I subscribe to Oxford Dictionaries' (OD) word of the day and today's word is 'herstory'.
The OD's definition is 'history viewed from a female or specifically feminist perspective'.
The OED's entry for 'herstory' has yet to be updated (it dates back to 1993) but the entry is fascinating. The entry advises that 'herstory' occurs between 0.01 and 0.10 times per million words in typical modern English usage and that the word's etymology is a punning alteration of 'history' (fancifully reinterpreted as 'his story', implying that history has in the past been viewed predominantly from the male perspective), with his- replaced by her. The OED's earliest recorded use of the word is 1970 by R. Morgan in Sisterhood is Powerful.
My library offers all members access to the OED for free.
I’m not sure it’s natural, as you say, to treat people who are perceived as different less favourably. You don’t see a baby rejecting somebody, say for example, from a different racial background. I think people learn to act like that because they believe they’re different to other people.
Who is forced into something by laws and rules? You don’t have to follow laws and rules. I don’t. Not the man made laws anyway. I treat those as guidelines for people who don’t want to think for themselves therefore they don’t apply to me so they have no impact on my life whatsoever.
I just checked Amazon for the book and it is too expensive for me at present.
When I start sorting through my books caretwo, I’ll send you my copy if you’re interested. I haven’t read the whole book, it’s not an easy read for me but maybe you will find it easier to read than me and who knows when I’ll get round to reading it so it would be more use in your hands, if you’d like to read it.
That first part was meant as a joke. Obviously not a very funny one.
I realise that new words are made all the time, but the reason for making the word "herstory" was to reflect the fact that, until relatively recently, women were always too busy cooking, cleaning, and having babies for men to have a prominent place in history, and even the women that did have the talent, potential, and spare time to make history were either prevented from doing so, or their contributions were not recorded fairly. You even said so yourself (though not quite in those words).
I was simply commenting that it is a shame that new words need to be invented because the old ones have become offensive in some way (again, not so much with history, but there was an element of inequality in place that prompted someone to come up with the word "herstory").
You're right that a baby isn't racist. Certainly, different types of discrimination are learned in childhood from parents and other adults, and society dictates whether certain behaviours are ok or not, but is discrimination itself learned or natural?
It used to be the case that racism was a fact of life, and it still is in many parts of the world, but then it became not ok to discriminate discriminate based on race (though don't tell that to an American cop). Then it was sexual orientation, but now that's not ok either, in most parts of the world. Now people have to really scrape the bottom of the barrel to figure out where they themselves belong in society that sets them apart from another group of people, because all the obvious forms of discrimination are off-limits. Right now, (western) society is just becoming intolerant to discrimination based on religion, but it seems to be the case that neurodiverse people are still fair game. No doubt someday (hopefully soon) it will become not only illegal but uncool (which is more important than what the law says) to discriminate against someone for being autistic. I wonder who will be picked on after that. Some group that represents a small part of the total population, but not so small that a victim cannot be found during the course of a given day.
For a species who doesn't naturally embrace discrimination, we sure do come up with a lot of ways to define dividing lines to set ourselves apart from another group of people, for the apparent sole purpose of treating them like you know what.
I agree that laws are for people with no particular moral compass of their own, and nobody actually obeys the law anyway, but rather acts almost exclusively on the basis of what is socially acceptable or not, in their particular tiny corner of the universe. Luckily for them, that is also how laws are enforced.
If discrimination is so unnatural, why don't they just come up with a law that makes it illegal to be mean to somebody else? That way, ALL forms of discrimination and bullying are covered. But no, nobody thinks that it's even possible for humans to exist without being jerks to each other. I tend to agree.
What about 'inventing' other 'politically correct' words ....
For example, we can't have 'human' as this is sexist (man at the end)
So we will have to have it called 'huperson'. But that there again misses out half of the population, it is sexist because of the 'son'. So we will invent another word 'huperdaughter'. So the human race becomes 'hupersons' and 'huperdaughters', to even things out. And this when one word did the job, but at least they are inclusive.
Come to think of it even 'woman' is sexist. Why is there a 'man' on it! So likewise it should be 'woperdaughter'.
And haven't I got something better to do with my time than these musings .....? I'm sure there are many other things like that.
The word 'midwife' simply means 'with wife' and is therefore sex neutral. Yet I remember that in the early days of male midwives (still not very common even now) suggested names were 'mid husbands' (which is a total nonsense since that would mean 'with husband' or 'mid spouse', again a total nonsense.
Why can't we just accept terms like 'policeman', 'postman', 'chairman' and 'milkman' as gender neutral? I have yet to hear of someone objecting to 'woman' because of the 'man' at the end of the word, unless I have led a more sheltered life than even I had thought!
I do accept those terms you mentioned. Why don’t you? What do you accept instead? I don’t think I know any other words for them. But then I do live under a rock! I honestly didn’t even know they’d changed! Lol! But that doesn’t surprise me!
I do accept those terms, trouble is that policeman has become police officer, postman 'postal worker's chairman, 'chair'and the milkman has become nearly extinct! Oh to live in simpler times.
Thank you, BlueRay, that is kind of you. I am tempted, very tempted, to "yes, please" but it is at times like these that I have to remind myself that, as I now live in a self-contained annexe (rather than my own house), I just do not have the room.
I do not even have the room to keep my current language books (Fowler's, Hart's, etc.) together. Most of the books are on top of a tallboy and the dictionary is on top of my small writing bureau.
The lack of space is the reason why I received Kindle books for Christmas rather than physical books.
Thank you again.
I totally understand that caretwo, I am at the beginning of a long process of sorting all my things out and minimising all my belongings down to the bare minimum, so I’m avoiding, where I can, the temptation to bring more stuff into my house, no matter how tempting it seems.
I just had a look as well to see if they do a kindle version but alas it seems not yet (I would have got you it as a little treat) ~ it’s great to find someone else who loves words as much as I do so it would have been a treat for me as well to treat a fellow wordy :-)
If you should ever change your mind, at least you know there’s a copy available to you if you ever want a read of it and if I ever find it on kindle, I’ll zap it over to you.
You’re very welcome.