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Re: Why MAN creates


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Jul 13 2001 - 14:47:13 PDT

Vivian wrote:
> OK - I have to put my 2 cents here - with absolutely no
> smart mouth intended!
> I was corrected early in my graduate work regarding "Why
> Man Creates". This is the direct quote written on my
> paper by a professor after I had commented on such:
> "Just because the author uses sexist language, does not
> mean you have to!"
> And I have attempted to correct my own speech by saying
> when Humans or People create:) I have had several
> comments on my email signature about MAN and the ripple
> HE sends out. This was a direct quote, so I hesitated to
> alter it, but I have now with the use of parentheses.

I have debated all afternoon whether I would reply to this privately or to
the list. Obviously I made a decision.

First let me say this. Before I even take roll on the the initial class
meeting, I ask "what is wrong with the name of this class?" Which leads to
a discussion of the role and contribution of woman in the arts and why the
discrimination. All this before I even determine who is supposed to be in
my room and before I make any kind of seating arrangements, or give a
syllabus, or make rules and demands.

I am not going to go through the history of woman in the arts here.

I have never had a problem with the generic/universal usage of "man."
I find the argument for the he/she insertion sexist in itself. It implies
a distinction and therefore an inequality between men and woman. Perhaps a
false understanding is created in the effort.
Creation is creation and distinction of the sexes is unessential in the
bigger scheme of things. Why create - man, woman, Christian, Buddhist,
Hindu, black, white, rich, poor, etc. etc.....

So you want to hear my lecture on why women are better photographers than