Can women be virtuous?

| Linda Brown | Word & Idioms



Well…. don’t kill the messenger, but at least literally – no!

Vitreous derives from Vir, meaning MAN in Latin. It manifests the Roman world believes that only men, rather than women, can have virtuous.

Bonus fact: Likewise Valor, which also finds its roots in Vir. Indeed, like all prejudice, chauvinism is a disease with deep and far-reaching cultural roots.

Bonus fact 2: speaking of chauvinism, originally chauvinism had nothing to do with disrespect for women. It stood for a combination of extreme patriotism and a belief in the supremacy or dominance of a person’s affiliation group – any group.

As the story goes, the term is derived from the name of Nicolas Chauvin, a soldier in Napoleon Bonaparte’s army, who was known for his high loyalty to Napoleon and – more importantly – acute despise to Napoleon’s rivals.

Chauvin became popular, after his satirical portrayal of the Cogniard brothers’ La Cocarde Tricolore (three-color decoration) play in 1831. Following that play, Chauvinism became synonymous with extreme patriotism, while showing hostility toward other nationalists. It was only with the advent of feminism in the 1960s and 1970s, the meaning of Chauvinism as we know it today was introduced.