Sexism In Language


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Sexism In Language

  1. 1. Sexism in Language Cross-Cultural Communications WTUC
  2. 2. Sexism <ul><li>Sexism is discrimination on the basis of gender. While it is primarily women who are affected by sexism, it can be used to discriminate against either men or women. </li></ul>
  3. 3. English language=Male-centred <ul><li>The language we use reflects and reinforces the values of the society in which we live. </li></ul><ul><li>The English language has developed in a male-dominated, male-centred society. If you examine carefully how we usually express ourselves you will see how male-centred our language is. </li></ul>
  4. 4. When God created Woman <ul><li>God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece . </li></ul>
  5. 5. Generic Man <ul><li>Although MAN in its original sense carried the dual meaning of adult human and adult male, its meaning has come to be so closely identified with adult male that the generic use of MAN and other words with masculine markers should be avoided. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Examples <ul><li>mankind [humanity, people, human beings] </li></ul><ul><li>man's achievements [human achievements] </li></ul><ul><li>man-made [synthetic, manufactured, machine-made] </li></ul><ul><li>the common man [the average person, ordinary people] </li></ul><ul><li>man the stockroom [staff the stockroom] nine man-hours [nine staff-hours] </li></ul>
  7. 7. Occupations <ul><li>chairman [coordinator (of a committee or department), </li></ul><ul><li>moderator (of a meeting), presiding officer, head, chair] </li></ul><ul><li>businessman [business executive] </li></ul><ul><li>fireman [firefighter] </li></ul><ul><li>mailman [mail carrier] </li></ul><ul><li>steward and stewardess [flight attendant] </li></ul><ul><li>policeman and policewoman [police officer] </li></ul><ul><li>congressman [congressional representative ] </li></ul>
  8. 8. CREATION <ul><li>A man said t o his wife one day, &quot;I don't know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time. &quot; The wife responded, &quot;Allow me to explain. God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me; God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you ! </li></ul>
  9. 9. Pronouns <ul><li>Because English has no generic singular--or common-sex--pronoun, we have used HE, HIS, and HIM in such expressions as &quot;the student needs HIS pencil.&quot; When we constantly personify &quot;the judge,&quot; &quot;the critic,&quot; &quot;the executive,&quot; &quot;the author,&quot; and so forth, as male by using the pronoun HE, we are subtly conditioning ourselves against the idea of a female judge, critic, executive, or author. There are several alternative approaches for ending the exclusion of women that results from the pervasive use of masculine pronouns. </li></ul>
  10. 10. a. Recast into the plural . <ul><li>Give each student his paper as soon as he is finished. </li></ul><ul><li>[Give students their papers as soon as they are finished. ] </li></ul>
  11. 11. b. Reword to eliminate gender problems. <ul><li>The average student is worried about his grade. </li></ul><ul><li>[The average student is worried about grades.] </li></ul>
  12. 12. c. Replace the masculine pronoun with ONE, YOU, or (sparingly) HE OR SHE, as appropriate. <ul><li>If the student was satisfied with his performance on the pretest, he took the post-test. </li></ul><ul><li>[A student who was satisfied with her or his performance on the pretest took the post-test. ] </li></ul>
  13. 13. d. Alternate male and female examples and expressions. (Be careful not to confuse the reader.) <ul><li>Let each student participate. Has he had a chance to talk? Could he feel left out? </li></ul><ul><li>[Let each student participate. Has she had a chance to talk? Could he feel left out? ] </li></ul>
  14. 14. Indefinite Pronouns <ul><li>Using the masculine pronouns to refer to an indefinite pronoun (everybody, everyone, anybody, anyone) also has the effect of excluding women. In all but strictly formal uses, plural pronouns have become acceptable substitutes for the masculine singular. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Example <ul><li>Anyone who wants to go to the game should bring his money tomorrow. </li></ul><ul><li>[Anyone who wants to go to the game should bring their money tomorrow. ] </li></ul><ul><li>From Purdue University website </li></ul>
  16. 16. Gender-neutral language <ul><li>Gender-neutral language (gender-generic, gender-inclusive, non-sexist, or sex-neutral language) is language that attempts to refer neither to males nor females when discussing an abstract or hypothetical person whose sex cannot otherwise be determined. English does not have a system of grammatical gender for nouns in general, it instead uses gender-specific pronouns . Gender-neutral language in English includes but is not limited to the use of gender-neutral pronouns . From Wikipedia </li></ul>
  17. 17. Chinese Language: Gender-marked words <ul><li>The Chinese expressions for &quot;Queen,&quot; , and &quot;Empress,&quot; , simply use the characters for &quot;King,&quot; , and &quot;Emperor, , and add the character for &quot;woman/female,&quot; . </li></ul>
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  19. 19. Think of gender-marked words for occupational terms
  20. 20. Work it out!
  21. 22. Work it out! 2
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  23. 24. Work it out! 3
  24. 26. A. Nilsen <ul><li>What these incidents show is that sexism is not something existing independently in the particular dictionary that I happened to read. Rather, it exists in people's minds. Language is like an X ray in providing visible evidence of  invisible thoughts. </li></ul>
  25. 27. A. Nilsen <ul><li>The best thing about people being interested in and discussing  sexist language is that as they make conscious decisions about what pronouns they  will use, what jokes they will tell or laugh at, how they will write their names, or how they will begin their letters, they are forced to think about the underlying issue of sexism. </li></ul>
  26. 28. A. Nilsen <ul><li>This is good because as a problem that begins in people's assumptions  and expectations, it's a problem that will be solved only when a great many people have given it a great deal of thought. </li></ul>
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