homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   »   » Oblivion   » Off with that person's head! (Page 2)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2  3 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: Off with that person's head!
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

 - Posted      Profile for Pigwidgeon   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Things were so much simpler in Shakespeare's day...
[Biased]

--------------------
"...that is generally a matter for Pigwidgeon, several other consenting adults, a bottle of cheap Gin and the odd giraffe."
~Tortuf

Posts: 9835 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

 - Posted      Profile for Amanda B. Reckondwythe     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Weren't they, though? Much ado about nothing, he would probably remark.

We should probably also include in this discussion the use of "Esquire" (abbreviated "Esq.") as an honorific for lawyers. Historically, an esquire has always been a gentleman. Should the word also apply to women lawyers?

A partner (a woman) at a major New York law firm once opined that the honorific "Goodwife" (abbreviated "Gdwf.") could be applied to women attorneys in place of Esquire.

--------------------
"I take prayer too seriously to use it as an excuse for avoiding work and responsibility." -- The Revd Martin Luther King Jr.

Posts: 10542 | From: The Great Southwest | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Gwai
Shipmate
# 11076

 - Posted      Profile for Gwai   Email Gwai   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
How appalling, as if a lawyer need be anyone's wife.

Besides, it's historically inaccurate. Goodwife was the counterpart to goodman, unless I am wrong.

Mind, I see the issue re Esq...

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11914 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Uncle Pete

Loyaute me lie
# 10422

 - Posted      Profile for Uncle Pete     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
You're not wrong.

FWIW, I stopped being addressed as Esquire some 40 years ago. Never see it used, not even by my barrister/solicitor.

--------------------
Even more so than I was before

Posts: 20466 | From: No longer where I was | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
In the case of "actress", there is that phrase "as the actress said to the bishop". Something is meant there which the word actor would not carry, and it is not complimentary to the woman, who is being set up against the probity of the prelate.

That's more due to "actress" being a euphemism for "prostitute" at the time the phrase was first coined.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

 - Posted      Profile for Penny S     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
In the case of "actress", there is that phrase "as the actress said to the bishop". Something is meant there which the word actor would not carry, and it is not complimentary to the woman, who is being set up against the probity of the prelate.

That's more due to "actress" being a euphemism for "prostitute" at the time the phrase was first coined.
Marvin, I was being oblique, and subtle about that. I thought I had given enough to show which way the argument was going.

And Anglican't, many actors of the female persuasion have stated their preference of being actors. Does it have to be unanimous before their preference should be observed? And as for not detecting the diminutive effect of "ess", sometimes the detection depends on the detector. Detectoresses are more likely to notice it. Note the usages of doctor, and doctress. Mary Seacole was a doctress. Doesn't have the equivalent status, does it? As a deaconess is not the equivalent of a deacon.

While researching this answer, I have come across the suggestion that in ancient Greek the parallel ending could also be a diminutive.

Word Reference discussion

And here is an answer from Yahoo (OK, not the world's most definitive source) to the question "What is the female of instructor?"

quote:

An instructor.

I presume you're thinking of the -ess suffix that we see with some words (for example, baron vs. baroness, or steward vs. stewardess). This comes originally from the same origin as the French -ette suffix, which is a diminutive. It is from a time when women's work meant less than men's - so a lot of "lesser" positions held by women came to have the -ess suffix in earlier times. I'm not making a political point here - it is perfectly correct to use the feminine forms for words that have them, like princess or actress (although these days "actor" can also mean both a man or woman). The reason for the history lesson is that lots of words, especially for skilled work, never came to have a feminine diminutive form (either because traditionally women didn't hold the job, or because the women who did so were uncommonly qualified and so didn't get stuck with the diminutive, lesser job title). So today, there is no such thing as a "pilotess" or a "journalistess." Similarly, for both men and women we say "instructor," "litigator," and "doctor."

Yahoo on the subject

I'm not convinced it is correct about the connection with "ette" - where the female/diminutive identification is much more obvious. There is an "esse" form.

Posts: 5833 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Restricting grammar to syntax exclusive of semantics is so last year.

--------------------
This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
JoannaP
Shipmate
# 4493

 - Posted      Profile for JoannaP   Email JoannaP   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Secondly, the "ess" suffix has a somewhat diminutive sound to it, especially when it is added to a word without a suffix, such as poet. This does not apply so much to words with an "or" suffix, but there is still a suggestion in the sound of a lesser status.

I don't detect the diminutive sound. I doubt anyone thinks less of Meryl Streep's performances because she's won Best Actress Oscars rather than Best Female Actor Oscars.

AIUI the diminutive sound was often intended with "poetess".

It is simpler to use the same word for people doing the same job.

[ 11. July 2013, 17:59: Message edited by: JoannaP ]

--------------------
"Freedom for the pike is death for the minnow." R. H. Tawney (quoted by Isaiah Berlin)

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin

Posts: 1877 | From: England | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Anglican't
Shipmate
# 15292

 - Posted      Profile for Anglican't   Email Anglican't   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
And Anglican't, many actors of the female persuasion have stated their preference of being actors. Does it have to be unanimous before their preference should be observed?



I've ranted on before, I think, about how I don't see the argument that a minority of people should determine how everyone speaks, so I'm loathe to return to that subject, but who are these people? You say 'many' but there are presumably equally many women who are content with the word 'actress'. Why should one group exclude the other? The phrase 'actors of the female persuasion' is cumbersome and if there is a convenient shorter word or phrase it ought to be used.

quote:
Note the usages of doctor, and doctress. Mary Seacole was a doctress. Doesn't have the equivalent status, does it?

To the extent that Mary Seacole had any formal medical qualifications or knowledge, I understood that they were in nursing? The Wikipedia article on Seacole describes her mother as being a 'doctress' and defines that as 'a a healer who used traditional Caribbean and African herbal remedies'. Does that compare to an 19th century doctor?
Posts: 3613 | From: London, England | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
Shipmate
# 76

 - Posted      Profile for Karl: Liberal Backslider   Author's homepage   Email Karl: Liberal Backslider   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
And Anglican't, many actors of the female persuasion have stated their preference of being actors. Does it have to be unanimous before their preference should be observed?



I've ranted on before, I think, about how I don't see the argument that a minority of people should determine how everyone speaks, so I'm loathe to return to that subject, but who are these people? You say 'many' but there are presumably equally many women who are content with the word 'actress'.

On what basis would you make such an assumption?

quote:
Why should one group exclude the other? The phrase 'actors of the female persuasion' is cumbersome and if there is a convenient shorter word or phrase it ought to be used.
"actor" seems to be the preferred term. It's not like we have a special term for male actors, so why do we need one for female actors?

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lothiriel
Shipmate
# 15561

 - Posted      Profile for Lothiriel   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:

I'm not convinced it is correct about the connection with "ette" - where the female/diminutive identification is much more obvious. There is an "esse" form.

The Oxford English Dictionary provides the following etymology for "-ess":
French -esse, from Com. Romanic -essa, from late Latin -issa, from Greek -ισσα ( from -ikyā: cf. the Old English fem. agentive suffix -icge from -igjôn-)

And "-trix" comes directly from the Latin feminine agent noun ending.

I'd provide a link, but OED's behind a paywall, so not much point.

So "-ess" doesn't seem to be derived from the French diminutive "-ette". In all those languages listed in the etymology of "-ess", nouns take a grammatical gender, including Old English.

But to my mind, the matter isn't linguistic, it's sociological. The masculine version is the unmarked term, and the feminine is marked, thus making the feminine not the norm, or even "other".

If we really believe that men and women are equal as human beings, citizens, professionals, and workers, then it behooves us to speak of them as equals, and use the same terms for both.

Sorry to be very un-hellish.

--------------------
If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. St-Exupery

my blog

Posts: 538 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Anglican't
Shipmate
# 15292

 - Posted      Profile for Anglican't   Email Anglican't   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
On what basis would you make such an assumption?



On the basis of its continued, frequent use without widespread vocal opposition.

I once heard a Hollywood actress (it may have been Jodie Foster, I don't quite remember) claim that she wanted to be called an 'actor', but that was about 10-15 years ago. I've never heard anyone else make a fuss about it.

quote:
"actor" seems to be the preferred term. It's not like we have a special term for male actors, so why do we need one for female actors?
So what should the Best Actress Oscar be called?
Posts: 3613 | From: London, England | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged
Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

 - Posted      Profile for Amanda B. Reckondwythe     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
It's not like we have a special term for male actors, so why do we need one for female actors?

I'm surprised we're not calling them "theatrical interpreters".

--------------------
"I take prayer too seriously to use it as an excuse for avoiding work and responsibility." -- The Revd Martin Luther King Jr.

Posts: 10542 | From: The Great Southwest | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

 - Posted      Profile for Kelly Alves   Email Kelly Alves   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
]So what should the Best Actress Oscar be called?

The Independent Spirit awards calls that award "Best Female Lead" (And they have "Best Supporting Male"- "Best Supporting Female", respectively.

Seems pretty tidy.

--------------------
I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

Posts: 35076 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Truly, for equality's sake, there would not be separate awards for best female and best male, no matter how it is labeled. There would only be Best Actor No one whats to go that route as it would eliminate an award from the ceremonies. One less chance to win, one less chance to show that win.

--------------------
I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

Posts: 17627 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Wo[e/mb]-man.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Porridge
Shipmate
# 15405

 - Posted      Profile for Porridge   Email Porridge   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:

quote:
As for auditions - wouldn't the Pats and Robins and Hilarys be going for parts which would make their gender clear?
Perhaps they just threw their hats (bowlers, stetsons, flowery ones) into a general ring?

Exactly. They signified they'd be willing to try out for “anything” -- not very informative.

quote:
. . . We should probably also include in this discussion the use of "Esquire" (abbreviated "Esq.") as an honorific for lawyers. Historically, an esquire has always been a gentleman. Should the word also apply to women lawyers?

A partner (a woman) at a major New York law firm once opined that the honorific "Goodwife" (abbreviated "Gdwf.") could be applied to women attorneys in place of Esquire.

Several lawyers of my acquaintance, all female, use Esq. It’s common in the US.

quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
"actor" seems to be the preferred term. It's not like we have a special term for male actors, so why do we need one for female actors?

Actors generally impersonate male characters.
Actresses generally impersonate female ones.

If you advertise an “open call” in Backstage for “actors” when you really need to cast two women age 25-30, you’re apt to raise a lot ire among people who needn’t have bothered but whose agents urged them to suit up and attend.

--------------------
Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

Posts: 3925 | From: Upper right corner | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

 - Posted      Profile for RuthW     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Lothiriel:
[QB]But to my mind, the matter isn't linguistic, it's sociological. The masculine version is the unmarked term, and the feminine is marked, thus making the feminine not the norm, or even "other".

If we really believe that men and women are equal as human beings, citizens, professionals, and workers, then it behooves us to speak of them as equals, and use the same terms for both.

Sorry to be very un-hellish.

The man who started the thread apparently thinks that speaking of women and men as equals is what's hellish. I'm still wondering why that is.
Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

 - Posted      Profile for Amanda B. Reckondwythe     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
The man who started the thread apparently thinks that speaking of women and men as equals is what's hellish. I'm still wondering why that is.

You have read that into the OP but it simply isn't there.

What's hellish is the notion that just because a word contains the letters "man" somewhere inside of it, that must mean it applies only to men. A woman is just as capable of being a freshman as a man is, and she is just as capable of writing with good penmanship (or exhibiting the qualities of good churchmanship, or firing a weapon with a high degree of marksmanship, etc. etc.) as any man.

I pass no judgment on the relative merits of a woman's standing as a freshman, or the quality of her penmanship, or the worthiness of her churchmanship, or the accuracy of her marksmanship, compared to those of a man.

If the State of Washington (or anyone else) wants to believe that such concepts require words not containing the letters "man" in order to clarify that they apply equally to both sexes, it's their business, not mine.

[ 12. July 2013, 00:49: Message edited by: Amanda B. Reckondwythe ]

--------------------
"I take prayer too seriously to use it as an excuse for avoiding work and responsibility." -- The Revd Martin Luther King Jr.

Posts: 10542 | From: The Great Southwest | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
If the State of Washington (or anyone else) wants to believe that such concepts require words not containing the letters "man" in order to clarify that they apply equally to both sexes, it's their business, not mine.

If it's none of your business, what business did you have starting a thread on it?

--------------------
This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

 - Posted      Profile for Golden Key   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Some resources for discussion:

-- Article on non-sexist language, from AcademicKids.com.

-- Handout on gender-sensitive language, from Univ. of North Carolina.

-- "Does Media Sexism Hurt Female Candidates?", from About.com's Women's Issues section.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18601 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Uncle Pete

Loyaute me lie
# 10422

 - Posted      Profile for Uncle Pete     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
First link not found. Try again (or go to Purgatory)

--------------------
Even more so than I was before

Posts: 20466 | From: No longer where I was | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

 - Posted      Profile for Penny S     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
First link didn't work.

Having read the second, I am reminded of a few things.

1. That male human beings have already modified the language by using "man" usually for them and then expecting people to use it in its original sense for all people as if it didn't carry that idea of maleness. Male humans should have a prefix, as wif-man>woman does. It is wer, cognate with vir, so wer-man. Only people would now think it meant a shape changer as in werewolf. (Note that these were originally male! But etymology isn't meaning, is it?)

2. The eight year old children's response to a worksheet I did for a literacy hour topic on male/female words. Along with bull/cow, fox/vixen, lion/lioness, king/queen, I sneaked in doctors and nurses and headteachers. And sure as eggs is eggs, they thought the female of doctor was nurse (despite TV programmes with male nurses). and got really stuck with headteachers. It was a useful teaching opportunity.

3. I want us to return to pre-18th century usage for women's titles. I want to be Mrs, not Ms, which carries political weight as well as absence of marital information. And I really want computer forms to allow me not to use a title at all.

4. I remembered a school book on nature in gardens that used pronouns other than it to refer to various creatures. Discussing the predatory habits of spiders (while omitting the bit about females eating males) the writer used she, as if all spiders were female. After reading this and thinking it a little inappropriate, while often found in literature, I came across the discussion on the noble social habits of bees, in which the workers were referred to by "he", which is just plain wrong. (The writer did use "she" of the queen. Drones were not mentioned.) At this point I decided to check the author's name. Guess what gender.

So it was Mary Seacole's mother who was the doctress - sorry about that - but the term is still not the equivalent of doctor, is it? Which is the point. Of course, in other languages there is still respect for the female form, as in Italian with dottoressa (going by what I read in novels, anyway). (One thing I found while searching was someone's mother whi insisted on being called manager in her job, because she felt the term manageress carried less authority.)

If a woman in the theatre wants to be called an actor, she should be. If she wants to be called an actress, she should be. It isn't for others to decide. (I have strong opinions about men wanting to be called Father by people outside their religious group when Jesus said something about only calling God Father, but when I meet someone who wants that epithet, I'll use it. It's a matter of good manners.)

Posts: 5833 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

 - Posted      Profile for Golden Key   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Mea culpa. Correct link is:

http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/n/no/non_sexist_language.html

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18601 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

 - Posted      Profile for Amanda B. Reckondwythe     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If it's none of your business, what business did you have starting a thread on it?

I can express an opinion, can't I? Isn't that what a rant is?

--------------------
"I take prayer too seriously to use it as an excuse for avoiding work and responsibility." -- The Revd Martin Luther King Jr.

Posts: 10542 | From: The Great Southwest | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Porridge
Shipmate
# 15405

 - Posted      Profile for Porridge   Email Porridge   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
If a woman in the theatre wants to be called an actor, she should be. If she wants to be called an actress, she should be. It isn't for others to decide.

I'm not so sure about this. Two points:

1. We don't, on the basis of individual preferences, decide on the meanings of words; this violates the "social contract" which language essentially is. It's confusing and unfair for me to expect you to communicate effectively with me when I, off my own bat, decide that "chair" actually means "potato" and request that you pick up 5 pounds of chairs for me at the supermarket.

2. The point of non-sexist language, particularly in naming professions and occupations, is to halt the stereotyping of certain jobs being appropriate only for certain genders. Firefighters, cops, doctors, and so on can be male or female; it's sensible to use language that supports and reinforces that idea.

The same is not true of actors and actresses. These aren't stereotypes; they're essential characteristics of the job. Roles, by and large, ARE cast by gender; that's exactly what makes gender-specific language appropriate in this instance. Just as it's inappropriate to cast a Caucasian thespian in an Asian role (where Asian thespians can be assumed to be available), making him/her up to appear Asian, neither do we usually expect male thespians to play women, or female thespians to play men (yes, yes, I know that Persons Female and Famous have played Hamlet, but frankly, that's mostly just a publicity stunt).

In this case, gender is one essential aspect of the job, and calls for a job title which helps make the gender distinction clear. It saves trouble, as noted above, when advertising for dramatis personae (stage personnel, extremely loose translation).

So, on the possibly too-charitable and decidedly un-hellish assumption that the OP is simply suggesting that non-sexist language requirements can be carried too far, I'll hold out for actor/actress.

--------------------
Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

Posts: 3925 | From: Upper right corner | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged
Gwai
Shipmate
# 11076

 - Posted      Profile for Gwai   Email Gwai   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
But you are not denying that actor can validly be used to refer to women too, right? As long as that is true, I don't see why people shouldn't be allowed to self-determine. Sure a female word for people whose gender allows them to more naturally play female characters would make sense, but to insist that women call themselves by a word that has regularly been used for prostitutes seems a bit much.

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11914 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

 - Posted      Profile for Penny S     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Mark Rylance and other Shakespeareans have performed as women at the Globe. Not to mention various Dames in pantomime. And Principal Boys who are women. The actors who, while female have played male parts in Shakespeare have done it in all seriousness. Dare I mention Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams? Cross-dressing in theatre is fairly common.

And Adrian Lester has performed as Henry V without "whiting up" if we are mentioning cross-race acting.

Funny old place, theatre. You are supposed to suspend disbelief.

There is a fairly ghastly phrase about at the moment - "check your privilege". I don't like it. But it is supposed to suggest that it should be the person who feels discriminated against who gets to define the situation, which seems fair enough. Men do not get to choose what a woman is called, according to this. The woman does.

[ 12. July 2013, 15:00: Message edited by: Penny S ]

Posts: 5833 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged
comet

Snowball in Hell
# 10353

 - Posted      Profile for comet   Author's homepage   Email comet   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:

In this case, gender is one essential aspect of the job, and calls for a job title which helps make the gender distinction clear. It saves trouble, as noted above, when advertising for dramatis personae (stage personnel, extremely loose translation).

So, on the possibly too-charitable and decidedly un-hellish assumption that the OP is simply suggesting that non-sexist language requirements can be carried too far, I'll hold out for actor/actress.

Okay.

but just FYI, from someone "in the biz" (but far away from Hollywood or Broadway) I'm an actor. I'm not pushing some agenda, it is bog standard in the stage world at this point that we are all actors.

of course we're still cast based in part on our innate physical characteristics. But we're not defined by them. I've only ever been called an "actress" by people outside of the biz.

the term "actress" is as outdated as "stewardess".

seriously, folks. this is old news.

--------------------
Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

Posts: 17024 | From: halfway between Seduction and Peril | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
comet

Snowball in Hell
# 10353

 - Posted      Profile for comet   Author's homepage   Email comet   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:

If you advertise an “open call” in Backstage for “actors” when you really need to cast two women age 25-30, you’re apt to raise a lot ire among people who needn’t have bothered but whose agents urged them to suit up and attend.

sorry, missed this before. chances are this ad would say "cast call" or "open auditions" and then list the roles: 2 females, age 25-30, one african-american, one caucasian. musical ability a must, dance experience preferred. preference given to actors skilled with chainsaw maintenance. must be willing to rehearse on evenings and weekends. blah blah blah.

--------------------
Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

Posts: 17024 | From: halfway between Seduction and Peril | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Porridge
Shipmate
# 15405

 - Posted      Profile for Porridge   Email Porridge   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
the term "actress" is as outdated as "stewardess".

seriously, folks. this is old news.

The point being that nobody's using "steward" either, though. These folks are now "flight attendants," neither maleness nor femaleness being in any way essential to the job.

And not every advertiser can afford the wordage in your hypothetical ad. However, economizing by using "actors' when you're casting an all-female production will likely cause confusion.

--------------------
Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

Posts: 3925 | From: Upper right corner | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged
comet

Snowball in Hell
# 10353

 - Posted      Profile for comet   Author's homepage   Email comet   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
my point was that they likely won't say "actors" at all. more like "open auditions for female roles" with dates and times. And collectively, I've only ever seen the term "actors" never "actors and actresses" we're not treated as separate professions.

if I saw an ad asking for "actresses" I'd assume the director is an amateur, and I'd stay away. The term just isn't used, except perhaps within rehearsal, i.e. "The little actress's room is the one on the left"

[ 12. July 2013, 17:37: Message edited by: comet ]

--------------------
Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

Posts: 17024 | From: halfway between Seduction and Peril | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Porridge
Shipmate
# 15405

 - Posted      Profile for Porridge   Email Porridge   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
. . . to insist that women call themselves by a word that has regularly been used for prostitutes seems a bit much.

With all due respect, piffle. I'm not trotting out the OED for this, but I suspect it's been at least a generation, maybe two, since "actress" has served as a commonly-used euphemism for "prostitute," at least where I live.

And yes, I think it's perfectly acceptable to label a group of male and female thespians as "actors," and no, I don't think the suffix "-or" conveys any automatic assumptions about normative gender assignment the way "mankind" does.

I do think that a female amateur named Pat or Robin who turns up at community theater auditions with no headshots (not many amateurs have these) and willing to "take any role" could help out the staff by labeling herself in a gender-specific way.

--------------------
Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

Posts: 3925 | From: Upper right corner | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If it's none of your business, what business did you have starting a thread on it?

I can express an opinion, can't I? Isn't that what a rant is?
Of course. But then you're saying it's part of your business.

--------------------
This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Porridge
Shipmate
# 15405

 - Posted      Profile for Porridge   Email Porridge   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Dare I mention Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams? Cross-dressing in theatre is fairly common.


It's fairly common, yes, and if you want to do Shakespeare as Shakespeare himself did, then everybody understands we're working in a different context than exists in contemporary theater. But this is to miss the point. If specific gender assignments did not apply to acting roles, cross-dressing would be completely without point or purpose. If it doesn't matter what gender the player is, then you can cast Meryl Streep as Tootsie instead of Dustin Hoffman, and thereby lose the entire point of the movie.

--------------------
Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

Posts: 3925 | From: Upper right corner | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged
Gwai
Shipmate
# 11076

 - Posted      Profile for Gwai   Email Gwai   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
. . . to insist that women call themselves by a word that has regularly been used for prostitutes seems a bit much.

With all due respect, piffle. I'm not trotting out the OED for this, but I suspect it's been at least a generation, maybe two, since "actress" has served as a commonly-used euphemism for "prostitute," at least where I live.
I remind you of the meme discussed above about actresses and bishops. It wouldn't be funny if the actress was not being related to sex.

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11914 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Anglican't
Shipmate
# 15292

 - Posted      Profile for Anglican't   Email Anglican't   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
. . . to insist that women call themselves by a word that has regularly been used for prostitutes seems a bit much.

With all due respect, piffle. I'm not trotting out the OED for this, but I suspect it's been at least a generation, maybe two, since "actress" has served as a commonly-used euphemism for "prostitute," at least where I live.
I remind you of the meme discussed above about actresses and bishops. It wouldn't be funny if the actress was not being related to sex.
But the two uses of the word are completely separate. If people say 'Meryl Streep is an actress' they aren't thinking 'Meryl is a slutty whore', are they?
Posts: 3613 | From: London, England | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

 - Posted      Profile for RuthW     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If it's none of your business, what business did you have starting a thread on it?

I can express an opinion, can't I? Isn't that what a rant is?
Of course. And you can look like a complete ass doing it, because anyone who has a problem with legislation saying that laws will be written in non-sexist language is a complete ass.
Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gwai
Shipmate
# 11076

 - Posted      Profile for Gwai   Email Gwai   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
. . . to insist that women call themselves by a word that has regularly been used for prostitutes seems a bit much.

With all due respect, piffle. I'm not trotting out the OED for this, but I suspect it's been at least a generation, maybe two, since "actress" has served as a commonly-used euphemism for "prostitute," at least where I live.
I remind you of the meme discussed above about actresses and bishops. It wouldn't be funny if the actress was not being related to sex.
But the two uses of the word are completely separate. If people say 'Meryl Streep is an actress' they aren't thinking 'Meryl is a slutty whore', are they?
Actually, I do think that if I said "Jane is a doctor, Ethyl a secretary, and Meryl is an actress, who do you think is most likely to sleep with you tonight" that most people would say Meryl.

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11914 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Anglican't
Shipmate
# 15292

 - Posted      Profile for Anglican't   Email Anglican't   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Well I would have gone with Jane, myself...
Posts: 3613 | From: London, England | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged
Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

 - Posted      Profile for Penny S     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
There was a piece in today's Guardian about parts for women in Hollywood films.

Female actors

Throughout, being the Guardian, the article uses actor, as you would expect, except in one place.

quote:
The unhealthy preponderance of female characters whose primary function is to guide the male protagonist out of his malaise throws into relief the fact that most movie representations of women are male constructs – and not all those males understand the opposite sex as intimately as their own. Some day, Nathan Rabin's identification of the "manic pixie dream girl" trope will be seen as the movie equivalent of isolating the polio virus. In the meantime, struggling actresses across Hollywood are tearing off their Zooey Deschanel wigs, crying: "What am I doing wrong?"
One thing to note here is that it is not only what women are called, it is what they are called upon to play. These parts are not the equivalent of parts by Shakespeare, Ibsen or Beckett, or even Aeschylus or Aristophanes. They are not usually actual people, but projections of men's ideas of women. Not completely real, less than the male characters.

So you have a word which has for part of its history carried a negative meaning other than the apparent one, and describes, in many cases, parts which are also lesser than the male parts.

It also carries an impression of youth, since, as many women in the profession complain, there are very few parts for mature women.

If women in the business don't want this collection of disparaging cobwebs clinging to the word used to describe them, that is their choice, and if the business is happy with that it is not the concern of anyone outside the business to challenge it.

Posts: 5833 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged
Porridge
Shipmate
# 15405

 - Posted      Profile for Porridge   Email Porridge   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
I remind you of the meme discussed above about actresses and bishops. It wouldn't be funny if the actress was not being related to sex.

The meme, which is pretty antique (I can't recall ever hearing a joke or witticism starting with this meme in my lifetime, and I'm not young, though I've read it in books published in the UK early in the last century), consists mainly in throwing together two characters from disparate spheres, morally, socially, and ethically. Contrast makes it funny, and yes, a hint of sex is certainly part of that context.

However, even before women were generally active in it, theater was always a "suspect" context. Actors, even when all-male casts were the norm, were regarded in many periods of history as living on the fringes of society -- roguish, licentious, unreliable, possibly larcenous, and on and on.

Respectable people in various historical periods weren't any happier to marry their daughters off to actors than they were to discover their bishops cavorting with actresses.

I believe Master Will S. tooted off to London and his subsequent playwriting career only after marriage.

--------------------
Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

Posts: 3925 | From: Upper right corner | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged
comet

Snowball in Hell
# 10353

 - Posted      Profile for comet   Author's homepage   Email comet   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:

However, even before women were generally active in it, theater was always a "suspect" context. Actors, even when all-male casts were the norm, were regarded in many periods of history as living on the fringes of society -- roguish, licentious, unreliable, possibly larcenous, and on and on.

well, some things never change.

--------------------
Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

Posts: 17024 | From: halfway between Seduction and Peril | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

 - Posted      Profile for Firenze     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Max Beerbohm, writing theatre criticism in the 1890s, attempted to pioneer the term 'mimes' for all players, male and female. Ahead of his time.

Btw, if you ever come across his collected reviews (certainly Out of print and I don't know if it's made its way into electronic format), leap on them. He is watching the last, florid examples of the Victorian melodrama (not long after to be reborn as cinema of course). He preserves such wonderful curtain lines as - 'I go forth to fight in the Thirty Years War!'

Posts: 17302 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
malik3000
Shipmate
# 11437

 - Posted      Profile for malik3000   Author's homepage   Email malik3000   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
Porridge, do you know anyone who actually says chairwoman though? When I have gone to such meetings, lately it's always just been "the chair," and if it weren't, it would be chairman.

It should be chairperson -- neither chairman or chairwoman.

But it should NOT be that annoying term that I absolutely loath, "the chair", because it is not a piece of furniture that is doing the presiding.

[ 12. July 2013, 22:08: Message edited by: malik3000 ]

--------------------
God = love.
Otherwise, things are not just black or white.

Posts: 3149 | From: North America | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Anglican't
Shipmate
# 15292

 - Posted      Profile for Anglican't   Email Anglican't   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm sure plenty of people think 'chairperson' is equally loathsome.
Posts: 3613 | From: London, England | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged
Taliesin
Shipmate
# 14017

 - Posted      Profile for Taliesin   Email Taliesin   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I was going to write but one word...

Smurfette. for reference

then decided it may not be an adequate response.
If the purpose of a thing is have gender, when the purpose of all other things is to have character, then we have a problem. And all the time this problem exists, we need to be a bit careful with language.

When children no longer think that there is a term which can be universal, and then there is a female version, then we can have gender specific terms. But I think we may find that we end up with non-gender specific words instead.

'male midwife/male nurse' is as wrong as 'woman police constable' and people are making steady progress on changing to ungendered words. Players is good, I like it.

Did you know, porridge and Amanda, that back in the day, there were a lot of women primary teachers, and text books for teachers were almost unique in having feminine pronouns used throughout? When men started to seriously take on primary teaching there was a swift outpouring of outrage at the inappropriate gender bias which was very smartly responded to, with text books immediately reprinted to be non-specific. Interestingly, when women complained of the opposite bias in engineering, medical, law, etc etc etc etc they encountered a much less obliging ear. Surely they can read for context? Surely there is no actual obscuring of meaning? How can it possibly be offensive or demeaning or psychologically creating a disadvantage in any way? Really, women should be flattered...

Posts: 2138 | From: South, UK | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

 - Posted      Profile for Leorning Cniht   Email Leorning Cniht   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:

So, on the possibly too-charitable and decidedly un-hellish assumption that the OP is simply suggesting that non-sexist language requirements can be carried too far, I'll hold out for actor/actress.

Well, I don't know - why pick on sex? We don't have a special word for "black actor," do we? If I am looking for someone to portray Rosa Parks, I don't advertise for a "Blacktress," even though we all know that I'm not going to hire anyone white.
Posts: 5026 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

 - Posted      Profile for Amanda B. Reckondwythe     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Anyone who has a problem with legislation saying that laws will be written in non-sexist language is a complete ass.

Thank you for clarifying what you think of me. Good to know.

--------------------
"I take prayer too seriously to use it as an excuse for avoiding work and responsibility." -- The Revd Martin Luther King Jr.

Posts: 10542 | From: The Great Southwest | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

 - Posted      Profile for RuthW     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by malik3000:
But it should NOT be that annoying term that I absolutely loath, "the chair", because it is not a piece of furniture that is doing the presiding.

It's called metonymy, and it's fine.

ETA: Looks pretty stupid, though, if I misspell it.

[ 12. July 2013, 22:53: Message edited by: RuthW ]

Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2  3 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
follow ship of fools on twitter
buy your ship of fools postcards
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
 
  ship of fools