Here is the final post in my series exploring the effects of the dominance of masculine language.
Here is the third post in my series on how we are influenced by the dominance of male vocabulary.
Here is the second post.
In 2019 my story, ‘Still Life’, was published by Margaret River Press in their anthology, We’ll stand in that place and other stories, and in 2020 MRP invited me to be one of their guest bloggers. For a long time I’ve wanted to do some research on how using the male pronoun as a general pronoun affects our perception. This was my chance to explore. I had four posts to do it in.
This is the first post.
9 October 2020
Miss you already, my fifty word habit. One last kiss as I say goodbye to you, slumped on the couch in your tight party clothes before being hustled out the door by the designated driver, poured onto the back seat and driven deep into the night on dark, rain-soaked streets.
8 October 2020
The seeds we germinated, the trees we planted are no longer ours. They flourish – I hope – in that garden we built from a paddock of kikuyu. The garden beds are tended by other people now – I hear – and they live in the house that we built. It shelters others now.
7 October 2020
The children are asleep. The tumult and the shouting have died, but that anthem is awakened in my mind. The only one I would sing at school assembly, avoiding saying g-o-d, yet loving the swell of the music and emotion. Contrite. That’s a word you don’t often hear these days.
6 October 2020
My father’s favourite phrase – family motto even – was ‘Sufficient is enough’. While there was no arguing with its assertion of synonymity, I always found its lack of breadth of vision disturbing. Today I would rather quote another phrase that my father liked using: ‘You can’t be unlucky all the time’.
5 October 2020
A moth is stuck in my room, veering towards the window then lurching away. Can’t you hear the wind calling you moth? Can’t you hear the trees shaking, the air whipping its way along the street? Don’t you want to leave this room and be carried on the calling wind?
5 October 2020
A kookaburra sitting on a mound of dirt watches me, as I watch it through my kitchen window. Yesterday glossy black cockatoos watched us as we watched them, then a tawny frogmouth. Hard for us to spot it, silent as a branch; easy for it to spot the lumbering humans.