origin of the word “sissy”

I was curious about it, so I googled it and found this:

sissy 1846, “sister,” extended form of sis. Meaning “effeminate man” is recorded from 1887; the adj. in this sense is from 1891.

So, calling someone a sissy is calling them “sister”. Why is it so bad for a man to have traditionally “feminine” characteristics?

The only way this could make sense is if being a woman or having “feminine” characteristics is bad. Wrong. Worse than being a man.

It’s only logical. Yet people still don’t see that we live in a sexist society? This is maddening.

There is a woman that I work with who is in my generation. I am 24, she is a very young 30. I like her a lot—she is a good, fun person. But she constantly uses feminine words to belittle men—in a joking, teasing way. Ha ha. So funny. “You sound like a little girl!” “Why are you walking like a woman?” Ha. See how funny that is?

It makes me angry whenever I hear it. But I don’t want to start a Serious Discussion in the middle of work (in the middle of her funny funny joke) about why that is sexist and demeaning to women.

Once, she and another woman were sitting in the break room at work talking. I went in to grab a coffee. They were talking about an ex of hers, and how he had hung out with a friend making s’mores one time. “That’s so gay!” “I would have dumped him for that!” I told them that was sexist and tried to explain, but it was like they just shut me out. Didn’t want to hear it. Didn’t want to think too hard.

I get this reaction a lot from people, when I want to discuss something, or be serious for a bit, or really think in depth about something. Most people I guess are threatened by that? They don’t want to think too hard. They don’t want their little paradigm to be pushed a little, shifted just a tiny bit. They don’t even want to consider it.

Living like that seems awfully dull and shallow to me.

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. February 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    You could try playing with it. How about describing behaviours you don’t like as ‘straight’ or ‘hetero’? ‘Ugh, that’s so straight.’ ‘He was such a hetero I had to dump him.’ I think people probably prefer to be challenged by parody which just makes them feel a bit silly, rather than debate which makes them feel wrong. But then I’m English and we only communicate through humour so I may not be in a position to make a general rule.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: