Pop-Culture | Posted by Celeste D on 10/24/2012

On Cougars, Catfights and Cows

on comparing women with animals

Fox, cow, bitch, vixen, cougar, whale, chick. What do these terms have in common? They refer to animals. Anything else? They also refer to women.

As someone who learned to speak English as a second language and was not surrounded by these colloquialisms at an early age, I remember being puzzled when I first heard a woman called a “cougar” or “fox.” I remember finding the terms “cow” and “whale” particularly jarring and harsh, though the person who uttered them didn’t give it a second thought.

Admittedly, all human beings are sometimes associated with animals. Someone who eats quickly “wolfs down” their food, someone who is bossy “barks orders,” and someone who is dangerous is “animal.” (Not to mention the animal metaphors referring to sex …

More >

Feminism | Posted by Haley S on 05/31/2010

Language Matters

Barack Obama was my sisters 2010 University of Michigan commencement speaker. He was incredible, but he said one thing that I immediately had a negative reaction to. He said, “Through periods of great social and economic unrest, from civil rights to women’s rights, it has allowed us slowly, sometimes painfully, to move towards a more perfect union.” I turned to my sister and said “Excuse me…Women’s Rights ARE Civil Rights.”

It was something that seemed so ridiculously obvious too me, but clearly Obama, and his speech writers, did not catch it. Why should Women’s Rights be considered as any different than Civil Rights as a whole? CIVIL rights should encompass all rights because they are HUMAN rights and we are all human. Yet, when referring to the these achievements of …

More >