Sexing the World Around Us

What are some of the non biological things that enter into our every day that have been sexed as male (boy/man) or sexed as female(girl/woman) that consciously and unconsciously shape/affect how we think about biological males and females, including ourselves? And if you would like to go a step further, add if those things shape our view of males and females in positive respects or negative respects, give examples.



  1. Cars and ships as female. For me, when used by a man implies that SHE may be powerful and dangerous and beautiful, but I (the male) control and direct her.

    And of course, we have the usual male status in terms of the beauty of the female, be it a trophy wife, or his beautiful sports car..........

    Use of male pronouns? Well, GOD for one! Effect obvious.........

  2. ...and guitars along with cars and ships.
    Something else that is powerful, dangerous, beautiful, but the male must be present to "play her" to bring that beauty out.

    B.B. King probably the most famous
    of the lot, with "Lucille".

    Also, the male dominated verbage of
    sports. Listen to a sportscast sometime with feminist ears; the whole darned thing is descriptions of penetration and domination.

    Why do they always say "Thar SHE blows!" in sea folklore?

  3. I don't care for chocolate or shoes. I hate it when people assign both to women. Or shopping. Hate it.

  4. I live in a small city in Brazil and every time I walk the streets in jeans, semi-loose T-shirt, and sneakers, I get stares. I even hear comments sometimes, people asking each other "Is that a woman or a man?", clearly intending for me to hear. Sometimes people inform me I am at the wrong public rest room (lady's). That didn't use to bother me until someone in the street, after confusing me for a man, and being ignored, said people like me should get beaten. Now I am actually scared, it is hard leaving the house. I suppose I could femme up a bit, but something in me says there is nothing wrong with wearing cheap, supermarket clothes and not spending money on things I don't like to wear.

  5. The one that grinds my last nerve is
    "GIT 'R DONE". It's applied to ANYTHING, and is the most repulsive, obnoxious, idiotic thing I've ever heard.

    It's now applied to anything from installing a lightbulb to going to buy groceries. It sexualizes EVERY. SINGLE.
    TASK it's applied to. Now, changing one's oil is sexual dominance because everything a man DOES now is "her" so he's got to GIT 'R DONE.

  6. Nature-- Is always "Mother". And she's
    always "mad". Therefore, men must subdue her. Also, everyone from Chiffon to Monsanto is trying to prove you really CAN fool her.

    I think one of the worst ironies of
    all though, was men in WW2 naming
    airplanes and even BOMBS after women.

    I've also known men who refer to their pistols, shotguns and other weapons as "she".

    Really, it's kind of like everything that ISN'T THEIR DICK is "she", and therefore must be conquered and possessed.

  7. Gosh, I've always given my cars female names, really just because they've been things of beauty (I've had only vintage machines).

  8. In the Swedish dub of the Disney film Robin Hood, a character's crossbow is affectionately called "ol' Betty". In Sweden, we call the clocks "she" and ships "she". Instead of saying "What time is it?", we say "What is she?". We also say "she" about Man (humanity/mankind in English), "And Man had the ability to walk upright, and she also knew how to make fires".

  9. Just like in Swedish, humankind and humanity both translate to the feminine gender words in Greek (anthropotis, anthropia). The Greek words for power, wisdom, love, charity, choice, happiness, nature, wealth, team, work, quality all are feminine. But then, so are the Greek words for all seven deadly sins.

    In modern Greek, death is male, but sickness is female, as is health. Earth is female, but planet and world are both male. God (the Christian one, at any rate) is male.

    Most inanimate objects are neutral, and very rarely do you hear people use other than 'it' when referring to them, even if it's their favorite car.

    In short, there are no consistent rules, and I can't think of a single instance where we're not led by the gender of the word itself. So having grown up speaking Greek, I've never really considered that 'sexing the world' might somehow shape my view of men or women.

    I always assumed that American men (don't know if it's the same in England) give certain of their possessions female names not because of their qualities, or to denote possessions, but because they also develop a strong emotional tie to them. Just like a gay friend of mine refers to Audi car as 'Otto' and is always talking about how 'he' has great acceleration, and how 'he' needs to go the shop.


  10. >>I always assumed that American men (don't know if it's the same in England) give certain of their possessions female names not because of their qualities, or to denote possessions, but because they also develop a strong emotional tie to them.<<

    This makes it all sound so chivalrous
    and quaint. Oh that it were so. In
    truth, when (speaking specifically of American) men "name" things, that means "ownership" to them; once
    a person or thing is "owned" by a man,
    they must be 200% subservient to that man's wants and needs at all times. To have one's own voice, one's own name, one's own existence outside of ownership by an American man, is a sin punishable by death; financial, vocational, social, and all too often, literal.

  11. I think one of the worst and most harmful culprits, is clothing.


  12. Re: Clothing

    These days in the USA, I hear a lot of people say the government shouldn't help people, but instead, churches should help the poor, so it will be "faith based" assistance.

    Here is my experience with that.

    I'm a tall, athletic woman. I never have liked clothes society assigns to "girls". I loved the Unisex revolution of clothing! But now everything is ultra gendered as far as clothing. Because of my tall build and my athletic mindset, I have always enjoyed clothes that are loose fitting and comfortable to move in. Most of these clothes are ones society assigns to "men".

    A few years back, in dire financial straits, I went to a church charity clothing "closet". I stood in line to enter the clothing rooms, and once I gave my name, I was directed to the "women's section". I immediately asked if I could please go to the other section, because the clothes in the "women's section" would not fit me and would not be of use to me.

    I was told under no circumstances would a woman be allowed in the "men's section" to get clothes for herself. I asked if I could get some for my "husband" then. I was told he would have to come get them for himself and show his ID, or he would have to be with me to show his ID and then I could go get them. But I could not go in the "men's section" for clothes.

    I went into the "women's section" to see if there was anything at all I could wear. Of course there was nothing. Everything was way too small, tight fitting, skimpy, curvy, etc. If my choice was my worn out clothes that were showing holes and coming apart at the seams, over newer clothes that were tight, revealing and uncomfortable, my choice was my old clothes. So I walked away with nothing.

    "Faith based" assistance? Only if you fit into the "gender norms" of most religions. Otherwise, you're on your own!

  13. Wow. All of this is true and denigrates the status of women in society. And it's interesting to hear about-especially the Swedish language elements. But aren't there much larger battles? I mean, if this is the battle you are fighting, what does that say about feminism now? Are there not still women being beaten and raped? Are there not still women dying from starvation and being forced into sexual slavery? Is deconstructing etymology just a way to sideline intellectual feminists from the real fight?


    This doesn't have to do with "sexing" per se, but the responses are interesting.

  15. I think it's amazing how people tend to focus on language here in the comments section. And that is for English, a remarkably gender neutral language. You guys would be so pissed living in Brazil, you have no idea how good you have it.

    And really, is language what we should be caring about? With so many vital aspects of life being sexualised, I think language is irrelevant. We should be focusing on our bodies, and how we have to modify them to be socially acceptable (i.e., shaving, hairdos, make-up, dieting, clothing, etc.)

  16. Back to clothing...clothes for women and girls continue to get more and more revealing. The average pair of shorts for "fashionable women" are practically daisy dukes. And now women are encouraged to wear leggings instead of actual pants because it's "trendy" and "comfortable." Thanks to stretch denim even blue jeans are now often skin tight and fitted all the way down the leg. ANYTHING to make women reveal as much of their bodies as is socially acceptable at the time...anything.


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