land as female?

Katherine B Martineau kbmartin at
Tue May 14 19:17:54 UTC 1996

On Tue, 14 May 1996, Peter Claus wrote:

> suspect that FIELDS (a special kind of land, and the kind in
> question) and ritual space and battlegrounds might well be
> regarded as male. Or at least controlled by males, cultivated by
> males, transformed by males or something like that. In any case,
> there seems to be something very male about some kinds of land.
> At the very least, land is the PROPERTY of males and when men
> give other men property it is something of themselves, and I am
> not sure it is the femaleness of the thing given which is
> formost.  But maybe .....  

This very description seems to me as evidence of how and why land is 
identified as/with females.  True, it may not be the femaleness that is 
foremost, rather the relation of the land to men.  Yet is that not what 
is also foremost in the consideration (defination even?) of a female (her 
relationship to men, be it husband, father, brother)?

Katherine Martineau
kbmartin at

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