Jenny Elizabeth Keul

Milan, Italy

About Jenny Elizabeth

Languages

English, French, Italian

Areas of Expertise

Italian, Italian Luxury Goods, Italian Food and Wine, Ethical Fashion

I'm passionate about

international dialogue, women's issues, nature, animals, the environment, ethical fashion, music, art, nutrition, wine, local culture.

Comments & conversations

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Jenny Elizabeth Keul
Posted over 2 years ago
As a trilingual or bilingual, what role does language play in the creation of your identity? Which language do you think in?
Language is tightly interwoven with culture, so it is inevitable that the culture will have an effect upon the manner of speaking. I am a native English speaker, but perfectly fluent in Italian, and have been living in Italy for over a decade. Some of my bilingual friends have told me that they "prefer" me when I speak in one language as opposed to the other, and I am also aware that I am quite different when I change language. I have noticed that INTERNATIONAL English is a unique language in and of itself, because in becoming international it has been stripped of a lot of the regional nuances that give a language its unique flair and generational/geographical/cultural context. Since I've been living abroad I speak primarily Italian and "international" English (with non-native English speakers), and I have to admit that when I do have the rare opportunity to speak with friends from my childhood in the U.S., I feel transported back in time and happily dust off some of the old slang that I haven't used in ages. If I had to try to classify it, I feel like I am closest to my "real" self when I am speaking either regional conversational English or Italian, because in both cases I am enriching my word choice with pieces of myself and the cultures that have helped forge me. When I speak in "international" English I feel more limited and formal, because it means I am speaking with someone who may or may not be able to understand some of the more place-specific slang or cultural references.
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Jenny Elizabeth Keul
Posted over 2 years ago
Isabel Allende: Tales of passion
Feminism is a word that has become loaded with a lot of negative connotations, but as an American woman living in Italy, I agree with Isabel Allende that feminism is not out-of-date or irrelevant. It remains a pressing issue, both in under-developed and in "advanced" countries alike. The terrain that was gained by women in the previous century must still be adamantly defended and improved upon today. To some people from countries in which gender equality is almost taken for granted, this continuing battle might indeed seem unnecessary, but the world is a large place and each culture sees gender issues from a unique perspective. One of the greatest obstacles to gender equality these days is the difficulty women have supporting each other and giving each other opportunities in the professional realm. Much to my dismay, women are not always capable of working well as a team, and sometimes are even responsible for hindering the advancement of other women. The next crucial stage of feminism must be for women to start examining some of their own gender preconceptions. Many intelligent women I know still consider a male gynecologist more reassuring than a female one, or a male politician more charismatic and effective, a male boss more authoritative and a better leader. Until women start to view other women in an egalitarian fashion, we cannot say that the feminist battle has actually been won.