The Word “Mistress”

You can learn about people through their language.  I was contemplating the words “master” and “mistress” because I have this strange interest in etymologies.  Something I noticed was the word “master” was a strictly positive and formal connotation and the word “mistress” had a definition, the most widely used one in fact, as a negative connotation.  Theoretically, if there was true sexual equality, both words would mean the same thing.  Even the language has been altered to accommodate the idea that women are sex objects.  Perhaps women are less free that they were 200 years ago.  For anyone who does not believed, I challenge you to read Sheik Abdul-Hakim Murad’s essay “Boys Will be Boys.” I also challenge you to listen to the movie “Killing us Softly” which is about the advertising the female body.


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