French: Gender lines blurred in language as in life


The battle to grasp the basics of French continues – with an impending french exam around the corner. It is evident that the rules that determine what is feminine or masculine in French are very murky. Now, Noam Chomsky and other famous linguists before i have long posited that there is a clear linkage between language and how people think – and well, id the gender confusion that is so embedded in the French language is any reflection of an actual blurry distinction between male and female in France: all i can say is that this must be a very confusing place for straight women to clearly tell who in the fish pond is straight, gay or taken. A rudimentary look aound Paris also seems to confirm it: that as in the French language itself, the rules of gender are very much blurred! 🙂 It’s often hard to tell the social gender simply by looking at Parisian men in particular. Historian Alistair Horne even identifies this ambiguity as far back as the middle ages where men he asserts were prone to wear saucy, short pants that even revealed part of their tender hind sections- and distinctly more jewelry than their women folk. As it was back then, the gender lines are as blurred in language as in life.

( For practical purposes, I stumbled across a resource on masculine and feminine words in French – click on the heading above)

Advertisements