Things I Didn’t Know Are Always About “Her”

This website and blog have been over a month in the making (unless we’re going to be philosophical about it). Part of the reason it took so long is that I was trying to come up with a poetic title that would encompass the variety of topics I cover in my writing yet also capture the themes that string them all together.

Mission: Impossible.

One of the central threads you’re bound to notice in my work is that dirty F-word…

So, for now, it’s called “Blog.” But during my research for a name, I spent some time poking around on a word association website.

She dictionary entries Leslie D Davis writer journalist feminism

And almost lost. My. Cookies.

Here’s the thing: One of the central threads you’re bound to notice in my work is that dirty F-word, feminism.

Don’t run away! At least sign up for my newsletter first! Come back!

Don’t run away! At least sign up for my newsletter first!

Yay, thanks for hanging around! Stick with me. While I am well aware of gender inequality, double standards, and just how prevalent these things are, sometimes I do still get a shock.

For example, in simply searching for word associations for “her” and “him,” I ugly cried on the inside. Not only does “him” apparently link to a much smaller vocabulary of words, the words conjure an image of authority and opportunity:

  • Professorship
  • Graduated
  • Knight
  • Shout
  • Lecture
  • Major

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But here is a sampling of a much larger list of words… things to do with “her”:

  • Husband
  • Boyfriend
  • Nipple
  • Caress
  • Buttock
  • Mistress
  • Breast
  • Lover
  • Damsel
  • Dainty
  • Weeping
  • Quivering
  • Licked
  • Rape
  • Clutch
  • Sob

There are so many directions I could go with this, my head is spinning. (Did you notice the anatomy terminology, or lack thereof?) But for today, I’ll say this: With “her,” we find the male terms husband, boyfriend, and stepfather, as well as the female terms grandmother, niece, mother, sister, and aunt. Yet, I see now relationship roles at all listed under “him.”

What is she, after all, if she isn’t something in relation to him?

Leave me a comment! What else do you notice in these two lists?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s