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PRONOUN ENVY (CONTINUED)

The Mail

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

To the Editors of the Crimson:

Recently, Louis Sheaffer in a letter to the Crimson pointed to the remarks in Strange Interlude by the heroine that God should be imagined as a woman or mother and not as a man. It is not generally known. I believe, that this last idea may be found in the older Christian tradition. God has, if not frequently, at least on occasion been compared to a mother and female imagery has been applied to God more than once even in the Bible. One possible example, and it is particularly appropriate because the author, Dame Julian of Norwich, is herself a woman and because she links Jesus who appeared on earth in male form to the mother image, is to be found in her Revelations of Divine Love, written down in 1373 (chapter 58) which runs: "For in our Mother Christ we profit and increase and in mercy He (sic) reformeth us and restoreth.... Thus worketh our Mother in mercy to all His (sic) children...."

May I also point out that the objection raised in recent letters in the Crimson to using she to refer to God is not that God is not female, for He is neither male nor female as well as male and female, but that as the English language now stands, she must mean a female whereas he (the unmarked pronoun) need not mean a male but can mean a person whose sex is unknown. English lacks neutral animate pronouns. Languages change: if he offends, then we must change English so that she can refer to both sexes as well as especially to the female, or we must get another neutral animate pronoun.

Finally, I should like to point out that the record of female deities and the people who worship them is no better than that of male deities and their worshippers. Morton W. Bloomfield   Professor of English

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