fun fact:

The “were” in “werewolf” is the same as the “vir” in “virile”.
“were” and “vir” (pronounced almost the same) are Old English and Latin for “man”.

There is no agenda behind my choice of example words. I am not implying anything along lines of monsterfuckery.

although to get off werewolves for a moment (AHEM), this is also why the “man” in “woman” isn’t, like, sexist or anything. The old english word for what we now call “man” was “wer mann” (literally “male person”) or just “wer”. Women were “wif mann” or just “wif”.

“wif mann” evolved into both “wife” and “woman”, but modern english lost the “wer/were” and just called men “man”. That word only still exists as a prefix in words like “werewolf” and the historical term “wergeld”.

The use of “man” to mean “people” also continued in terms like “mankind” (vs “humankind”) and “manned” (vs “crewed”) which weren’t, like, INTENTIONALLY sexist, it was reflecting the older usage. Obviously as times have changed these terms have become problematic, but they weren’t necessarily intentionally sexist to begin with.

But yeah… english lost the gendered term for men (wer). So to someone who speaks old english, we’re calling men just “people” and women “female people”.

Which is interesting, because that’s exactly what we do in BATHROOM ICONOGRAPHY (title of my next album):

The male symbol is just “person”, the female symbol is “person in a dress”.

We don’t, like, draw the man with a beard or something, to try to gender him male. He’s just “person”. Compare to like crosswalk signs and danger signs: that’s just a person symbol. We’ve apparently just decided culturally that men are people (full stop) and women are people who have the additional attribute “woman” attached to them.

gender linguistics, won’t you?