Language: Gendered Address

I am taking a German class this term in preparation for potential post-graduation employment through the MIT-Germany program. It's been fun to reacquaint myself with the language and I'm looking forward to it. There's one unusual wrinkle, though: our professor is a visiting scholar from Wellesley (a women's school). Some Germans have a verbal tick in which they insert "meine Damen und Herren" (ladies and gentlemen) into their speech for emphasis or to pause.

Our professor, on the other hand, repeatedly asks questions like, "Wo denken sie, meine Damen, dass Europa beginnt?" Or, "Ladies, where do you think Europe begins?"

Fortunately, the three Herren in the class think that it's more funny than bothersome.

Note: Photo courtesy of Brown University showing an anatomy class for women in 1900.


  1. German class? Android apps development class? We should add them SDM foundation classes.

  2. I'm enchanted with this image (story, not photo).