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    #1

    What does this sentence mean? "and his cold temperament has none of those effeminate

    What does this sentence mean? "and his cold temperament has none of those effeminate vices which weaken milder races."
    Nature has given the Indian a hard and stern countenance. Ambition, revenge, jealousy are his ruling passions; and his cold temperament has none of those effeminate vices which weaken milder races.
    It is an article named " The Indian Character" by Francis Parkman

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    #2

    Re: What does this sentence mean? "and his cold temperament has none of those effemin

    Quote Originally Posted by fariba_sabok View Post
    What does this sentence mean? "and his cold temperament has none of those effeminate vices which weaken milder races."
    Nature has given the Indian a hard and stern countenance. Ambition, revenge, jealousy are his ruling passions; and his cold temperament has none of those effeminate vices which weaken milder races.
    It is an article named " The Indian Character" by Francis Parkman

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) You have asked a very difficult and controversial question.

    (2) First, kindly remember that Mr. Parkman lived from 1823 to 1893. His opinions

    about Indians (or Native Americans) are not necessarily considered in 2011 to be

    correct. That sentence you quoted would hurt the feelings of Native Americans

    nowadays.

    (3) Let's discuss the words:

    (a) "cold temperament." My dictionary defines "cold" as unemotional. So we might be

    able to say that a "cold temperament" means that you do not let emotions guide your

    actions. You are "cold" or "hard."

    (b) "effeminate vices" has many definitions, depending on the context (that is,

    depending on what the article is discussing). In the case of Mr. Parkman's books on

    Native Americans (none of which I have read), it is only my educated guess that he is

    referring to what are often called "softer" human qualities, such as compassion and

    generosity. As you know, the word "effeminate" refers to women. As you know,

    "vices" refers to weaknesses. Thus, we might say that "effeminate vices" might

    (depending on the context) refer to what some people think are the weaknesses of

    women (compassion? generosity?). As you know, some people think that women

    make better nurses than men; some people think there would be fewer wars if all the

    leaders of the world were women. Of course, many people disagree with this idea!

    (c) "milder races" might refer to races that are not so "cold" or "hard" as (he says)

    Native Americans. As you know, "mild" means "warm."


    Sources: Wikipedia article on Francis Parkman.

    Sparks Notes article on the Web about The Prince by Machiavelli.
    Last edited by TheParser; 27-Nov-2011 at 16:20.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What does this sentence mean? "and his cold temperament has none of those effemin

    Parkman was not only a racist but also a male chauvinist

    Much language is implicitly sexist. Long before Parkman, the Latin word virtus was formed from the word vir. Virtue was a manly thing. The phrase 'effeminate vices' reflects the same sort of assumption (which I find somewhere between annoying and pathetic)

    b

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