The journal of Paul M. Watson.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The ess of it

Actor. Actress. Steward. Stewardess. Man. Woman.

How come then not authoress or poetress or teacheress? Author, poet and teacher apply to woman or man. Or are these activities beyond silly gender issues? I thought for awhile that actress may have come about because initially acting was for men only, women were largely forbidden from it. Have women ever been forbidden from writing or teaching? I imagine so. Certainly writing is a male dominated sphere (and recent events are really just the begining of a move towards an open and equal publishing world.)

On the other side; prostitute, I'd say, has largely been a female activity through the ages (because of us bastard men.) Even now if a man is a prostitute it is clarified with "a male prostitute" while you will rarely see the clarification "a female prostitute."

Does gender change in an activity breed the ess but only in one direction? Actor to actress for instance. If actor meant a woman originally would actress have come to mean a man? I doubt it.


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