The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

It happened again the other day. A captain, in an attempt to compliment my bridge, said, “She’s a real beauty.”

He meant well. And I took it in the spirit in which he intended it. But it still got on my nerves. At least he didn’t go on to say, “She has a hard time getting up when it’s cold, just like my wife,” as another captain has been known to do.

Can someone please give me an example of an inanimate object being referred to as a he? Please? I’m not talking about the gender designations of nouns that some languages use. That’s different.

No, I’m talking about those smarmy, affectionate references to cars, boats, drawbridges, and all things mechanical. Yes, maybe it’s because those objects are, more often than not, worked on by males, and they feel uncomfortable loving these things if they’re not female. Maybe it’s just the average hetero guy’s fear of being considered homosexual. (Heaven forfend.)

But I suspect that if you scratch the surface, what you’ll see is that many men like to play with mindless, passive things that will do their bidding without question. And even if they aren’t from the 19th century, somewhere, in some underground curriculum that we women are generally not privy to, they are all taught the same thing: that all those qualities mean that this thing must therefore be female.

I’m sure that most guys who do this haven’t even given it much thought, but I’m telling you, it’s offensive. It cramps my little lady-brain, just thinking about it. And I find it even more offensive on the rare occasion when a woman does it, because a woman should know better. It’s just one more microaggression in the sea of microaggressions that women have to swim in every single day. So please knock it off.

As a tiny form of resistance, I’ve always given my cars male names. But even then, I can’t bring myself to refer to them as he. My car will always be an it.

Women are not wind up dolls, and your classic car isn’t going to kiss you back. Well… unless you’re an objectophile. Then it’s a whole different ballgame. Read my thoughts on that here.

classic car

I wrote an actual book, and you can own it! How cool is that?

4 thoughts on “She’s a Beauty

  1. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    It icked me out clear back in the beginning, before I could even read well enough to pick up that facts-of-life book my cousin thought I was too young for. I didn’t know why, I just hated it bigtime when anything not human nor animal was given any sort of human gender. And I still don’t like it one bit. [As for other languages, why the heck can’t I switch my own gender at will to match whatever I’m currently fascinated with?] I think part of it is that this language is missing a few genders or a few hundred, and the things I like best need a few of their own. Anyway, I’m with you, even when the object in question is huge and powerful and darned impressive like your bridge. Thanks for enlightening the readers.

    1. You should write a blog, Angi. I can sense there are a boatload of stories within you!

  2. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    Thanks for the kind words.
    “Don’t anthropomorphize inanimates–they hate that.”

    1. They do! They really do! 🙂

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