The Battle of the Sexes: Metaphor and Violence

7 Jan


Yesterday I heard a TV presenter use the phrase “the Battle of the Sexes” yet again. It’s a set of words which tends to slip by me as just another meaningless piece of journalese.  Like politicians “slamming” a policy, or someone “going on a journey” or anything at all involving the adjective “budding” which doesn’t pertain to plants.  It’s filler.  “Battle of the Sexes”.  Here is a thing that will involve some women and some men, and we’ve decided that’s our gimmick.

But yesterday I noticed it, probably because yesterday was also the first entry in Karen Ingala Smith’s Counting Dead Women project for 2016.  It’s a curious phrase, “the battle of the sexes”.  It implies there are two sides lined up against each other, or at least two forces marshalling all their efforts to defeat the other.  It suggests strategies, orders, munitions, intelligence, and central command.  There’ s something…

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