Posted by Divyesh on December 13, 2004
: : : (Gary--I hope it's ok to lift a thread like this from the archive; it's just that this one didn't get much input before disappearing)
: : : --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
: : : Posted by DH on November 18, 2004
: : : I have encountered a subtle form of sex discrimination which the PF'ers, being connoiseurs of words, might find interesting: There is evidently no feminine equivalent of "ladies man," which yields thousands upon thousands of hits; whereas "gentlemen's woman" evokes only a half-dozen
: : : While "coquette," "vamp," and the like suggest only flirting; "siren," "seductress," et al bring to mind also sexual activity.
: : : The closest I have come so far is the slang, "player," which however is de facto applied to men not women. It is as if mankind (or at least the word purveyors) cannot conceive of a woman who dates many men, or plays the field, without her being a slut
: : : : I think Dale, it's just one of those imbalances in our social thinking (historically anyway). Don't forget in 'those' days you were allowed to differentiate between men and women.
: : :
: : : : Granted some of the differentiation was not desirable - such as this - where by implication, a man who ummm... gets about with the ladies is something of a hero, yet a women who 'gets about with the men' is a slut. I must admit, that is one differentiation that I would actually call discrimination.
: : : : BUT - it's all part of the history of our language and who we were and the foundation that's lead to who we are now.
: : : Lap, well put--DH
: : I think this belongs to the French, thus; try "femme fatale"
: Yes, I think you are right, but the french always
: did have a less pigish attitude toward their fem,s.
: AND it depends on the speaker/hearer, as I can't
: trust an anglo's connotation of an imported term.
: We need a frenchman's oppinion. On this subject, I
: have always felt that the abusive attitude toward
: women was a function of their chattel status, and
: am not conversant with how much the french woman
: was seen and treated as property after the revolution.
: Viva La France!
I am writing a dissertation on the development of the femme fatale from Jacobean Drama to modern film. It's a slippery phrase to pin down... anything from"dangerously attractive woman" through to "disastrous woman" or "fatal woman" seems to go. However, "femme fatale" as an institution in literature seems to go beyond this. Any further suggestions would be most welcome