Family First have responded to the moving-forward of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill in their usual calm and logical manner, by issuing a press release screaming that the words “husband” and “wife are to be removed from our marriage-related legislation, and thus will obviously cease to have any meaning at all.
Literally, people, you’re going to wake up the day the amendment comes into force and you won’t remember what those words mean. The gay agenda is ubiquitous and omnipotent, and its gay mind rays will steal your brain.
All this panic-mongering really does is once again demonstrate that Family First don’t have a fucking clue about history or society or culture. They’ve kept on lamenting about the “definition of marriage” – as though divorce isn’t a relatively new thing, or marital rape has always been illegal (legal in my lifetime, people). And now they seriously want you to worry that the English language might change.
Well they can just kiss my queynte.
“Wife” is the less interesting example here: its roots are the Old English wīf, meaning woman, because patriarchy.
But “husband” is an interesting one. Take it away, handy online dictionary:
late Old English (in the senses ‘male head of a household’ and ‘manager, steward’), from Old Norse húsbóndi ’master of a house’, from hús ’house’ + bóndi ’occupier and tiller of the soil’.
Oh shit, people. Once we remove “husband” from the Marriage Act, how will Bob McCoskrie identify himself to others as a house-occupying tiller of the soil? Panic!!! Or maybe we can realise that this beautifully hodge-podge English language of ours has always changed and developed in line with society’s needs.
And of course, all this ignores the fact that “husband” has meant a lot of very different things – some pretty awful things, like women’s property rights, or rather lack thereof – just in the last few centuries. The cuddly, warm, familial idea of “husband” which Bob McCoskrie now wants to lay claim to is a pretty recent invention – and it’s come to mean what it does largely in spite of religious, patriarchal crusaders like Bob.
Just remember: we’re dealing with someone who mentions the 20,000+ submissions received on the Bill … but is conveniently silent on the fact that the majority of them were in support. It’s baseless fearmongering (fearmonger first attested 1939, possibly related to scaremonger 1888, -monger from Old English mangere “merchant, trader, broker,” from mangian “to traffic, trade,” from Proto-Germanic *mangojan, from Latin mango (genitive mangonis) “dealer, trader, slave-dealer,” from a noun derivative of Greek manganon “contrivance, means of enchantment,” from PIE root *mang-”to embellish, dress, trim.” Used in comb. form in English since at least 12c.; since 16c. chiefly with overtones of petty and disreputable.).
But at least you’ve learnt something today, right?