Saturday, May 19, 2007

feminism, rhetoric, translation

Women and rhetoric are problems for elitists and misogynists, like Aristotle. Translation is equally problematic, for intellectual purists.

So now, what if we translated Aristotle's Greek
Rhetoric into English feministically? Watch what happens . . .

In the mean time, what do you think of this anti-feminist backdrop?

Aristotle did not need to spend much time on slavery in the Rhetoric because he had justified it in detail in the Politics, the master art in which his rhetoric is a subsidiary . . . . In Aristotle’s system, soul is privileged over body, intelligence over emotion, humans over animals, men over women, and freemen over slaves.
Jasper Neel, Aristotle's Voice: Rhetoric, Theory and Writing in America

But among barbarians no distinction is made between women and slaves, because there is no natural ruler among them: they are a community of slaves, male and female. Wherefore the poets say, "It is meet that Hellenes should rule over barbarians"; as if they thought that the barbarian and the slave were by nature one.
Aristotle, the Politics

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