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Friday, December 14, 2012

Taking a Feminary View

The OED word-a-day email for today is feminary, adj.

Etymology:  < classical Latin fēmina woman (see female n.) + -ary suffix1.
derogatory. Obs.


  Feminine, womanly.

1630   S. Lennard tr. P. Charron Of Wisdome (new ed.) ii. iii. 277   A feminarie, sottish calmenesse and vitious facilitie [Fr. une feminine, sotte, bonasse & vitieuse facilité].

A wonderful word. Makes me realize there's always been something a bit off for me about the feeling of the word feminist. I use it regularly to describe myself and many struggles I've been in, but there's a harsh sibilance to "-ist" which has always felt combative in a way I don't really feel about these issues. Now feminary, that's a word that just lolls along, not in any hurry, ready to open her heart that's been hinted at with the smile of the femme at the opening, not cut off like the definitiveness of an -ist, that t that slams shut in defiance. I'd much rather roll along with the long drawn out song of shifting identities which a feminary can slide into, dragging out the eeeey into a proper fairy verse.

Fred at David and Zoe's

This is another entry in the category "men who wear scarves and cry in public."