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

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 3 14:13:24 UTC 2019

The pronunciation probably isn’t “wo” but the “w-word” is in use:
https://debuk.wordpress.com/2019/01/03/2018-the-year-of-the-war-of-the-w-word/ <https://debuk.wordpress.com/2019/01/03/2018-the-year-of-the-war-of-the-w-word/>
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=w-word <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=w-word> (derogatory)
https://medium.com/@elizabethkarleecassidy/reclaiming-the-word-woman-e39da7606730 <https://medium.com/@elizabethkarleecassidy/reclaiming-the-word-woman-e39da7606730>
https://thebrownandwhite.com/2018/03/27/edit-desk-stop-calling-women-c-word/ <https://thebrownandwhite.com/2018/03/27/edit-desk-stop-calling-women-c-word/> ('Please don’t use the “w” word! Not every female is a woman!')

Benjamin Barrett (he/his/him)
Formerly of Seattle, WA

> On 2 Nov 2019, at 17:22, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> "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.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_Is_the_Nigger_of_the_World <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_Is_the_Nigger_of_the_World>
> On Sat, Nov 2, 2019 at 1:50 PM Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com <mailto:mail.barretts at gmail.com>>
> wrote:
>> 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> <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> <
>> 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> <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’.
>> ####
>> ####

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list