Some common English phrases may have sexist roots.
“Wearing the pants” is a phrase that could be tied back to a time when pants were considered an article of clothing for men.
“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” seems to imply a person’s goal should be marriage.
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Although you may not realize it, there are a lot of common phrases in the English language that could actually have sexist connotations or discriminatory origins.
Here are some common English phrases that could have sexist roots.
‘Wearing the pants’ in a relationship could date back to the idea that men are meant to be the more dominant partner
When someone says a person “wears the pants in a relationship,” they are typically implying that the person is the dominant figure in their partnership.
According to Bloomsbury International, the phrase may have originated in the 19th century. During this time period, women in the US traditionally didn’t wear pants out in public, but longer gowns or skirts that restricted their movement (though there were a few enterprising women who did start to wear pants in the 1800s).
So the phrase “wearing the pants” seems to enforce the unhealthy idea that it’s “manly” or “masculine” to be in a dominant or powerful position. It also implies that there is a power structure in relationships even though a healthy modern relationship is typically one where both parties have equal say.
In addition, this phrase also implies that all relationships have a masculine partner and a feminine partner, which is not always the case.
‘Always a bridesmaid, never a bride’ implies a person’s goal should be marriage
This popular phrase has roots in the 1920s and means that someone is not meeting their full potential. Though the phrase obviously refers to someone not getting married, it can also be used in a sports context to mean that a team or athlete has fallen short of a goal.
A variation of the phrase reportedly originated from a 1920s Listerine mouthwash advertisement that featured the headline, “Often a bridesmaid … never a bride!”
“Most of the girls of her set were married … but not Eleanor. It was beginning to look, too, as if she never would be,” the ad reads, according to Snopes. The Listerine ad implied that if a woman was not yet married, perhaps her breath was to blame. It also implied that Eleanor’s …read more
Source:: Business Insider