“I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young—alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross–roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to–night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so—I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals—and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting–room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky, too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would he impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.”
A Room of One's Own, Virgina Wolf, 1929.
Last Thursday, Feb 18th, it was my first month Aussie anniversary. One month in Adelaide, feels longer though, for I have met so many people, been to so many places, done and learnt so many things. One of the skills that I'm getting better at is LANGUAGE, particularly, ENGLISH. I am sure that you may all be aware of how quick one picks up new words and expressions whenever one is in an English speaking country . I've come across this one many times already: Man Cave. Last time, only yesterday.
Last night, I had been very kindly invited to dinner at Mike & Elena's place up in Eden Hills. Beautiful spot. I met them only some days before but we got along well almost inmediately. Mike is a travelling soul mate. He hitch-hiked across Europe in the 60's, including Spain. He's got amazing stories to tell [we will be working on that] After having a drink, I was shown to one of Mike's Man Caves: His Home Brewery. When asked about Elena's Woman Cave, Mike answered that she had the rest of the rooms of their house for herself. Some weeks ago, my host's partner, Paul, also referred to his whole home as a Man Cave as he shares the house with one of his mates.
We'll let the boys - The Boys were two fully grown up men in their late sixties- do their Boy Stuff and we -referrring to two other women and the speaker herself- can continue trimming this bush over here. Comment to which I could not refrain from answering I'm gonna do Boy Things, they're more fun. Boy Things being, in this case, cutting down a tree with a chain saw in a private garden. Not that it matters really.
However, English is less patronising a language than other ones such as Spanish, my native tongue. A couple of examples, below:
Polla: slang SEXIST word meaning awesome, great, amazing. It actually means penis.
So, let me break it down for you, just in case, you did not get it yet. If something is DULL and BORING then it is FEMININE, Es un coñazo. On the other hand, if something is COOL, FUN, GREAT, AWESOME, then it's MASCULINE.¡Es la polla!
I was just wondering if anybody else out there felt the same way I feel about this, which is: WORDS SHAPE REALITY, WORDS ACTUALLY DO MATTER. Therefore, if we carry on using SEXIST EXPRESSIONS, we will carry on shaping the World in a sexist form. I can not help but remembering my great friend Mr. Wilson who once told me he truly thought that if women ruled the World or at least there were more of us in higher positions, the Earth would be a less violent and better planet to live on. I do not know about that but I do feel that if there were more people like Mr. Wilson the planet would be a kinder place to inhabit.