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Women who refer to cars/boats as 'she' Grrr.

(44 Posts)
DrNortherner Sat 06-Aug-11 17:05:51

Just spent 10 days in Spain with dh's Dad and step mum. His step Mum is lovely, however she does a few things that irk me, including referring to her parents as 'Mummy and Daddy' She's 62 FFS.

Anyway, the whole time we were there she referred to her car as 'she' - she needs petrol, have you locked her? etc
and also to boats in the harbour - Oh she's a beauty.

Nobody does this anymore do they?

What can I say to her next time she does this?

jennyvstheworld Sat 06-Aug-11 17:21:23

Whatever you say, it's unlikely that you will convince her that there is a problem. As you say, she's 62...

My Nan, when she was alive, always refrred to pretty and vibrant things as being very gay....

MrsReasonable Sat 06-Aug-11 18:21:09

I thought boats, like countries, were meant to be referred to as 'she'. Correct, if outdated.

NevermindtheNargles Sat 06-Aug-11 18:24:56

Wasn't there a thread on here the other day complaining about inanimate objects always being 'he' (teddies and such)?

NevermindtheNargles Sat 06-Aug-11 18:24:57

Wasn't there a thread on here the other day complaining about inanimate objects always being 'he' (teddies and such)?

fluffles Sat 06-Aug-11 18:26:12

is there a reason why this tradition is non-feminist?
i am not sure i do it myself (probably i use 'it') but i'm aware of the tradition and never thought to object before....?

flowery Sat 06-Aug-11 18:33:51

Why do you need to say anything to her? What's wrong with it exactly? And is there a reason a woman saying it is worse than a man saying it?

I often stumble across threads in this section feeling as though I should be outraged about something but must be missing the point because I am not. confused

BertieBotts Sat 06-Aug-11 18:35:19

I've been meaning to post about this for ages! Why are cars and boats and things always referred to as "she"? I remember my dad telling me why when I was little but can't remember what he said.

I know it's considered "correct" as MrsReasonable says, but why? Where does it come from? And is it sexist?

DrNortherner Sat 06-Aug-11 18:39:34

Well, imo it stems back to men calling innaminate objects as 'she' as they own and control them, like a woman.....

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Sat 06-Aug-11 18:41:30

Or have a relationship with them.

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Sat 06-Aug-11 18:43:57

'I often stumble across threads in this section feeling as though I should be outraged about something but must be missing the point because I am not'

grin You are not alone in this, but sometimes the discussion is enlightening.

jennyvstheworld Sat 06-Aug-11 19:14:20

So, if I've got this right, we can't call inanimate things 'he' because that's sexist (see the other thread) and we can't call them 'she' becasue that's sexist.

It seems to me that some people have a remarkable capacity for outrage.

upahill Sat 06-Aug-11 19:25:54

So, if I've got this right, we can't call inanimate things 'he' because that's sexist (see the other thread) and we can't call them 'she' becasue that's sexist. It seems to me that some people have a remarkable capacity for outrage.

Good point well put!

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Sat 06-Aug-11 19:36:28

I suppose it's quite handy that we can use 'it' then.

jennyvstheworld Sat 06-Aug-11 19:39:42

Yes, let's sterilize our language and culture remove all hints of anthropomorphism where ever we find them! That's the answer wink

bestfootforwards Sat 06-Aug-11 19:40:02

I think there a bigger things to worry about tbh

And as someone who sails I have just had a little snigger at the idea that men call boats she because they 'own and control' the boat. More likely they call the boat she because they are/ were well aware the boat owns and controls them grin .

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 06-Aug-11 20:27:37

Non-sexist explanation.

rubyrubyruby Sun 07-Aug-11 16:00:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TrillianAstra Sun 07-Aug-11 16:42:11

If you find it annoying when inanimate objects are called anything other than "it" than YANBU (it's a bloody boat, it has no reproductive capacity!) but it's not really a feminist issue.

If you would rather boats were called "he" rather than "she" then I challenge you to explain how this is more feminist.

StrandedBear Sun 07-Aug-11 17:44:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StrandedBear Sun 07-Aug-11 17:46:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

steamedtreaclesponge Mon 08-Aug-11 11:02:36

I quite like that boats are called 'she'. Certainly it's never struck me as being a bad thing - I always thought of it more as a term of endearment.

stealthsquiggle Mon 08-Aug-11 11:08:27

but boats are referred to as being female, aren't they confused? Where on earth do you get the idea that "nobody does this any more", OP?

As for cars and other things - I have had male and female cars (the ones with enough character to have names) and my DC have a great and glorious mixture of boys and girls amongst their cuddly animals. I would definitely describe myself as a feminist and I really don't see the problem.

pommedechocolat Mon 08-Aug-11 11:13:44

LA macchina, LA barca.

AMumInScotland Mon 08-Aug-11 11:26:21

I call steam engines "he", and often refer to animals as "he" - the squirrel that comes into our garden, a dumb butterfly that came in and got stuck the other day. If you attribute a personality to something, then you tend to refer to it as he/she because "it" is not personal enough.

That doesn't make it sexist, just anthropomorphic.

Oh and "Mummy and Daddy" is a cultural thing, not necessarily about age - in some areas/classes that's just the normal thing to call your parents. No point getting angry about it, she's not being infantile.

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