Re: The letter
Regarding my outrage at that writer's reference to "girly", (indicating effeminite) attributes of gardeners/horticulturists:
I'd sort of like to clarify that, as hard working as all us women
gardeners are, we know it's not really a slam. And for a man to be
considered effeminate, in many ways is a compliment; nothing wrong with
it. The reason I'm offended is because, with her choice of the word
"girly" and the structure of her sentence, you could tell she MEANT it
as a slam. I think that often even we women subconsciously agree with
the old-fashioned sterotype of women being considered the weaker sex and
are pleasantly surprised when a man chooses work considered out of sinc
with traditional male choices. We need to remember that there is no
weaker sex. There are general characteristics that should not be used as
stereotypes. As my (male) vet said when we discussing neutering a cat,
"Most of the problems in this world are testicle-driven." But we still
have people like Ghandi and King. And not all women are Mother Theresa.
I'd like to think that any good qualities someone might have could be
had by both men and women. To be a nurturing person should be an
attribute of both sexes, rather than just feminine. To be ambitious
should be considered the same trait for both rather than changing the
word to pushy if it's a woman.
Oh, enough of the soapbox. It's going to take a long time for the world
to change, if it ever does. But I say gardeners/horticulturists are a
tough breed and tough is neither masculine nore feminine.
From: Bonnie & Bill Morgan <email@example.com>
Sent: 05/06/03 04:43 AM
Subject: RE: [CHAT] The letter
> Kitty, I think we all are with you on this one! For one, I sure hope they
print your letter in the editorial page! After all, nearly all the
I knew and know are men and I never in my life heard anyone say they were
effeminate! (My whole family on dad's side was farmers, for goodness
Today cousins in Jasper are still farming and you should see the biceps on
these folks! Nothing feminine there.) The author must have led a
Please do let us know whether the letter gets play in the paper or whether
you receive any response from them.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
Of Kitty Morrissy
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 12:09 AM
Subject: [CHAT] The letter
Regarding Rhea Edmonds' Living Section feature article (5/4/3) on the
young greenhouse owner, Ryan Baker, I was appalled at her opening
sentence. She wrote, "A long-lived stereotype identifying plant and
flower gardening as girly..." What?? Ms. Edmonds did her subject, Mr
Baker, and the entire horticultural community a great disservice by
childishly (and unprofessionally) labeling men as effeminate if they
possess an interest in this billion dollar industry. By whose standards
(other than her own) does she believe men who enjoy plants are "girly"?
She interviewed several men for her article including Roger Moll,
Cooperative Extension Director. Did she think them "girly"? Talk with
Allen County Horticultural Educator, Ricky Kemery, about the back-braking
labor that flowers and other plants require and she'll discover that
horticulture is not for wimps. Most of my professors in my Horticulture
courses were men. Many great garden wrtiers are men. A large number of
our local Master Gardeners are men. They will all gladly tell you that
they have endured sweat and pain for the sake of beauty in our lives.
That is NOT "girly". This stereotype exists only in the writer's mind
and she should have had the good journalism sense to keep it to herself.
And the JG should have had sense enough to assign this story to a more
If you have weeds, you don't have enough plants.
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