Yesterday, Indira was browsing through a book about the history of ballet and she stopped to ask what evolution means. I tried to explain that it conveys the idea of how things and people change/grow/learn. I gave her the example of pre-historic man’s evolution to our current way of life , with the discovery and learning along the way of fire, cultivation of food plants, sheltered habitats, invention of progressively faster means of transport, and other such milestones.
All of which together, I told her, is described as the evolution of man.
To which she said, being ever quick to spot a nuance, “Why do we say ‘man’? What about girls?”
I told her that the term is generic, used to encompass all humanity. And indeed a quick google-check of the etymology of the word would indicate that ‘man’, which probably comes to us from similar words in ancient languages (manu in Sanskrit and Avestan, mannaz in proto-Germanic) did in fact mean ‘human being’ originally and only much later did it begin to mean the male gender specifically.
But I was amused by this very prompt parsing of words.Just another logical thought, or might this mean there is a small spark of feminism here ?!