My grandmother adores one of her doctors, who she insists on calling her lady-doctor. It doesn't matter how many times the doctor's name comes up in conversation, or that I've actually met her, when referring to this woman my grandmother always says something along the lines of "Doctor So-and-So, my lady-doctor, says..." Frankly, my grandmother is too cute for this to irk me, but I do find it interesting to think about which professions get gender-neutral names and which we feel the need to tag with female or male labels. Nobody refers to 'my favorite lady-musician' but - even on this site - we often talk about the female politicians we like. I've never heard anyone discuss their lady-teacher, but I have heard mention of lady-pilots, presumably because they're still rather rare (for reasons Maggie discusses here). Which brings us to today's cartoon:
So, for all you language-lovers out there: Does this gender-tagging of certain professions reinforce our stereotypes or is it sometimes necessary for clarity when we speak of professions where parity has not yet been reached?
(h/t Sociological Images)