Gender and Text in the Later Middle Ages

By Jane Chance | Go to book overview

Introduction
Jane ChanceGender:
1. Kind, sort, class; also, genus as opposed to species....
2. Gram. Each of the three (or in some languages two) grammatical "kinds", corresponding more or less to distinctions of sex (and absence of sex) in the objects denoted, into which substantives are discriminated according to the nature of the modification they require in words syntactically associated with them....
3. transf. Sex. Now only jocular.
4. Product, offspring, generation. Obs. rare. --Oxford English Dictionary

To knowe of hir signifiaunce/The gendres.-- Chaucer, Hous of Fame ( 1384)

Byshynynge and lyghte ben dyuers as species and gendre, for euery shinyng is lyght, but not ayenwarde.-- Batman upon Bartholomew De proprietatibus rerum, trans. John Trevisa ( 1495)

What we here have been calling (the) female aesthetic turns out to be a specialized name for any practices available to those groups--nations, genders, sexualities, races, classes--all social practices which wish to criticize, to differentiate from, to overturn the dominant forms of knowing and understanding with which they are saturated.-- Rachel Blau DuPlessis, "For the Etruscans" ( 1985)

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