've discussed the bizarre contradictions of the persecuted hegemons — those who claim the privilege that in their view pertains to being a dominant ethnic or sectarian majority while simultaneously posturing as a persecuted and put-upon minority.

The two groups overlap quite a bit, sharing as they do a similar refusal to find reality persuasive and a similar perpetual state of aggrievement.

That overlap is neatly illustrated by this fine example of both things provided by a Mr. Dean Strayer of Newark, Del., who proudly submitted this masterpiece of misplaced offendedness for publication in a letter to the editor:

Why do a majority of people in this country who believe this is the Christmas season, be they Christians or non-Christians, have to be relegated to the back of the bus by the secular humanists and atheists who view the word Christmas as bigoted.

Why has Merry Christmas been replaced by the utterly ridiculous and inane happy holidays in almost all ads and greetings by store employees?

I suppose the next thing the secular humanists and ultra-progressives who pollute America with their repulsive political correctness will want to do is replace Santa Claus with the weight-challenged, not quite young, bringer of items to spoil little humans. Well, not me.

So I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone including the humanists and progressives a very Merry Christmas. And be good, because Santa Claus is coming to town.

Dean Strayer, Newark

It's all right there in all its corrosively delusional glory: the assertion of hegemonic privilege intertwined with the claim of persecution (he's exactly like Rosa Parks!), the puzzling preference for unhappiness, the ability to take extreme offense from the well-wishes of others. It's a remarkable thing.

And it's a sad thing. The sadness of it is qualified somewhat by the harm it does to others, but it remains sad enough that one wishes there was something one could do to help those trapped inside this self-inflicted misery.

"You see," said Aslan. "They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out."

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird, who finds language fascinating

    Words in languages like Latin and Greek can get quite distant from what they are connected to. An adjective doesn’t need to be near the noun it modifies, for example. This can be used to great effect in poetry and rhetoric. The way you can tell that the adjective goes with the noun is that it agrees in gender number and case. If you get rid of gender then there are only two ways to tell.
    Sort of similar to Auslan (Australian Sign Language). You can start telling a story by “naming” bits of space:
    “this bit in the bottom right is my boss, on the left is the receptionist, and over here is the weird yak salesman”
    And then for the rest of the story, whenever you’re using “directional” words (“look”, “love”, “told”…) you can move your hands from one bit of space to another – giving “my boss looked at the receptionist” when the only sign you’ve technically used is “look”.

  • http://sugarbang.blogspot.com JessicaR

    And to calm down I did a follow up post about the art of Catholicism, http://sugarbang.blogspot.com/2010/12/art-of-catholicism.html. Which also is a further kick to the idea that Art is something seperate from our very humanity. I really hate when the economy is terrible, the demagouge’s start attacking Art as a useful distraction from actual problems.

  • http://brainfroth.wordpress.com Froth

    @Deird: that is nifty.

  • Lila

    Typepad ate my post!
    Here is the original version of “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” from “Neptune’s Daughter”, featuring (1) Ricardo Montalban and Esther Williams, and (2) Red Skelton and Betty Garrett. (Mel Blanc is also in it, as a bandleader who sounds just like Speedy Gonzales).
    The song is not only not sung at Christmas, it’s not even winter. And they’re in South Florida.
    Also, all the characters are staying in hotel rooms, so the “being able to afford to live alone” thing don’t enter into it.

  • Karen, who is thinking about resuming the Imperial Texas throne, if only because the current state administration is so dreadful.

    Somewhat related to the original topic: I just returned from my older son’s public middle school orchestra concert, in which ALL BUT FOUR of the songs were either Christmas carols or had Christmas in the title. They included the extremely secular “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful,” as well as Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, and the Ukrainian Bell Carol. The non-Christmas songs were “March in the Style of Corelli,” “Ode to Joy,” and “Hannukah Song.” It’s important to note that this particular school probably has the highest number of non-Christians in the district and one of the highest in the state. (Mostly Indian Muslims and secular Koreans, FWIW.) Even with that composition, and being in super-liberal Austin, the school can play Christmas music and mention Christmas, frequently. If the orchestra teacher puts the program on the school website, I think I’ll link it to wingnut blogs.

  • Tonio

    It can help you identify what words are connected, and it saves you the trouble of saying “male dog” and “female dog” because the information is already included within the word.

    But I’m talking about names for objects, not people or animals. In Spanish, the word for book is male and the word for magazine is female, and it’s not like either object has genitals.

  • Tonio

    I don’t think that gender in language has anything to do with trying to enforce any thinking about gender.

    True. I wasn’t advocating the opposite. My chief concern is that assigning gender to non-animal objects may have the effect of enforcing thinking about gender.

  • Flying sardines

    @ Ruby | Dec 12, 2010 at 10:12 AM :
    …it featured on it’s Dec. 12 cover a photo of Walter Adler, a Jewish subway passenger, with his arm draped over Hassan Askari, a Muslim accounting student, over the title: “Peace Train: Muslim rescues Jew from subway thugs.”
    According to the Post, when Adler and some friends boarded a Q train, someone wished them a “Merry Christmas,” and Adler responded with “Happy Hanukkah.” About 14 men and women then started shouting anti-Semitic slurs and others immediately began to pummel Adler. That is when Askari jumped in, taking some hits himself to save Adler.
    The story is both warm and chilling. It reminds us that anti-Semitism is prevalent not only in Europe and throughout the Arab world, but also remains a constant here in the good old US of A. However, what earned the Post my 50 cents was the reminder that there are still good people out there of all persuasions.

    [Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/virtualtalmud/2007/12/muslim-rescues-jew-in-ny-hanuk-1.html#ixzz183REXpFR ]
    Wow. What a great and thought-provoking true story.
    The whole “war on Xmas” idiocy strikes me as too stupid for words really. Personally I’ve usually greet (or farewell) folks with a “Merry Christams & a happy new year” – as an agnostic who is okay with whatever people are celebrating which in my city (& nation) is usually (not always but usually) a largely secular a-religious festival of drinking, eating and seasonal relaxation / commerce / fun for kids / BBQ’s and then the cricket on Boxing Day.
    But its no big deal and if I know someone is non-Christian, atheist, Jewish, Buddhist, etc .. I’m happy to wish them “happy holidays” or “seasons greetings” or “Happy Hannukkah” whatever else best fits.
    So the greeting is something you tailor to the person – and if you are wishing someone the best / happiness, then surely to flippin’ goodness you are meant to be wishing them the best / happiness not setting up an ideological trap as an excuse for conflict so you can harangue and abuse them? That’s just, well, un-Christian far as I understand the term as well as super-douchebaggy! ;-)
    “Goodwill to all and to all a good night!”

  • MadGastronomer, whose restaurant is no longer leaking badly

    Give me some credit.
    Sorry, but the wording you used did sound like that was what you thought, even if only for a moment.
    Actually, I think this relates to another issue with English that I keep thinking about. We have a hard time finding ways of talking about the function of our bodies that doesn’t imply an intelligent designer. Breasts are meant to give milk, the brain is
    I don’t think that gender in language has anything to do with trying to enforce any thinking about gender. Though I’m sure it could be used for that.
    It is and has been used for that.
    They included the extremely secular “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful,”
    Er, was “extremely secular” sarcasm?
    But I’m talking about names for objects, not people or animals. In Spanish, the word for book is male and the word for magazine is female, and it’s not like either object has genitals.
    Still helps you link the adjective with the noun and pronouns with antecedents with objects. But yes, highly arbitrary.

  • Tonio

    the extremely secular “Joy to the World”

    I used to think that Jeremiah in the Three Dog Night song (written by Hoyt Axton) referred to the Old Testament figure.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird, who once invented a conlang with an extra pronoun to mean “the thing that we’re currently talking about”

    But I’m talking about names for objects, not people or animals. In Spanish, the word for book is male and the word for magazine is female, and it’s not like either object has genitals.
    Yeah, but Tonio, that means you could for instance say the following:
    “Have you seen my magazine?”
    “A magazine? Weren’t you reading a book?”
    “Yeah, but he wasn’t as interesting as she was, so I thought I’d find her instead – and anyway, the last time I saw him he was right next to her, so if I find one I’ll find them both…”
    Whereas in English, your options are either to say “it” lots of times and get horribly confused, or to painstakingly say “the book” and “the magazine” every time you refer to either of them.
    Try having a conversation about people and objects, while using “it” as the only pronoun. It makes it way trickier to be specific about anything.

  • Tonio

    Sorry, but the wording you used did sound like that was what you thought, even if only for a moment.

    I can understand how one would get that impression, and that was my fault.

    Still helps you link the adjective with the noun and pronouns with antecedents with objects. But yes, highly arbitrary.

    Would you offer an example? It’s been quite a while since I studied Spanish.

  • dmab

    take your meds, you little fckers….
    http://image.spreadshirt.com/image-server/image/composition/4006595/view/1/producttypecolor/1/type/png/width/378/height/378/e-mc2_design.png
    now we are going to bury you….
    ____________________________
    And the lesson from all of this? DOUBLE!
    ____________________________
    What do you want, you little ****ers?
    more of these idiots
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4C5yzFmC80
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prizes_for_evidence_of_the_paranormal
    HOW N WON ALL THE PARANORMAL PRIZES!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostradamus
    pz myers does not exist…
    http://richarddawkins.net/discussions/543672-inhertitance-of-acquired-behaviour-adaptions-and-brain-gene-expression-in-chickens
    atheists, we’re gonna cut off your heads…
    THE HIGH PRICE OF REVOLUTION
    http://www.youtube.com/user/xviolatex?feature=mhum

  • RobW

    Posted by: hapax, who is supposed to be adding a new creche figure tonight but has no idea what to make or time to make one
    May I suggest a pirate? I’ve never seen a Christmas pirate.
    In the spirit of the season, you could build a pirate and a ninja standing together in harmony and peace.

  • Serpent’s Choice

    Grammatical gender in Latin has a longer history than … well, Latin. Latin’s three genders are inherited from proto-Italic’s three genders, which are almost inherited from proto-Indo-European’s three genders. I say almost because the three genders in PIE are slightly different, with “inanimate” replacing “neuter”. Some very early branch languages (and probably pre-PIE) only had animate/inanimate noun classes, while quite a few existing languages in the same family have lost the neuter gender entirely.
    As to how grammatical gender got assigned to the various nouns in the first place? For PIE, no one knows. In other languages in other language families, there are sometimes rules. One of the native languages of Papua New Guinea assigned grammatical gender based on shape: things which tended to be long, narrow, or thin are male; things which tended to be short or rounded are female. The Dyribal language of some indigenous Australians has four noun cases based on broad categories — most famously, the grammatical gender applied to women is the same used for fire, predatory animals, and anything else considered inherently dangerous. It is likely that Latin’s nouns’ genders were assigned via some sort of semantics back in the PIE days (4000 BC, +/-1000 or so), but whatever symbolic meaning or purpose those assignments served is long since lost to the dustbins of history.
    TL;DR version: If gendered nouns were ever intended to be subtle attacks on women, no one has been alive for thousands of years who would get the references.
    On the subject of conlangs, though, consider me one vote for Ithkuil. Although, like everyone else, ever, I’m not fluent.

  • Tonio

    “Yeah, but he wasn’t as interesting as she was, so I thought I’d find her instead – and anyway, the last time I saw him he was right next to her, so if I find one I’ll find them both…”
    Whereas in English, your options are either to say “it” lots of times and get horribly confused, or to painstakingly say “the book” and “the magazine” every time you refer to either of them.

    I see your point. I find that literal translation weird on several levels. I imagine jokes about referring to, say, Little Women as “him” and Soldier of Fortune Monthly as “her,” which probably says more about our culture’s assumptions about gender than it does about other languages. While I can recognize the pronoun convenience, using gender-specific pronouns for objects feels too much to me like anthropomorphizing the objects. Our culture still hasn’t fully outgrown the idiotic custom of male ship captains referring to vessels as female.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/gdwarf GDwarf

    Deird, it would follow, then, that for maximum utility one should be able to assign one of three (male, female, neuter) genders to any noun, via some standardized altering, to allow for three separate pronouns in any given sentence…

  • Tonio

    I’ve never seen a Christmas pirate.

    “Arrgh, arrgh, arrgh, Merry Christmas, ya scurvy bilge rats! When you’re on my naughty list, ya don’t get coal in yer stocking, ya walk the plank!”

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/sunbowgems MercuryBlue

    CLIMATE CHANGE DENIALISTS: THERMODYNAMICS, UR DOIN IT WRONG.
    I repeat: Facts -> OMGLIBERALSOCIALISM.
    I was really proposing that beliefs about human gender roles led over time to objects acquiring gender assignments, such as the belief that men are active and women are passive.
    There’s a joke about copiers being female because they take a while to warm up and can then go for hours. Whole bunch of jokes of that nature, at least half of which are nastily sexist and most if not all of the rest at least a little sexist (I’m honestly not sure about the one I just paraphrased). Such jokes have probably existed forever, and grammatical gender, I suspect, is making the word for ‘copier’ have an element in common with every other noun assigned female characteristics and then forgetting why it’s funny that copiers et al are female.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird, who is a woman with a female car (her old car was a boy)

    Deird, it would follow, then, that for maximum utility one should be able to assign one of three (male, female, neuter) genders to any noun, via some standardized altering, to allow for three separate pronouns in any given sentence…
    That… would be kind of wonderful. :D
    Our culture still hasn’t fully outgrown the idiotic custom of male ship captains referring to vessels as female.
    What about female ship captains? Are they allowed to have female ships?

  • Serpent’s Choice

    Clearly, the copiers at my work are male then. They run fine for a couple of minutes, but then they pass right out even if the person making copies wasn’t done yet.

  • Lunch Meat

    I’m not caught up on comments yet, but I wanted to update anyone who was concerned–I’m home, Husband is doing well, second-degree burns on both hands but they’re healing well and not infected. He won’t be able to work for a week but his boss is okay with it and we have money in case of emergency. So, yay! Thanks for the good thoughts!

  • http://brainfroth.wordpress.com Froth

    It’s not just the captains that give ships gender. I was taught that all ships are female.

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/sunbowgems MercuryBlue

    Deird, it would follow, then, that for maximum utility one should be able to assign one of three (male, female, neuter) genders to any noun, via some standardized altering, to allow for three separate pronouns in any given sentence…
    I like the system a friend of mine came up with for her conlang. Female nouns end in i, male in e, something neither male nor female in a, someone both male and female (a group of people, God, and while I’m sure this one never occurred to her, an intersexed or trans individual such as would prefer to be referred to in English as ‘ze’ or ‘they’) in o, same vowels constituted the subjective and objective third-person pronouns, with u as the second-person and y as the first-person.
    (She designed her world to have attained almost perfect gender parity and remain ragingly homophobic. It makes my heart hurt. This is why we no longer speak.)

  • Tonio

    She designed her world to have attained almost perfect gender parity and remain ragingly homophobic.

    That sounds highly unusual, because I’ve noticed a very strong correlation between homophobia and sexism.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/ministerformagic Pius Thicknesse

    @Lunch Meat: Yay! Whew!
    As for grammar generally? I’m kind of in love with Afrikaans (ironically, I can barely speak/understand it) because all verbs conjugate the same way at least in the present, regardless of the subject pronoun. There are also no gendered nouns, and it shares with English a single indefinite article (‘n) and definite article (die).
    Esperanto gave me fits partly because the “and”-word in Esperanto is not typical of most European Latinate or Germanic languages. I keep wanting to say “et” or “y” instead of “kaj” which is the “and”-word derived from Greek.
    If you look at the majority of European languages (English included), the “and”-word tends to start with a vowel. Examples: et, y, e, i, in, und, en, og, and on you go.
    This relatively counterintuitive choice by Zamenhof for a very common linking word is actually one of the ongoing burrs under my saddle about finding it relatively cumbersome to master Esperanto.
    Call me nitpicky, but if you’re gonna make a conlang for Pete’s sake at least construct the basic building blocks of vocabulary out of words most of the speakers will see as cognates in their own languages to a greater or lesser extent.

  • renniejoy

    Lori – My birthday is also Jan. 9! We’re “twins”!
    I get geeked out that 1-9-75 (MM-DD-YY) is the same as 1975, but I’ve had more than one person think that I was saying that my DOB was the 19th, instead of the 9th. :(
    Pronouns with indistinct antecedents, arrgh! Which one was the “he” and which one was the “him” again?
    Glad to hear that people are doing okay – hugs to everyone!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/ministerformagic Pius Thicknesse

    *cough* 1975 person here too. :D
    @renniejoy: *fist bump*? :)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/ministerformagic Pius Thicknesse

    Er, that is to say I was born in 1975. But not, unfortunately, in January.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/cityofladiesblogspotcom Rebecca

    It can help you identify what words are connected, and it saves you the trouble of saying “male dog” and “female dog” because the information is already included within the word.
    Not necessarily – Italian has cane and cagna, French has chien and chienne, but you have to add an extra word if you want to convey, say, “the male giraffe” or “the female koala.”
    @Deird: so cool!

  • Own This Idea Cheap

    ‘I just looked up the lyrics, and they sound uncomfortably close to date rape. ‘
    Or two people following the socially expected roles governing actually, you know, engaging in that old fashioned ‘hanky panky.’
    Where the woman is expected to be saying ‘no,’ since good girls never – well, they could, but the conditions involved required teams of movie censors to clarify, including making sure the script punished them for any infraction breaking the rules that good girls had to follow. (I thought about writing women or females, but ‘girls’ hits that mid-century American framework pretty well – an alien world to me in a lot of ways, but so desperately yearned for by many.)

  • MadGastronomer, whose restaurant is no longer leaking badly

    There’s a joke about copiers being female because they take a while to warm up and can then go for hours. Whole bunch of jokes of that nature, at least half of which are nastily sexist and most if not all of the rest at least a little sexist (I’m honestly not sure about the one I just paraphrased).
    Definitely sexist. Anything joke the alleged humor of which is based on reinforcing a gendered stereotype is going to be sexist.

  • renniejoy

    Pius – *fist bump* :)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/cityofladiesblogspotcom Rebecca

    Or two people following the socially expected roles governing actually, you know, engaging in that old fashioned ‘hanky panky.’
    I’m really sick of hearing “it’s not date rape, what if she was just following the social script.” Unless we know from her that she was just playing hard to get, we do not assume. Women are not in a state of perpetual consent.
    Not that this applies to the song anyway, because since when is drugging people part of the social script?

  • Flying sardines

    @Tonio | Dec 13, 2010 at 10:58 PM :
    “It can help you identify what words are connected, and it saves you the trouble of saying “male dog” and “female dog” because the information is already included within the word.”
    But I’m talking about names for objects, not people or animals. In Spanish, the word for book is male and the word for magazine is female, and it’s not like either object has genitals.

    Doesn’t that depend on what book / magazine your reading though? ;-)

  • MadGastronomer, whose restaurant is no longer leaking badly

    In Spanish, the word for book is male and the word for magazine is female, and it’s not like either object has genitals.
    Point of terminology: words have gender, not sex. The word for book is masculine, the word for magazine is feminine. And genitals do not determine gender.

  • http://darkenedstumbling.blogspot.com/ Leum

    I see your point. I find that literal translation weird on several levels. I imagine jokes about referring to, say, Little Women as “him” and Soldier of Fortune Monthly as “her,” which probably says more about our culture’s assumptions about gender than it does about other languages.

    Not necessarily. They did a study where French and Spanish speakers were asked to describe bridges (masculine in French, feminine in Spanish) and French speakers were more likely to use masculine attributes (like strong) and Spanish speakers were more likely to use feminine ones.

  • http://brainfroth.wordpress.com Froth

    @MadG: Except in the case of public toilets and changing facilities.
    Sorry, I don’t want to harp on the old subject, it’s just it never occured to me before how completely wonky it is that we segregate by declared gender, except where declared gender doesn’t fit the categories when you instead go by genitals. Which, in segregating by declared gender, we have already decided are irrelevant.
    Argh.
    Back on subject, surely words that include gender information are different from grammatical gender? In English you can say “cock” and “hen”, which are different words for different genders, and not the same thing as “chicken” – which is grammatically neuter but could refer to a bird of either type.

  • http://brainfroth.wordpress.com Froth

    And to correct myself – “cock” and “hen” refer to the sex of the chicken, not the gender. I’m not aware of any ability of chickens to indicate their genders.

  • Flying sardines

    @ Lori | Dec 13, 2010 at 07:11 PM :
    finally dug out some of the Christmas music in my collection and found one that I really like that hasn’t been mentioned: Diane Taraz’s version of Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabella
    One I like (not sure if its been mentioned yet or not, afraid I’m waa-ay too far behind in reading through the comments as always, sigh) is Chris de Burgh’s A spaceman came travelling on Youtube here :
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=kgVtMYsltuo&feature=related

  • Drake Pope

    Not that this applies to the song anyway, because since when is drugging people part of the social script?

    There are some college parties where random cups are picked to be spiked with rohypnol, not necessarily to facilitate rape but just to amuse everyone else. It’s pretty reprehensible; apart from the obvious risk of sexual assault if the host doesn’t bother keeping track of who got spiked, there’s always a risk that either male or female victims might wander off and get themselves hurt, especially if they’re not normally heavy drinkers or get lost in a crowd.

  • http://brainfroth.wordpress.com Froth

    @Drake Pope: you’re serious, aren’t you? You’re serious. This actually happens. People drug drinks with no care for who might drink them or how hurt they might get, because it’s funny to watch people who’ve been sedated against their will.
    Oh hells. I hate the world.

  • http://sugarbang.blogspot.com JessicaR

    We are so over due for some good news, I really hope this pans out, http://www.aidsmap.com/page/1577949/

  • http://profile.typepad.com/ministerformagic Pius Thicknesse

    @JessicaR: I really do hope it pans out as well. For the last 20-some years there’ll be a flurry of hope about a potential cure in the news, and then phft! nothing.
    Re: Thermodynamics generally.
    Siiiiiiigh, how do people like that think their car engine works? The exact same physical principles apply to the internal combustion engine! :(

  • Own This Idea Cheap

    ‘I’m really sick of hearing “it’s not date rape, what if she was just following the social script.”‘
    I thought the old fashioned sounding ‘hanky-panky’ (in quotes, forsooth), the reference to mid-century America, and the teams of movie censors (yes, yes – in private employ, but everyone knew exactly what they were) would have made clear that the term ‘social script’ is to be taken quite literally in that context.
    Any movie in 1940 showing a normal man and a normal woman having normal sex without being married, or using contraception (illegal then in what, 2/3? 4/5? of U.S. states), or committing any number of then illegal acts (yes, using your mouth in ways that I will assume none of the adults here would consider unusual, could be grounds for divorce in that time, along with being grounds for arrest), would be suppressed with the full power of the state – literally.
    The past is a distant land – even when it wasn’t that long ago.
    Try this – any idea of which network television show was the first one to show a married couple actually in a single bed, as compared to the separate beds married couples always slept in before that groundbreaking moment? Well, the answer is complicated, so let’s go to snopes with this introduction – http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/marykay.asp -
    ‘It’s one of the ultimate TV trivia questions: Who was the first couple to be portrayed on a television series as sleeping in the same bed? It may sound like a silly question to younger readers, but those of us who were around for television’s first few decades recall how squeamish
    the industry remained for many years, much more so than its cinematic counterpart, which was a bit looser because, unlike television, it did not broadcast its product directly into viewers’ living rooms.
    Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, who were married in real life and portrayed a married couple on the most popular show of television’s early years, I Love Lucy (1951-57), were depicted as sleeping in separate beds. Even more astonishingly, although Lucille Ball’s character, Lucy Ricardo, was portrayed as giving birth on an episode of the series the very same day that Lucille Ball herself bore a son, and the character of the real-life child was incorporated into the show itself, CBS was still unwilling to allow the word “pregnant” to be used on the air and did their best to avoid displaying Lucille Ball’s obvious “condition” to the viewing audience. Yes, this all took place in the “early days,” but even as late as 1969-74 series The Brady Bunch, six children shared a single bathroom that lacked a toilet.’
    There was a social script then (I’ll let other people talk about the ‘modern era’), and why yes, it is likely our indignant letter writer is indignant in part because we aren’t all following it still. And actually being a legally married couple wasn’t enough to allow the portrayal of a married couple in bed together (in pjs, of course) during that era.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/cityofladiesblogspotcom Rebecca

    Back on subject, surely words that include gender information are different from grammatical gender? In English you can say “cock” and “hen”, which are different words for different genders, and not the same thing as “chicken” – which is grammatically neuter but could refer to a bird of either type.
    Better example: “Mädchen,” the German word for “girl,” is neuter.
    OTIC, I appreciate the effort you took to type all that up, but you’re still saying “oh it’s okay she’s totally consenting,” just in more words.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/cityofladiesblogspotcom Rebecca

    Aww, Typepad doesn’t let me use diacritics? That’s “Madchen,” A with an umlaut.

  • renniejoy

    My trivia brain wants to say it was “the Dick van Dyke show”.
    OOh, ooh, pick me, pick me!!! :(

  • http://www.sexandmoney.org/blog Jenk

    Lori – Thanks, I forgot to mention that Six Geese A-Slaying is 10th in the series. There are a few spoilers for earlier books therein.
    I like Donna Andrews’s mysteries. I wonder why there doesn’t seem to be a genre any more for stories like that (loads of crazy characters in a crisis with a sane narrator stuck in the middle) without a murder mystery?
    Consumer Unit – there are some romances like that. Janet Evanovich used to write screwball comedy romances for Loveswept, now she writes screwball comedy mysteries. Some of Joan Elliott Pickart’s are funny too. Maryjanice Davidson does some hysterical urban fantasy stuff. But yeah, humorous cozy mysteries are becoming a strong subgenre these days, not to mention Westlake’s Dortmunder books and Lawrence Block’s Bernie the Burglar books…

  • http://www.sexandmoney.org/blog Jenk

    Oh, and I note “Baby It’s Cold Outside” was written by a guy in 1944. Might have been a bit of wish fulfillment there…
    (Interesting tale from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby,_It%27s_Cold_Outside – The song was first performed by the songwriter and his wife at a housewarming party they gave in 1944. Reportedly she considered it “their song” and was furious when he sold it to MGM in 1948.)


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X