Thursday, March 09, 2006
(Photo: Duncan Andrew, The Witness)
I have a question I’d like answered: Do you get female gnomes? There seems to be some confusion around this point, as the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary defines a gnome as a very small old man with a long beard and pointed hat. But other accounts and many garden gnome displays lend testimony to the fact that there are indeed both male and female gnomes.
Which brings me to the issue I want to raise, my point(ed hat) of contention, as it were. Having been alerted to the issue of garden gnome liberation by a cutting-edge journalistic piece appearing in our local newspaper this week, I did some investigation into the phenomenon. And what I found was alarmingly reflective of the discrimination perpetuated against women in (real) society.
As reported in The Witness this week, “garden gnome liberation is a worldwide phenomenon…a political movement dedicated to liberating gnomes from the gardens in which they are shackled…removing gnomes from gardens and either taking them out to the woods to release them or smashing them to set their spirits free.” A (g)noble cause, and one taken up in earnest by liberation movements around the world – like the Free the Gnomes group in the United States.
But if one looks more closely at the reports and photographic testimonies of the struggle for gnome civil liberties and rescue attempts around the world, one notices that the gnomes that are liberated all share one common characteristic: they are all male gnomes. What about the female gnomes? Could these liberation fronts be operating on the assumption that women are more contented to stay ‘shackled’ in floral domesticity, while men have the biological need and moral right to be set free, to run wild?
Posted by Debra Leigh Marais I'm reading: No Gnome Liberation for WomenTweet this! at 8:16 AM