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Of Suffragettes and Man-hating

Suffragettes march.

The Montreal Suffragists didn't want to be accused of being man-haters, so they claimed their only goal was to 'protect the home and children.'

 "What's the word for man-hater?" a young man asked me yesterday. 

 "There is none," I said. "There's misanthrope, the hatred of MANKIND and misogynist, the hater of woman, but no hater of man. That's the joke."

 Apparently I was wrong. (First time ever?)

 There is a word and it is MISANDRY.

 It's in the online dictionaries. One of the dictionaries,the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, says the word was coined in 1909 (maybe).

 "The word MISANDRY was coined in 1909," I remarked to the young man as I closed my laptop and got up to make some Green Tea.

  "The year after the word Suffragette was coined," I added authoritively to cover my my embarrassing etymological error. :Suffragette," I further explained, "which means "militant suffragist" which means someone who parades and yells and sometimes throws bricks."

 "Coincidence?  I think not."

 (I've been reading up on the suffragettes for my books Threshold Girl and Diary of a Confirmed Spinster and now, Sister Salvation. about the Montreal Suffragists during WWI.

 But then I said 'Wait a minute. Let me check something."

 And I went back to the laptop, lifted the lid and searched for  the ngram program on Google.

 I entered the word misandry into said program and what do you know? I go this chart.

feministmovement

 The chart seems to indicate that the word misandry was coined in 1880 but rose to prominence in the suffragette era and also rose again in the era of the other feminist movement, the 1960s.

So according to this very unscientific point of view: women did not hate men when they were being oppressed by them. Their 'hatred' of men came with their acquiring political rights and more economic freedom. :)

Or it could mean that no one bothered to coin the word, because powerless people who hate are not a threat, their feelings of no particular consequence.

   

 The militant suffragettes may have been annoying, but they were not masculine. They made sure to dress in the latest fashions, so they couldn't be criticized on that point.

  

An ad in the WSPU magazine in the 1910 era.

 On another feminist note, I just received an email from my future daughter in law showing me the new shoes she bought yesterday. Reddish orange ones..

 

 "When will Spring ever come? " she asked in the email.. (We've been having a dull cold spring. I still have lots of snow in my backyard, with patches of clear around the trees. It is depressing.) 

 

 So I sent her back this picture of the wall my husband painted yesterday. It was originally an ick yellow, a colour we applied 8 years ago and have detested ever since.  

 I love this colour! And it was my husband's idea. For years he's been saying paint the problematic cedar wall maroon and I said NO. NEVER. TOO DARK. (And what do YOU know about interior design? YOU, a heterosexual MAN.)

 Back then, 8 years ago, I decided I wanted to paint the white wooden wall another hot colour, so we went out and bought a very expensive and very vibrant designer paint in shocking orange. 

 We swiped a bit on and decided it was TOO bright. Too shocking.

 Not wanting to waste the expensive paint, we fiddled with it until it eventually turned the colour of baby poop, horrible. And then for some inexplicable reason we applied it and left it there for the length of time How I Met Your Mother has been on TV. 

 Over the years we discussed stripping it down to the cedar underneath  (too costly, too dirty, too difficult)... but never did anything.

 Yesterday my husband and I FINALLY decided on a colour for the wall...it has  taken this long!! 8 long years deciding and 8 short hours to do the work. It took 8 years  (and a lousy Spring) for Mars and Venus to be in the same House, so to speak.

 (Reminds me of the line from Harry Met Sally, at the end, when they say it took them 3 months to get married, 15 years and three months.)

 There's a message here, about Life, I think.

 (Plus it is a difficult space to paint, I think, needing a tall ladder and I'm afraid of heights. Always an excuse.)