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Gender and Language - Essay Example

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Throughout the known history of much of the world including the regions where the English language originated and developed, society has been dominated and controlled by patriarchal rule. The resulting product of the Language represents this dominance by means of categorizing…
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Gender and Language
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Gender and Language

Download file to see previous pages... 1950’s television programs were ripe with examples of sexist language. The ‘boob tube’ as it was called then simply reflected life and language as it was at that seemingly archaic time. Women were second class citizens as was illustrated by the casual use of the words ‘dame,’ and ‘broad’ on television. Examples of sexist language can be found in any program at that time. In the Honeymooners, Ralph Cramden was the ‘king of the castle,’ and ‘wore the pants’ in his family (of two). Supper had better be on the table as he arrived home and if Alice got out of line he threatened to ‘send her to the moon’ meaning to hit her in the face as hard as the 300+ pound man could. That was the ‘50’s but this type of sexism in language persists even today.
Sexist language can be deliberate, concealed or controlled. The deliberate use of obvious and overtly derogatory sexist terminology is generally considered discriminatory and is patently unfair treatment of women as compared to men. The intention of concealed sexism is also deliberate and discriminatory but the delivery is of a covert nature. “Subtle sexism is particularly interesting from both theoretical and practical perspectives because it may be quite prevalent, and may have an insidious impact on its victims” (Benokraitis & Feagin, 1999). In Sexism as it exists in language is a controlled manner of speaking that perpetuates gender stereotypes and reinforces status disparities between men and women (Parks & Robertson, 1998). Those less sensitive to sexism as a whole tend not to define the demeaning terms they use as sexist language. These people are of the opinion that sexist language does not exist or are either consciously or subconsciously trying to safeguard traditional patriarchal social hierarchies. Those persons more receptive to sexism and the harm it causes do attempt to adjust their speech patterns so as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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