May 29, 2018
- Notater gjort undervegs
What I mean is that public speaking and oratory were not merely things that ancient women didn’t do: they were exclusive practices and skills that defined masculinity as a gender.
Public speech was a – if not the – defining attribute of maleness. Or, to quote a well-known Roman slogan, the elite male citizen could be summed up as vir bonus dicendi peritus, ‘a good man, skilled in speaking’.
Do those words matter? Of course they do, because they underpin an idiom that acts to remove the authority, the force, even the humour from what women have to say.
Putting it bluntly, having women pretend to be men may be a quick fix, but it doesn’t get to the heart of the problem.
put it another way, if women are not perceived to be fully within the structures of power, surely it is power that we need to redefine rather than women?