Thursday, April 17, 2008

Females?

Newnham College, Cambridge is described in today's FT as being a college "that admits only females". I wonder whether its alumnae prefer to be described as "women" or "females". I also wonder whether the journalist, whom I assume is male, would also write that Newnham "does not admit males." I think he'd use the term "men" instead. And if you're still reading this rant, the worst phrase is "female toilet". Who on earth sanctioned that?

14 Comments:

Blogger kinglear said...

There was a great debate this morning on Smooth Radio, designed for the 55 ++year old trendys we like to think we are, about female toilets, and whether ladies insisted on their husbands putting down the seat.
They now have the answer. For a mere GBP1000, you can have an attachment on your loo that AUTOMATICALLY puts it back down if it is raised, ten seconds after the gentleman removes himself from in front of it.
And surely it admits "gels"? Any Head of College in Cambridge I know always refers to his or her "gels"

10:22 am  
Blogger Eurodog said...

Yes, WW, quite right.

1:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sort of post, and the use of the word 'alumnae' is the sort of class conscious, pompous, class-ridden tosh that so annoys me about the English.

Why on earth do the English have to be so bloody supercilious about every-damn-thing ??

I'm off back to the 'Lords of the Blog', as the Baronesses and Lords there are considerably more down to earth and democratic than this 'too posh to wash' twaddle..

4:51 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

"Gels" is good KL.
Bonjour ED
Sorry you take a dim view of Latin, Anon. Perhaps you'd have like "old gels" better.

7:20 am  
Blogger Mopsa said...


>The female of the species is more deadly than the male

7:46 am  
Blogger Eurodog said...

WW,
I like the idea of being an "old gel" of a college or an "alumnae".
I am rather proud of it.
Perhaps anonymous would like to come and see how it is done sur le continent but I suppose he or she has very little interest in what happens on the other side of the channel.

9:03 am  
Blogger kinglear said...

Mopsa... as in " Never underestimate the power of a spurned woman."

9:11 am  
Blogger kinglear said...

anon - actually, its the class ridden Americans who use alumnae most of the time - and their alumnae give billions every year to their Alma Maters.And have fraternity and sororities named in GREEK for goodness sake like Phi Delta Kappa - which in itself is a passport to instant health wealth and happiness

9:45 am  
Blogger kinglear said...

.. and anyway anon, what would you call them? Ex-students? Graduates ( but they are graduates of the Universitey not necessarily the college.)

9:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WW - I did latin at school thank you very much. What I object to you is using it in a pretentious way to differentiate oneself from those of 'a different class', this being one of my huge bugbears with the English caste system anyway.

As a wise person once said 'Knowledge is like a pocket watch. One doesn't take it out to count the hours, but to tell the time when one is asked'.

I'm ever hopeful that increasing migration to this country will end up in a more meritocratic country as class boundaries and an Oxbridge education count for less - but I'm realistic enough to realise it may just result in people retreating to middle-class enclaves in a similar manner to the Americans retreating to their 'gated communities' in the 'burbs..

11:29 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

So no joy in scholarship, Anon?

12:23 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

I'm not sure how long it will continue to be women only, there is no male equivalent in Cambridge, except maybe some of their private college clubs.

9:27 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Agree again, WW.

11:16 pm  
Blogger Eurodog said...

Does Anon have a name?
At least be brave, Anon and tell us who you are. I am very open minded.

7:18 pm  

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