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Tactical Ninja - So here is a thing

Jul. 2nd, 2014

09:48 am - So here is a thing

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I'm doing a beginner swordfighting class on Sunday. I'm quite excited about it. And this morning, because that's how things go, this article came through on one of my feeds. It's about Samantha Swords winning the longsword competition at an international invitational tournament. She fought with the men and won. Yay!



I watched the interview with her and instantly detected the kiwi accent. Turns out she's a kiwi/aussie Canadian. I think this means she's from NZ, has lived in Australia and is now based in Canada. But OMG kiwi! Complete with armour made by a friend at Weta. Eeeeeee!!

Meanwhile, it did make me twitch that the title of the article calls her a female. I find it dehumanising when female is used as a noun. Interestingly, the first comment says the same thing. The responses to that seem to be a whole lot of mansplaining (including from the author of the article) about how actually it's ok to do that because reasons, that 'woman' and 'female' are interchangeable (they aren't), and us 'females' should stop looking for things to be offended about. Interspersed with the occasional bit about how shouldn't we all be congratulating Samantha instead of getting het up about grammar?

I agree, it should be about congratulating Samantha. And the easiest way to make it about that would be to have the headline read "Samantha Swords Wins Longsword Competition At World Invitational Tournament." Because what she did is far more important than her gender. Making it about her gender and then using a dehumanising term to accentuate that was almost guaranteed to cause problems.

Why is this so hard for people to understand?

Comments:

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From:ferrouswheel
Date:July 1st, 2014 10:09 pm (UTC)
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I was certainly unaware of the female as noun issue at one point, but it does seem particularly obvious in retrospect. While we don't necessarily agree about all gender and society things, I appreciate learning this from you!
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From:tatjna
Date:July 1st, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
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<3 I like that we can disagree about stuff and learn from each other and still think each other are awesome.

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From:pombagira
Date:July 1st, 2014 10:23 pm (UTC)
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yay swords.. *skips*..

:D
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From:tatjna
Date:July 1st, 2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
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I get to play with one on Sunday! ;-D
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From:pombagira
Date:July 1st, 2014 10:26 pm (UTC)
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so who is it you are playing with one with ... *is curious*

yay sunday.. i will be making piles o clothes for Canada.. so i can see how they will all fit into the suitecase.. :D
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From:pombagira
Date:July 1st, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
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also i am *EXCITE* and a little *MEEP*
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From:tatjna
Date:July 1st, 2014 10:29 pm (UTC)
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It's organised through the Adventure Wellington Meetup group, and I think the guy is Peter Hassall from the LOTR stunt crew.

Are you making all your clothes for Canada?
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From:pombagira
Date:July 1st, 2014 10:33 pm (UTC)
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i would if i had time.. but alas.. i purchased a nice hoody top/dress from Twisted Stitches.. its lovely.. you will see it on friday :D

i might get some time to make a new hoody dress, and a long skirt, but i have one more wall hanging to finish sewing, and a house to organised for Bron so it is all pretty.. :D

although having said that a lot of the clothing i will be takign with me i made.. yay..

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From:fbhjr
Date:July 1st, 2014 10:52 pm (UTC)
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I disliked the headline a lot too.
Is "female" her name? I asked my wife.
Of course I then doubted her last name too...
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From:tatjna
Date:July 1st, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
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We are all secretly called Female, and only take on other names so you can tell us apart.
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From:fbhjr
Date:July 1st, 2014 10:55 pm (UTC)
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Like in Asimov's Robot series where all robots have the first name Robot?
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From:t_c_da
Date:July 1st, 2014 11:03 pm (UTC)
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Nice to see a lady beating the guys for a change...

And, yeah, I ran across Samantha when doing a bit of reading around the International Jousting at Harcourt Park a year or two back. What I saw implied that she was working at Weta at the time...
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From:ms_hecubus
Date:July 1st, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC)
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Female is only OK as a modifier and totally inappropriate as a noun.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 2nd, 2014 08:22 pm (UTC)
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Fully agree.
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From:meathiel
Date:July 2nd, 2014 07:00 am (UTC)
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Yep ... that irks me as well. The could've just written "Samantha Swords wins ... " This is - oh wow ... a woman? Wins against men??? How can that happen???
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From:tatjna
Date:July 2nd, 2014 08:22 pm (UTC)
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Very easily, apparently. ;-)
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From:goddessofchaos
Date:July 2nd, 2014 08:44 am (UTC)
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When I see "female" used as a noun referring to a human, I always hear it said in a sneering or patronising tone of voice. It's inappropriate and quite rude in this context.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 2nd, 2014 08:22 pm (UTC)
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Yeah. It doesn't help that it's often used by people who are intending it as an insult.
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From:villagecharm
Date:July 2nd, 2014 03:35 pm (UTC)
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It's also annoying when used as a modifier in a superlative, like (for example), "The best female athlete in the world."
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From:elven_ranger
Date:July 2nd, 2014 03:39 pm (UTC)
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People love to make things about gender, all too often ...
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From:tatjna
Date:July 2nd, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
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To hear her talk about European martial arts, it seems to be more about being able to defend yourself from anybody, whether unarmed or on a horse with a jousting lance. In that situation, gender totally wouldn't matter. It's sad that our society seems to think it would.
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From:dragonvyxn
Date:July 3rd, 2014 04:59 am (UTC)
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i feel the same way about that usage of "female". icky.
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From:pundigrion
Date:July 9th, 2014 06:53 pm (UTC)
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The military is super big on Females. Except it always comes out more like Feeeeemalllles and a tone of disgust. >_>
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From:tatjna
Date:July 9th, 2014 08:15 pm (UTC)
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Yet another reason why I wouldn't do well in the military. ;-/
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From:pundigrion
Date:July 10th, 2014 07:08 pm (UTC)
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Reason #1201: Feeeeemallllles
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