Speaking Out in Public: A Feminist Dictionary (Page 461-462)
This entire chapter was like a novel; I could not put it down. It shocked me, but at the same time I was not shocked at all. I think what made my jaw drop was that I was reading things that struck a cord with me. I know in my gut that there are muted groups and as a woman, I am a part of one. The feminist dictionary was made by feminist theorist in order to challenge the, “the man-made linguistic system that keeps women ‘in their place,’(461). I love how the dictionary uses language to place women in the center, rather than the outskirts or margins, of society. All of the examples provided in figure 35-1 (462), resonated with me on some level, but silence stood out in my mind. It is defined as, “Silence; is not golden. ‘There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.’ ‘In a world where language and naming are power, silence is oppressive, is violence” (as cited in Griffin, 462). The sarcastic tones make these definitions humorous, without taking away from their seriousness. I had not even thought about the term family man, as a way to gender pigeonhole or a way to “keep women in their place.” A woman’s concern with her appearance is defined as a, “reaction to necessity”(462) rather than a product of encoding. Yikes! Did any of these definitions strike a chord with you? Being a woman myself, they all pretty much hit the nail on the head. I would like to hear a male’s perspective or take on these definitions. Any takers?