Sunday, May 31, 2009

These females take no prisoners

Reading posts I've noticed that sometimes Women's Poetry Listserv members use the word "female" to designate "woman" and "females" for "women."  An adult female human being is a woman.  Woman is the generic.  Newspapers have ruled in style in favor of "woman" for decades.  I've noticed that many women avoid saying "woman" or "women" in favor of "gals," "ladies," "girls," "grrls."  Sometimes these women are poets.  Is it due to study in feminist poetics that the word "woman" is meaningful in a way they wish to avoid, that it suggests a profile or designates a philosophy they are seeking not to define?  It seems while concerns over "essentialism" have increased in feminist poetics, a return to "female" as a noun has also increased.

1 comment:

Mim said...

How about "person," which is not gender specific? But then it might sound like a police report.