“I am done with this bullshit of men telling @HillaryClinton what she can and cannot do… fuck everybody.” -@bluegal (our pal and fellow scissorhead)
If you listened to last night’s Professional Left Podcast (episode 391), you would have heard that statement from Bluegal herself, and it was quite a moment as the context was her husband Driftglass saying that he would let Hillary Clinton say whatever she wanted. I’ve known Bluegal for about a decade, we’ve met face-to-face (she’s wonderful, kind, and funny), and in all this time, I’ve never heard her so angry. Thanks a lot, Trump…
Anyway, her anger confused me because I never think of let as giving permission. And then I looked it up and the very first example was:
1 [ with obj. and infinitive ] not prevent or forbid; allow: my boss let me leave early.
Gulp. I just got served my white cisgendered male privilege on a platter. Just thinking about that context of let makes me angry.
I don’t know that I’ve ever said that someone let me do anything. “Mom said I could do XYZ,” would be much more what I would say, not “Mother let me do XYZ.” Maybe this is a difference in the way boys and girls are socialized? I don’t know, but because it is not even in my lexicon to think of let as being given permission to do something, I have to think it is indeed part of our sexist culture.
It used to be said of us and the Brits that we don’t understand each other because we don’t share our common language, which is a pretty good line. And men and women don’t share our common language either.
Thank-you Bluegal. I learned something last night, that even a three-lettered word can have different meanings to different audiences.