[Ads-l] Venus symbol is for gender not sex

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 3 00:22:31 UTC 2019

"All that's good," as we say in the 'hood. BUT. When is the _wo-MAN,
wo-MEN_ problem finally going to be dealt with? On the model of "b-word,"
"c-word," and "n-word," I propose _w-word_, pronounced "wo-word" for ease
of pronunciation and as as a pun - _wo_ vs. _woe_ - on the status of women
around the world.
Those of a certain age may recall the Lennon-Ono composition, "W-word is
the N-Word of the World," from 1972.


On Sat, Nov 2, 2019 at 1:50 PM Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com>

> CNN reported last month that tampon brand Always will no longer have the
> female/Venus symbol on its package in recognition that not all tampon users
> associate with the symbol. This is an interesting development from what was
> surely a biological sex symbol to a gender symbol.
> 1. https://tinyurl.com/yxsw8k94 <https://tinyurl.com/yxsw8k94>
> Always is taking the female symbol off its packaging to be inclusive of
> transgender and nonbinary customers
> Elizabeth Wolfe and Michelle Krupa, CNN
> 23 October 2019
> ####
> Always sanitary products will remove the Venus symbol, historically used
> to represent the female sex, from its products to be inclusive of
> transgender and nonbinary customers.
> Transgender activists and allies had publicly urged Procter & Gamble to
> redesign its pad wrapper without the gender symbol, a circle atop a cross.
> Among their arguments were that not all people who menstruate are women and
> that not all women menstruate.’
> ####
> ####
> Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_symbols#Venus <
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_symbols#Venus>) provides a citation
> that states that Linnaeus first used the copper/Venus symbol for biology.
> 2. https://tinyurl.com/y3l3dgtx <https://tinyurl.com/y3l3dgtx> (PDF link)
> The Origin of the Male and Female Symbols of Biology
> William T. Stearn
> Taxon, vol. 11, no. 4 (May 1962), p. 110
> I have added the planet names next to the symbols in case the symbols do
> not come through properly.
> ####
> Their first biological use is in the Linnaean dissertation _Plantae
> hybridae xxx xxx sistit J. J. Haartman_ (1751) where in discussing hybrid
> plants Linnaeus denoted the supposed female parent species by the sign ♀
> [Venus], the male parent by the sign ♂ [Mars], the hybrid by ☿ [Mercury]:
> ‘matrem signo ♀ [Venus], patrem ♂ [Mars] & plantam hybridam ☿ [Mercury]
> designavero’.
> ####
> ####
> Benjamin Barrett (he/his/him)
> Formerly of Seattle, WA
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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