Friday, May 31, 2013

The Natural History of the Battle-Axe

From the start, I'm not talking about the hand-held Medieval weapon, but rather a forceful, domineering, and aggressive woman.  Obviously, this notoriously sexist and possibly ageist expression has certain stereotypes with it.  Typically, the female battle-axe is somewhat older, stockier, formidable, and more opinionated woman than average.  It's not likely that a supermodel or a sorority pledge or an instructor or assistant professor will be so described.  St. Therese of Lisieux a battle-axe?  Nope.  Too young, too humble, and too passive.  Catherine of Siena, yes!

Naturally, prohibitionist Carry Nation seemed to have launched the stereotype of the battle-axe.  But Hilary Clinton, Anne Coulter, and Nancy Pelosi keep the term current even though it is in recession.  Maybe that's due to increased sensitivity regarding sexist and ageist language?  Still, people do get off the p.c. straight-and-narrow despite the eagle eyes and sharp ears of the Language Morals Police.

If the term is used to describe a member of the military, presumably she should be at least a Major or Colonel; and never called that to her face!  Lieutenants and Ensigns lack gravitas.   If in the other ranks, she would have to be a senior NCO.

Among women academics, there are plenty enough battle-axes.  Some achieve this status along with becoming full professors.  Professordom has its factions; and the ruthless, crusty ones manage to get to the top in some departments.

No one, I mean no one, would ever call a coach a battle-axe to her face or even in print.

I'm intrigued with how women manage to attain this status.  Does their Battle-axe application come with their AARP membership?  Does it have to be notarized and filed at the courthouse?  Lacking any knowledge of it at all, can one back into or stumble into battle-axehood?  These are sobering thoughts.  Or do they take classes, such as Basic Battle-axing?  Are those classes approved by regional accrediting associations?

Clearly, this seems to be a place for there to be governmental participation and possible regulation.  Especially if it can augment the revenue flow into governmental agencies and employ more bureaucrats.  Will we see more taxation of battle-axes due to representation?  Would not a battle-axe tax be a form of luxury tax, or maybe a sin tax?

Could I apply for a job as Battle-axe Inspector someday?  And would that come under the Department of Defense, or the Department of Health and Human Services?

Maybe I should also find out how people manage to become cougars!

11 comments:

Grand Crapaud said...

Very interesting concept!

Bilbo said...

So, what is the equivalent term for a forceful, domineering, and aggressive man? I think of myself as a "curmudgeon," but that appellation doesn't have the militant gravitas of "battle axe." As a member of AARP (though a few years out from real retirement), this is an issue I need to address soon. Recommendations are welcome.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I've mostly heard that term used to describe nasty old women...as in "You old battle-axe"

MarkD60 said...

The best teacher I ever had, Mrs Reynolds, 6th grade, 1971, called herself a battle axe, but she was anything but.

TexWisGirl said...

haven't heard that expression used in a long time...

Duckbutt said...

My grandpa, when my grandma would not bring him some bourbon to the hospital, called her an old battleaxe.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Some of my high school teachers definitely qualified. My Math teacher thought her feces had no odor.

Kristen Drittsekkdatter said...

My boss is referred to by the staff as the old battle axe. Uff da!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Yes, what is the male equivalent to battle-axe?

John Hill said...

Aren't you a little young to be thinking about becoming a cougar?

...or just planning ahead?

Cloudia said...

Came for your cool personae, stasyed and joined for the awesome point of view! Aloha. Come check out my off kilter Hawaii blog. BTW I seem to be morphing into a cougar so I'll try and figure it out and let you know.

Aloha