"...rendering of the frustration experienced under the phallocentric order. It gets us nearer to the root of our oppression, it brings closer an articulation of the problem, it faces us with the ultimate challenge: how to fight the unconscious structure like a language (formed critically at the moment of arrival of language) while still caught within the language of the patriarchy?"
Does this quote from Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" remind anyone of anything...The discussion of earlier days about language and how it became a way to change and influence and affect more simple cultures. Although those talks spoke to the written language, think about what it means in this context of male and female form and impression. We have a language, a language that was developed many years ago and has continued to change since that time. Who has shaped that language? Who has shaped the connotations of the words of the language? Simply, man.
Not at all difficult to conclude, however, it can be bothersome, we say man meaning the human race. Why doesn't the word woman imply the human race? It's just a word that is part of the language. Is 'woman' less than 'man?' Today we say no, but what do we practice and what do we truly see? In some other languages (obviously not all since I have no knowledge of every single language in the world), like French, for example, passive objects have a feminine structure. Not strange, it's just a language, but why are not a majority of the passive objects with a masculine structure? This does not mean anything...does it?
What are you thoughts? Does language, its structure, its usage, its connotations help shape the views of its users? Is language the language of men (patriarchal)? Why do you think so?