Interested in Language
What does it mean? Thank you for helping.
ďI donít know who discovered water,
but Iím pretty sure it wasnít a fish.Ē
~ Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980),
media critic & writer
Actually, fish would be the last creatures to discover water, simply because they know nothing else. They know no other reality so thereís nothing to compare it to.
This is a proverb which means that it can be difficult to see, be aware of something, when one is so immersed in it.
For example, racism can be so inherent in a society, in its institutions and culture, that people are oblivious to it. It just 'is' the way things are.
Similarly, with the Women's Movement and 'raising consciousness' - it was necessary for the Movement to help people become aware of how sexism permeates western society, because we have been so used to the status quo, it was as natural to us as breathing air.
So, to update the proverb:
"Men are the last to discover sexism."
Last edited by David L.; 14-May-2008 at 14:59.
Or maybe think of it this way - people had been living in air for millions of years before anyone discovered it. (Think of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme - 'Who would have thought it? I've been speaking in prose all my life.' [That's the gist of the quote - it's nearly 40 years since I read the play.])