Tuesday, June 4, 2013

First World Self-Defense

The German language is pretty messed up. For example, instead of the we use der/die/das male/female/neutral the, but the language doesn't really follow this rule. A table is male, a girl is neutral, and butter is female in the north and male in Bavaria. A word ending in -er or -or is usually male so the professor is der Professor and therefore male. Since, it is a job, we needed some solution for female professors. We use an -in at the end of basically every job description if we mean a woman. If we talk about both male and female persons, some use ProfessorInnen or Professor/innen or Professor*innen. Others like me think it is just a job description and we should just do it the English way and use Professor neutrally. The University Leipzig has chosen a different path, since the choice was either having feminists cry, or writing in a way that looks outright horrible, they will now use the female descriptor for everybody. Rather a totally pointless additional syllable than wasting time with this never ending discussion, seems to have been the thinking of the male professor who came up with this and for now nobody seems to be making a sad face(e: but some seem to be angry that the solution for a non-problem seems to be trolling).

According to Spiegel, gender expert for the European Commission, Prof. Dr. oec. Maier described this as an act of "self-defense"(of course what else - this makes so much sense since it was a male professor's idea). Because she does not "feel meant" if professor is used as a job description - she probably hates English. This whole nonsense is worse than the kilometer  vs. miles discussion. There might be a even better solution: let's just use abbreviations, since she obviously has no problem whatsoever with those being used without defining her as male or female. Since, it is kind of hard to just say Dr, we could use Dring (Dr.-Ing.) for engineers and Droec (Dr. oec.) for economists with the additional benefit that one can easily hear what the PhD is worth.

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