OK, so you guys might remember in some distant post I mentioned that I will be studying French. Well, I still am. And it’s so much fun. I am teaching myself through this awesome website — www.duolinguo.com. You can learn other languages on it as well like Spanish, German, Italian etc.
Anyway, the title — vous êtes nos femmes, translates to “You are our wives”. Someone (who from here henceforth, we shall call SmartGuy) commented:
General rule I find works: if it’s sounding a bit misogynistic/chauvinistic to say “woman/women”, “wife/wives” is probably a more appropriate translation.
I thought to myself, either SmartGuy doesn’t understand the meaning of the word misogyny, or he/she wants to appear smart. So, because I’m just an average Joe, I decided to look up the definition of the word:
: reflecting or exhibiting hatred, dislike, mistrust, or
mistreatment of women.
Still perplexed by the sheer complexity of SmartGuys analysis, I saw this comment from (we’ll call this person NormalGuy):
I totally disagree that “our women” is misogynistic. In fact, the presumption that the word “our” (possessive) converts women to wives is what is misogynistic. What would I do if I were speaking at a gathering of women professionals, and I wanted to say something like: “You, the members of this organization, you are our women, and we hope…” I hear stuff like this all the time. “Wives” is clearly inappropriate in this context.
I agree with NormalGuy’s point. That loose translation would be offensive in certain setting. For years, women have fought to be acknowledged as men’s equal and after all they have accomplished with regards to equality, to be labeled as mere “wives” on a whim would just be intolerable.
Feel free to chime in.
Until next time…Namaste!