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Stand back! The English language is evolving! GAY evolving!

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, March 2nd, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: human rights, making shit up - Tags:

Family First have responded to the moving-forward of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill in their usual calm and logical manner, by issuing a press release screaming that the words “husband” and “wife are to be removed from our marriage-related legislation, and thus will obviously cease to have any meaning at all.

Literally, people, you’re going to wake up the day the amendment comes into force and you won’t remember what those words mean.  The gay agenda is ubiquitous and omnipotent, and its gay mind rays will steal your brain.

All this panic-mongering really does is once again demonstrate that Family First don’t have a fucking clue about history or society or culture.  They’ve kept on lamenting about the “definition of marriage” – as though divorce isn’t a relatively new thing, or marital rape has always been illegal (legal in my lifetime, people).  And now they seriously want you to worry that the English language might change.

Well they can just kiss my queynte.

“Wife” is the less interesting example here:  its roots are the Old English wīf, meaning woman, because patriarchy.

But “husband” is an interesting one.  Take it away, handy online dictionary:

late Old English (in the senses ‘male head of a household’ and ‘manager, steward’), from Old Norse húsbóndi ‘master of a house’, from hús ‘house’ + bóndi ‘occupier and tiller of the soil’.

Oh shit, people.  Once we remove “husband” from the Marriage Act, how will Bob McCoskrie identify himself to others as a house-occupying tiller of the soil?  Panic!!!  Or maybe we can realise that this beautifully hodge-podge English language of ours has always changed and developed in line with society’s needs.

And of course, all this ignores the fact that “husband” has meant a lot of very different things – some pretty awful things, like women’s property rights, or rather lack thereof – just in the last few centuries.  The cuddly, warm, familial idea of “husband” which Bob McCoskrie now wants to lay claim to is a pretty recent invention – and it’s come to mean what it does largely in spite of religious, patriarchal crusaders like Bob.

Just remember:  we’re dealing with someone who mentions the 20,000+ submissions received on the Bill … but is conveniently silent on the fact that the majority of them were in support.  It’s baseless fearmongering (fearmonger first attested 1939, possibly related to scaremonger 1888, –monger from Old English mangere “merchant, trader, broker,” from mangian “to traffic, trade,” from Proto-Germanic *mangojan, from Latin mango (genitive mangonis) “dealer, trader, slave-dealer,” from a noun derivative of Greek manganon “contrivance, means of enchantment,” from PIE root *mang-“to embellish, dress, trim.” Used in comb. form in English since at least 12c.; since 16c. chiefly with overtones of petty and disreputable.).

But at least you’ve learnt something today, right?

42 comments on “Stand back! The English language is evolving! GAY evolving!”

  1. He he

    Just wait until they discover the nefarious plan amongst left wing conspirators to not only make homosexuality normal but compulsory …

  2. millsy 2

    Bob McCroskie, Family First, SST, Garth McVicar and all other SSM opponents have one goal, and one goal only.

    The re-criminalisation of homosexuality.

    They really need to be upfront about this goal. I have repeatedly emailed and facebook’d Family1 and ask them if they wanted homosexuality re-criminalised, but they have refused to answer.

    • QoT 2.1

      Your common or garden variety religious fundie has trouble with this. Asking antichoicers if they want to jail people who’ve had abortions achieves similar results.

  3. Populuxe1 3

    While I totally agree, the pedant in me has an issue with:

    ‘“Wife” is the less interesting example here: its roots are the Old English wīf, meaning woman, because patriarchy.’

    Because it’s actually the Old English wīf, meaning woman, because vagina. From the from the Indo-European root “ghwībh” meaning “vagina” and preserved independently of marriage or husband in important social roles of authority like “midwife” and “fishwife” upon which the survival of the community depended. Given that the ability to multiply the community is vital to its continued existence, you can’t necessarily say that acknowledging the fact is a demotion.

    McCroskie is a dick, but I note that some LGBT activists in the US are having a hissyfit because the American Press Association has published a guideline stating that you cannot use ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ in relation to a same sex couple. I thought that was quite funny because if I ever got married, I would definitely be referring to my significant other as my “partner” and Bob can keep his heteronormative conventions.

    • QoT 3.1

      My point was to note that women don’t get to have fun roles like tilling the soil, and that treating “female” and “married to a man” as synonymous largely works because of patriarchy.

      • Populuxe1 3.1.1

        Except for priestesses, wise women, midwives and widows. And if you didn’t have a horse to pull the plough, that was woman’s work.

        • QoT 3.1.1.1

          Seriously, Pop, you’re being wilfully obtuse at this point. The word wife derives from the word for woman. Not the word for midwife, or plougher-of-the-soil. Widows *were* wives. And I’m frankly bored with this derail.

          • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1.1

            Pretty sure the word for “priestesses, wise women, midwives and widows” is “Wytch” or some such.

        • Rogue Trooper 3.1.1.2

          funny yet true (don’t wanna be “unevenly yoked” now do we)

        • Roy 3.1.1.3

          ‘Midwife’ originally meant ‘with the wife’, i.e. with the woman giving birth.
          Men can be midwives.

  4. muzza 4

    Has the gay community not * claimed control* of the word, *gay*, its associations, meanings and decions about when its used the, *wrong way*, so whats the problem?

    Is this not a case of hypocrisy:?

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      “Is this not a case of hypocrisy:?”

      Um, how? you’ve just given an example of how the english language changes over time to suits the needs of it’s speakers.

    • QoT 4.2

      I love how you say “claimed control” as though evil gay stormtroopers occupied Oxford and threatened to execute one philologist every hour until the definition of the word changed. It makes the how thing sound so much nastier.

      For those who are interested in the history of the term “gay” as relates to homosexual people here’s an enlightening post. I know muzza isn’t actually sincere in his “questions”, but hopefully other readers can benefit.

    • Daveosaurus 4.3

      If you really want to reclaim the word ‘gay’ to its meaning of ‘carefree’, then you should really be all in favour of same-sex marriage, so they can have the opportunity to be as miserable as other people…

  5. toad 5

    Well they can just kiss my queynte.

    I suspect McCoskrie and Family Fist would consider that to be an “un-natural act” too (for which you may be thankful, perchance they choose to take you up on your invitation).

  6. Lanthanide 6

    Fabulous, as usual, QoT.

  7. Rodel 7

    Interesting letter in today’s Press. If a married man is knighted his wife becomes “Lady” something.
    What happens to the partner if a gay married man gets knighted?

    Discussion on http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2167213/Gay-rights-Could-Partners-gay-knights-dames-given-honorary-title-way-ladies.html

  8. karol 8

    PS: maybe we should just dump all titles. What’s wrong with calling someone by their birth name? Why does it need a Mrs, Mr, or the impersonal “wife” or “husband” nouns.

  9. Tigger 9

    This gay man loves the word ‘husband’.

    The census form is interesting. When listing who else is in the house you have ‘my wife/husband or opposite sex partner/de facto’ OR ‘my same-sex partner de facto’. Husband and wife as descriptors truly are linked to marriage in many people’s minds. Me, I’ve used it for years (civil unioned) because I like it and it instantly explains a whole bunch of things to anyone who meets us. Equality means that word is mine also.

    Words evolve. That’s the wonderful and horrible thing about them.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      I’m sure you probably know this, but officially/governmentally, the only term you can use to describe your civil union partner is Civil Union Partner. You can’t call them your Husband or Wife, as these terms are officially/governmentally restricted for Marriages only, and you’re not Married, you’re Civil Unioned.

      • Lanthanide 9.1.1

        Edit: Hence why the census forms use the specific language that it does.

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1

          2nd edit: Strangely (IMO) the term Spouse is also protected for Marriages only, when it seems to me that allowing Spouse to generically refer to any of the 3 other terms would have made more sense. Because officially/governmentally you cannot say “Spouses welcome”, but must say “Spouses and Civil Union Partners welcome”.

          • Tigger 9.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t know that! No surprise, I think that’s officially stupid. Another reason the law needs to change.

  10. vto 10

    .
    it’s a lovely gay day today I must say

  11. Rogue Trooper 11

    having a gay old day caste ing seeds me bad self (loved the con nought tations of *mang etc; maybe you could star in your own blog.btw, may we petition what your major was as a Boon)

  12. Roy 12

    I wonder if Family First understand that animal husbandry means care of animals, or if they think it means marrying an animal?

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    1 day ago
  • Bledisloe Garden Reception cancelled at Government House
    Rain has forced Government House Auckland to cancel the Bledisloe Garden Reception, which was due to start at 4pm this afternoon. The Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, will still be marking Waitangi Day with a special citizenship ceremony for 25 people… ...
    4 days ago
  • Call for Child Sex Abuse Inquiry
    6th February 2016 “We just haven’t had a Rolf Harris or Jimmy Savile to bring our own dirty laundry out into the open but the time bomb is ticking and powder-keg will ignite.” McVicar ...
    4 days ago
  • Maori are amongst the biggest beneficiaries of TPP
    In the lead up to Waitangi celebrations and the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership in New Zealand this week, much is being made of Maori opposition to the TPP due to a lack of consultation and a perceived loss… ...
    5 days ago
  • Maori are amongst the biggest beneficiaries of TPP
    In the lead up to Waitangi celebrations and the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership in New Zealand this week, much is being made of Maori opposition to the TPP due to a lack of consultation and a perceived loss… ...
    5 days ago
  • More than 27,000 new Kiwis in 2015
    This Waitangi Day, New Zealand will roll out the welcome mat to 24 new citizens at Government House, and acknowledge over 27,000 people who were granted citizenship last year. ...
    5 days ago
  • Demolition of 32 & 36 Glendevere Terrace
    Demolition of 32 & 36 Glendevere Terrace Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and Southern Response today announced that the demolitions of 32 and 36 Glendevere Terrace, Redcliffs, Christchurch will begin next week. ...
    5 days ago
  • Next step in 2GP process
    Dunedin (Friday, 5 February 2016) – The next step in the process of establishing a new Dunedin City District Plan will be underway when further submissions are called for from 10 February. ...
    5 days ago
  • Next step in 2GP process
    Dunedin (Friday, 5 February 2016) – The next step in the process of establishing a new Dunedin City District Plan will be underway when further submissions are called for from 10 February. ...
    5 days ago
  • Report into diplomat debacle shows Ministers’ failures
    The report into the treatment of a diplomat found guilty of indecent assault highlights a failure of Government Ministers to show political leadership over sexual violence, the Green Party said today. ...
    5 days ago
  • Report into diplomat debacle shows Ministers’ failures
    The report into the treatment of a diplomat found guilty of indecent assault highlights a failure of Government Ministers to show political leadership over sexual violence, the Green Party said today. ...
    5 days ago
  • TPP Good News for New Zealand
    TPP Good News for New Zealand by Dr Llew Richards, chief executive of IANZ We all like to travel. We all buy stuff from overseas. But sometimes we pay up to twice the price for something in New Zealand that… ...
    5 days ago
  • TPP Good News for New Zealand
    TPP Good News for New Zealand by Dr Llew Richards, chief executive of IANZ We all like to travel. We all buy stuff from overseas. But sometimes we pay up to twice the price for something in New Zealand that… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council seeks submissions on bylaw amendment
    Palmerston North City Council is calling for submissions on a proposed amendment to the Signs and Use of Public Places Bylaw for Election Signs. ...
    5 days ago
  • Credit Ratings Agency Blackmails Christchurch City Council
    Credit Ratings Agency Blackmails Christchurch City Council on Asset Sales This story slipped by without comment from anyone in the Christmas rush. Better late than never. On December 8th the Press reported that: “Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministry welcomes release of Whitehead Report
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has welcomed the public release of the Whitehead report. ...
    5 days ago
  • TPP Agreement bad for democracy
    International Trade Union Confederation TPP Agreement bad for democracy, rights, public services and health Brussels, 4 February 2016 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) a major setback for employment ...
    5 days ago
  • TPP Agreement bad for democracy
    International Trade Union Confederation TPP Agreement bad for democracy, rights, public services and health Brussels, 4 February 2016 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) a major setback for employment ...
    5 days ago
  • Peru signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership in NZ
    Thursday 4 February 2016 Press Release Peru's Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Magali Silva has signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in New Zealand's city of Auckland today along with her counterparts from 11 Pacific countries. The ...
    5 days ago
  • Peru signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership in NZ
    Thursday 4 February 2016 Press Release Peru's Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Magali Silva has signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in New Zealand's city of Auckland today along with her counterparts from 11 Pacific countries. The ...
    5 days ago
  • Protesters project giant message onto SkyCity
    Community organisations representing more than five and a half million people around the world have united to take joint action and express global opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as Trade Ministers sign the deal at SkyCity in Auckland. ...
    5 days ago
  • Protesters project giant message onto SkyCity
    Community organisations representing more than five and a half million people around the world have united to take joint action and express global opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as Trade Ministers sign the deal at SkyCity in Auckland. ...
    5 days ago
  • Reserve Bank highlights importance of market discipline
    Reserve Bank highlights importance of market discipline The Reserve Bank today highlighted the importance of market discipline as one of three pillars that help maintain the stability of financial institutions. In a speech this evening hosted by the NZ Bankers… ...
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure to underpin development of the Northland regi
    “The release today of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan is strongly endorsed by the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development (NZCID) and will drive much needed employment, investment and growth in the region,” says NZCID ...
    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure to underpin development of the Northland regi
    “The release today of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan is strongly endorsed by the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development (NZCID) and will drive much needed employment, investment and growth in the region,” says NZCID ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis reject the TPPA
    Around 15,000 Kiwis marched down Queen Street today to protest against the signing of the TPPA. The march was loud, diverse, family-friendly, peaceful and passionate in its opposition to the TPPA. ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis reject the TPPA
    Around 15,000 Kiwis marched down Queen Street today to protest against the signing of the TPPA. The march was loud, diverse, family-friendly, peaceful and passionate in its opposition to the TPPA. ...
    6 days ago

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