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Based on your ideas on Nilsen and Tannen, discuss how language reflects patriarchy (Patriarchy) - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: How language reflects patriarchy Nielsen criticises the way people dichotomise gender into two absolute categories of male and female and after analysing English dictionary, she concludes that the English language reflects artificial division of sexes…
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Based on your ideas on Nilsen and Tannen, discuss how language reflects patriarchy (Patriarchy)

Download file to see previous pages... Besides, she manages to show that even when filling forms, women tell stories about themselves because most forms offer four titles to choose from and they include “Mr.”, “Mrs” or “Miss” and “Dr”. In her work, “Mr.” “carries no meaning other than that the respondent is male” (Tennen395); however, when women accept “Mrs.” or “Miss” it shows that they have been married and that they have conservative forms of address. Women using the label “Ms.” decline to reveal if they are married while men using the title “Mr.” decline nothing considering that nothing was asked; hence, women using “Ms.” tend to be seen “as either liberated or rebellious depending on the observer’s attitudes” (Tennen395). Tennen shows that married women surnames are marked and that if a married woman accepts her husband’s name, she acknowledges to the world that, “she is married and has traditional values” (Tennen396). ...
From her dictionary cards, Nielsen shows that “feminine words have acquired sexual connotations while the masculine word retains serious business like aura” (Nielsen). For instance, she manages to show that while a callboy is an individual who calls actors when time comes for them to go to stage, a call girl is considered a prostitute. In her study, Nielsen found about 200 pairs of words that accepted both masculine and feminine forms and in nearly all of the pairs, masculine form was considered the base where a feminine suffix was added. The masculine form is basis on which compounds are made apart from one semantic area where masculine word is not the basis and the areas deals with sex, marriage and motherhood. Nielsen shows that when someone refers to a virgin, the listener probably considers a female unless the speaker specifies a masculine pronoun, which is the same case with the term prostitute. Moreover, Nielsen shows that the grammar used in writing or even talking about weddings show the expectation of men playing an active role when men wed women while the women become brides of men. Nevertheless, titles offered to royalty indicate that males can be at loss because of the assumption that they predominantly play a powerful role; for instance, when a female has the royal title, then the man she marries does not automatically acquire a matching title. From Nielsen’s article, it is clear that connotations between encouraging male and pessimistic female connotations can be established from various pairs of words that differ denotatively in the area of sex. For instance, patron and matron have varying degrees of esteem that womenfolk attempt to use the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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