Re: guys again

Nils Zurawski (zurawsk@UNI-MUENSTER.DE)
Thu, 5 Jan 1995 18:37:02 +0100

Carter Pate wrote
>A colleague recently reminded me that German uses Mann in the same way the
>French use "on." "Mann sprecht . . " leasves some ambiguity whether the
>speaker is denigrating the feminine persuassion, intentinally or unintention-
>ally. Shouldn't we try to clear up the ambiguity before we jump to censure--
>if and when censure will serve any constructive purpose?
>Is anyone listening?
> cpate

I followed the whole discussion on "mankind", PC, gender and language etc.
with great interest, often amused, sometimes bored or angry. censoring does
not solve any problem. Not reading any articles anymore, might give one
satisfaction but actually wont help a thing.
The same holds for changing names and labels just because it is the thing
to do. Changing ideas, viewpoints and along the way even changing the
meaning of a word and finally the word, label whatsoever, might be more
useful .When one changes a word that does not actually change the concept
or the ideas someone has about these.
Like you said it is necessary to clear the ambigiuities first before
censoring things or words.

One thing on your example with the german word "Mann":

"Mann" means "the man" or "male person" only, but it sounds like:
"man" which is the french "on". We have a big discussion over here in
germany wether to use it, although it is written differntly, or not to use
it. We haven't come up wit any satisfying solution yet.

I know this is not the last comment on this, but I hope the conribution to
the list will soon again turn to anthropology instaed of ideology.