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22.09.21, 20:12
Hello Paola! Scrolling through this website earlier this day I wasn't expecting feminist content at all but I was pleased to read your reflection on Le Deuxième Sexe by Simone de Beauvoir. Especially interesting is what you write about how the female sex is systematically ignored in language. Learning Italian, I was always confused on how to say the German word "Geschwister" until I realized that there is no direct translation but it is the same than "Bruder" only with a plural: "frateilli". However, German language certainly not be excluded of this somewhat strange use of sex in language. For people learning german it must be tremendously confusing why the article "Das" in "Das Mädchen" is neutral, even though the noun clearly is a feminine one. Honestly, I could not explain why. Anyway, I am not quite sure about the second last paragraph in which you summarize De Beauvoir's explanation for women not solidarizing. Would you still think it is true for today? While racism obviously still exists, it is possible to speak of multicultural societies like we see them in many countries today (USA, France, UK just to give some example)- other than 70 years ago, during the writer's lifetime. I'd be interested to hear your opinion! Best wishes, Helena
Helena
23.09.21, 09:14
Update: I found an explanation about why it is "Das Mädchen" and not "Die Mädchen" in German to say "the girl" in singular. Apparently it is because the word is a diminutive of "Die Magd" (=maid) and consequently a diminutive can have another article. If you're interested you can read it up on this website: https://iam.dioe.at/frage-des-monats/warum-heisst-es-das-maedchen-und-nicht-die-maedchen/
Helena

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