Friday, May 19, 2017

A mix of Logic, Tradition and Romance

She fought three wars and ended one. She is the mother to over 2,000 sailors at a single time. She is the Mighty Mo. Ever wonder why ships are always referred to with a feminine pronoun?


The exact reason why is lost to history… However, a mixture of logic, tradition and romance make a good case on why a ship- and more specifically the Battleship Missouri- are always referred to as a Lady.  Here we share some of our findings, may they be fact or fiction, we hope you enjoy this little taste of history.
The above, a very infamous and chauvinistic quote often posted in the wardrooms of many U.S. Navy ships is a well-known explanation that is more than often brought up as the answer – regardless of its accuracy. Despite the offensive descriptions, the ship is relatable to a woman’s characteristics.
One other simple explanation is that the gender of the Latin word for “ship” — Navis — is feminine.
Nevertheless, people generally agree on the more romantic notion of the ‘ship as a she’ phenomenon: that it stems from the tradition of boat-owners, typically and historically male, naming their vessels after significant women in their lives — wives, sweethearts and mothers. Similarly, and more broadly, ships were once dedicated to goddesses, and later also to mortal women of national or historic significance, thereby bestowing a benevolent feminine spirit on the vessels that would carry seafarers across treacherous oceans. Likewise, people of the past have compared a ship to those nurturing characteristics of a mother. As a ship is a vessel to its sailors, a mother is a vessel to her child, naturally making a ship the mother to her sailors.
The practice of naming boats and ships after women continues today, although certainly not exclusively, as does the habit of feminizing our sailing vessels.