From the randomly-recommended-by-Netflix files

Is there a sadder word than millionairess?

Seriously, how in the world did “millionaire” become a gendered term, except through terrible institutionalized sexism preventing women from accumulating wealth? I know this is an old movie, but just the idea that a millionaire must be male– and the sad knowledge that even I would be likely to assume that an unnamed millionaire was male– well, it’s things like this that make me feel completely defeated.

Sadder still, according to Online Dictionary, a millionairess may be “a woman who is a millionaire, or the wife of a millionaire.” Would we ever consider the husband of a millionaire to be a millionaire himself?

Oh, sorry, make that the husband of a millionairess.

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5 Responses to From the randomly-recommended-by-Netflix files

  1. dollyann says:

    I always felt that way about the word authoress too (though I don’t think authoress has ever been used to refer to the wife of an author). It’s like, why is it necessary to distinguish the sex of a writer? Does it really make any difference?

    I hate how gendered the English language is as a whole. Like the word “man” sounds so powerful with the hard vowel sound of “ah.” And, syllabically (sp?), it works well by the Rule of Three: “I am man.” Woman, on the other hand, uses soft “ooh” and “ehn” sounds that don’t draw as much attention in English phonology. Plus, the second syllable “wo-” breaks the Rule of Three: “I am woman,” phonetically speaking, just won’t sound as powerful as “I am man” because we like three’s in English. Which is why “I am bitch” is so much better. 😉

    GRAWR! Rant over. Good post eloriane.

  2. dollyann says:

    *bangs fork and knife on table* I demand mores posts, Crowfoot and eloriane!!

    (I like to pretend I have some command of authority at my disposal. 🙂 )

  3. Crowfoot says:

    eep!

    haha 😀 hey if you’ve got some C4 hanging about then we can do something about my massive writer’s block. BUT, I did some writing on the train today so I should have some time for posting at lunch \o/

    but now I have to work

  4. eloriane says:

    Man, you guys, you let me down! That last sentence has said “wife of a millionairess” for three days! “Wife” for “husband” is a pretty big typo and kind of confuses my whole point.

    On the plus side, it could show that GG isn’t as heterosexist as the rest of the world, that none of us even blinked.

    Regardless, it’s fixed now. And someday, my posts will come. Eventually. I’m still on a road trip, you know!

  5. Crowfoot says:

    haha my brain recorded some kind of wonky but couldn’t articulate it. Not the idea of a woman with a wife, but that I knew you meant “guy married to a rich woman taking on her status”

    yes, you’re on a road trip! I have no such excuse :-p

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