17 Dec 2012

cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (murder hurts more)
(I didn't get around to posting about this extremely irritating day until yesterday, when I posted it spontaneously on Tumblr in response to a post about gender-neutral toy marketing in Sweden, where someone mistakenly stated that Swedish doesn't have gendered pronouns and my wife corrected them. I thought I'd repost it for posterity and because it relates to the ongoing narrative of my Finnish class adventures.)

[personal profile] waxjism: It's Finnish that doesn't have gendered pronouns (all people are hän). Swedish has "han" and "hon".1

That said, that magical language quirk has not stopped gender essentialism from hanging around like a bad smell. Sweden is working much harder on that shit.



Finnish doesn't have gendered pronouns but it has exercises like this one I had to participate in last Thursday meant to practice the approximately 1002 different forms of the plural partitive (one of several types of objective) case: 'What are women like, and what are men like?' (The point is to make a list of adjectives in plural partitive form.)


CLASSMATE: Women are beautiful! Men are handsome!3


CLASSMATE: Women are short!


OTHER CLASSMATE: No they're not!


ME: Women are adult people.


CLASSMATE: Oh, you mean 'adulter'! Women are adulter than men!


ME: No, I don't mean that. That is not true. Men are also adult people.


CLASSMATE: Right, not all, just most women. Men are more childish!


ME: No, I don't mean that. That is not true. But! Women ARE paid less money for the same work.


TEACHER: That's true! The 'women's euro' - 80 cents. [...] Right then, what are men like?


CLASSMATES: Strong! Tall! Funny? Handsome.


ME: They're more violent, especially towards their own wives, than women are, and also in Finland, they're more violent towards their wives than in many other European countries.


CLASSMATE: I don't think so!


ME: Yes, they are.


TEACHER: Is that true, did you read it somewhere?


ME: Yes, in a sociology course at the university, 'Gender and Sexuality in the Nordic Countries.'


TEACHER: Oh I see! Actually, that makes sense: I remember that there was a lot of domestic violence in Finland when I was a child.


CLASSMATE: Probably the explanation for what you read was that nowadays Finland has many immigrants from different countries, like Africa, but the police statistics can't say which group is which.


ME: No, that's not true. They can say. It's Finnish men.


TEACHER: Yeah, it wouldn't be new immigrants; it's Finnish culture. Because I remember it was already the case a long time ago, when I was young.


ME: Finns are more depressed too.




So basically I'm the one that's always killing the mood with angry feminist opinions.


Later:



TEACHER: What doesn't a little girl need?


EVERYONE: Uh...


ME: Over 100 pink toys.






Footnotes )

Profile

cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
Cimorene

August 2017

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
202122232425 26
2728293031  

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Most Popular Tags

Page generated 21 Sep 2017 05:52 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios