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Hir

National personification: Motherland - Fatherland

I don't know how this came up recently, I've looked at it a few times in last couple of years,   but I think I asked my Polish carer how Poland perceived their country in terms of gender and after a google search we discovered Polonia, so Motherland.   Why I'm posting this now is a connection I've noticed, sure it's been notice before, but how many countries that  personify as Fatherland are also the countries where Fascism has flourished.    Germany, Spain, Argentina and obviously Italy.  Italy doesn't actually personify as Fatherland directly they personify through The Crown but as when this personification originated The Crown was exclusively worn by men then de facto it is Fatherland.  Interesting personification of America.  In the 1730s it was Columbia but during the revolutionary period it became Uncle Sam and in fairy tales and myths how often is the Uncle a wicked Uncle!

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Posted (edited)

Interesting. I'd kinda assumed that mother/fatherland came down to certain languages (though not English, for some reason) assigning genders to words - that's what I never quite got about learning German and French at school, why some words are male and some are female, guess it's just down to the way the languages evolved. In Latin words that refer to country seem to be masculine, and so languages with latin roots probably refer to 'fatherland' (patriot, for example, has its roots in the Latin word pater, meaning father), which makes sense because Rome was a patriarchal society (to the detriment of us all - the whole patriarchal nature of western European society is down to the fucking Romans and their fascist empire that wiped out the cultures of most of the rest of Europe, but I digress). Perhaps the languages that refer to country as motherland are mostly from countries that didn't have that early Roman influence ? :unsure:

Edited by Boojum
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I think it becomes a state of mind influenced by the language you think in,  or the state of mind molds the language. 

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I always wondered why some were referred to as Motherland or Fatherland, mind you if the identity politics brigade keep getting their way maybe they'll all be called the Parentland soon enough.

 

To slightly digress....I dont think we can criticise the Romans for being patriarchal however - if it wasnt them taking over then it would have been someone else. The British had a go later on, as did the Spanish, the Mongols, the Chinese, etc etc. with varying success.

 

Societal and technological progress has only been possible due to the competitive nature of partiarchal hierarchies. Its evident throughout numerous other species and is how things generally organise themselves, things that have any sort of longevity anyway.

 

Its what sent us to the moon, (with the help of a koad of women incidentally, recently recognised by NASA), and makes sure the species improves over time (women let men compete, and are generally inclined to mate the winners).

 

Don't diss patriarchies man, there's enough man-bashing going on in the media without adding fuel to an already artificially inflamed fire.

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