Monday, May 7, 2012

A Quotation and a Question

The tree which moves some to tears of joy,
Is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way.
Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all.
But to the eyes of the human of imagination,
Nature is Imagination itself. ~~ William Blake, 1799, The Letters

My apologies Mr. Blake; I changed 'man' to 'human'.  Perhaps you meant it to be all inclusive, but then again, perhaps not, considering the time in which you lived. 

Why is it SO hard, even in these supposedly enlightened times, for so many people to add the two simple letters 'hu' to the front of the word 'man' when they are speaking of the human race?


  1. Love this post, sweet Victoria, and of course the picture and the quote.

    Well, as far as some folks not being able to put hu in front of man ... it seems women hatred is still rampant on this Mother Earth ... and I believe it comes from fear, as all negative emotions comes from I expect. But, I still have hope that we are on the verge of a big step forward on a spiritual level. Seems silly looking at the state of the world ... but as Churchill once said "it's always darkess before dawn". Be that as it may, it makes me feel better to think that.

    Love and Light to ALL !

  2. I think it would be true to say, Victoria, that I’m more respectful of the feminine than most men, but I’d like to offer a couple of balancing points to this if I may.

    Firstly, our perception of male dominance and female subjugation is largely based on our own experience in the west since the spread of Christianity, a religion rooted in the Judaic model with its systemic hostility to women. It hasn’t always been so in all cultures.

    Secondly, the use of the term ‘man’ in certain contexts is a remnant of Old English, a language in which the word was not gender-specific but synonymous with ‘person.’ (And, incidentally, I gather that women had better legal rights in Anglo-Saxon society than men.) Maybe the commonest example of this is ‘chairman.’ My view is that men and women are fundamentally different but equal and should operate as such, giving due regard and respect to each other’s innate qualities. Given, or maybe in spite of, this view, I’m not uncomfortable with using ‘man’ as gender-neutral in contexts where I know that I mean it as such and may reasonably expect others to see it the same way.

    I do accept, however, that the insensitive use of ‘man’ to cover both genders might – in some cases – subtly encourage the continuance of male-dominant attitudes, and so I think there are occasions in which it’s advisable to use a neutral alternative.

  3. Social conditioning of living in a male dominated society.


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