I’d like to thank a linguist friend for the insight. Portuguese is a gender inflected language. That means if you say “beautiful woman” in Portuguese, you have to mark “beautiful” such a way it tells you it is feminine. Check: “Bonito” (masculine beautiful) and “Bonita” (feminine beautiful) etc.
Now Brazilian President (the Brazilians speak Portuguese) shall to inflect the word President (presidente and presidenta) etc. Now there is a law for that. It does not exactly control the spoken language, but at least the written ones, diplomas, certificates etc. So, if you are a master it will be different if you are man or woman (mestre, mestra), if you are Chemist (químico, química) etc. It was not so in many professions that were common for both genders.
It represents a step forward if you think of the position of women in the work market etc., but it is in fact a step backward: just think of the freedom of sexuality/ gender. Sad. Moreover, you cannot rule a language, or dictate about a field you are not expert in.
To the presidenta’s and other politicians’ trying to be “politically correct”, I give her some tips:
- Allow women having menstrual leave two or three days a month at work and school;
- Demand women having long hair (and forbid that from men), so to say their femininity;
- Free makeup program: It is not fair women being ugly and less feminine – check her look before and after her journey to the presidency.
- Epilation in the state health clinics (different kinds, for respecting the woman’s personality)
I do like Dilma Rousseff in a bunch of aspects, and admire her as politicia. But let’s be realistic, she`s not linguist and did she consult any of them, tell me so I satirize her/him instead,
- ‘Gender-Queer’ at QM: the Complexities of Gender (qmequality.wordpress.com)
- Gender Differences in Emotional Health (everydayhealth.com)
- ‘Social Construction of Gender’ by Agrawal (introtosociology.wordpress.com)
- Gender and Health Inequality (offoxesandhedgehogs.wordpress.com)
- What American Women Do For Work (wnyc.org)
- Masculinities in the Performative (queeristan.org)