Re: Korean Shamanism

Allan Dunn (adunn@LCLARK.EDU)
Sat, 4 Nov 1995 14:59:26 -0800

Just a thought, but language is initially a psychological phenomenon.
In "1984" language changed attitudes, but I think, for the most part it
is the other way around. We need a sort of a social paradigm change to
irradicate sexist nuances in language that comes of changing attitudes,
forcing language to conform to a particular attitudes may be met by only
reactionary responses. The answer to this is knowledge.
For example, when it becomes generally known that postmen are often
women these days, the term "postman" will lose its "-man" connotation and
so its lexical meaning becomes "one who delivers mail" and not "a man who
delivers mail", or the word itself will change to "mail-carrier" or
"postal worker" in general usage. The same for any other title. The
words "actress" and "actor" I think specify gender in the individual
because the roles they play are most often femal or male accordingly
(though not always). As in Spanish, a group of female actors are "actresses"
while a group of any actors/actresses mixed are "actors". This may imply
sexist usage- which may or may not lose its meaning with time.
Shamaness contains an affix, for a role that general knowledge
thought was male. Similar to the term "male nurse" for a role that was
thought generally female. In a way, tagging a word to connotate sex is
more of a conceptual bridge where general society can make the change
from designating a role by gender to accepting a role for either gender.

My theory, anyway. Please respond.