I attended an event at Literati Bookstore on Tuesday night, and it was a reading from a Swedish poet’s translator (the actual poet had to cancel her trip to the states). It was an awesome event, great poetry, the works. There was just one thing that really struck me that I felt I really needed to share with you all (especially you, Sami!)
One woman was reading the poem in Swedish, and then the translator would read it in English. Someone from the audience asked why what means “free person” in Swedish was translated into “free man” in English. I don’t think she meant any harm in her answer, but after discussing feminism a lot in class I was reading into every word she composed as her answer. She said that using “free man” as opposed to “free person” (including women) was more universal and poetic. I don’t think she meant anything by this response, but I took it as extremely insensitive. I’m wondering what others’ thoughts are on this. Do you think that poetry is against feminism? Do you think that equality of the sexes will be harder to obtain due to the differences in languages? Maybe we have to break through the barriers of every single language before feminism can be a universal topic that people are aware of.
What do you think? Am I totally wrong for reading into this too much?