Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pansies/ Violas

The name pansy is derived from the French word pensée meaning "thought", and was so named because the flower resembles a human face; in August it nods forward as if deep in thought. Because of this the pansy has long been a symbol of Freethought[1] and has been used in the literature of the American Secular Union. Humanists use it too, as the pansy's current appearance was developed from the Heartsease by two centuries of intentional crossbreeding of wild plant hybrids. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) uses the pansy symbol extensively in its lapel pins and literature.

The word "pansy" has indicated an effeminate male since Elizabethan times and its usage as a disparaging term for a man or boy who is effeminate (as well as for an avowedly homosexual man) is still used. (There is a queercore musical band called Pansy Division, drawing on this association.) The word "ponce" (which has now come to mean a pimp) and the adjective "poncey" (effeminate) also derive from "pansy".

When I finished university, I worked in a predominently male business organisation. The guys told me a lot about Kiwi way of life that normal polite people would not talk about about. One of it is the flower pansy.

One of the younger guys called another pansy, and the other was very angry, and call  dhim fa**** back. There was almost a fist fight. The old guys had to separate them. They told me, you can call a man anything but a pansy. Wikipeadia  has explained it. You see, at that time "pansies" were illegal and shun upon.

Now, the most famous pansy in New Zealand is Pansy Wong. She is the first Asian to win an electorate and is the first Minister of Cabinet of Asian ethnicity. She was asked if she was sympathetic to the "pansies" with a name like that. She replied that she chose the name because she found Pansies really pretty.

Pansies come in all colours, it is coincidence that the pansies I found were purple.

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