The Features Of Sexist Language
My thesis consists of explaining how sexist language affects us in our society and which initiatives we can follow to use a proper language. How can we first talk about equality when there are words that are harmful to us? To begin with, I would like to clarify the aim of sexism. Sexism implicates prejudice or discrimination commonly against women. It also implies behaviours, conditions or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex. Regrettably, sexism is a political issue this day.
Once we have cast light on sexism, it is time to concern people about how the utilization of sexist language can impact on human’s behaviour. Sexism in language is an offensive reminder of the way the culture sees women. Besides, it devalues members of one sex invariably women and thus fosters gender inequality.
In our society, the sexist language comes across on all sides. Our language and society reflect one another, so we need to recognize and respect the change in the meaning and acceptability of words. Due to this fact, human beings are not conscious or they do not perceive this as an offensive manner to treat in a sexist way to a whole part of the world: women. Some of these words refer to professions; postman, chairman, freshman, congressman, businessman. Others to the entire Universe; ‘mankind’. Analysing these words, where is the presence of women in our world? Why are there so many professions that do not take into account the presence of women?
Without realising it, we are moving women away from our society. Unconsciously, we are creating an unequal culture. This is the reason why it is important to make the presence of women real, and everything must start changing our language. Language is related to culture if there is a world where the presence of women is ineffective, what we are making up is inequality, where men are superior to women.
Concerning humans about the use of sexist language is part of our increased awareness. If you write using a non-sexist language, you write to represent with fairness the gender in many words. An alternative is denominated Gender-Fair Language. The practice of using ‘he’ and ‘man’ as generic terms poses a common problem. Rather than presenting a general picture of reality ‘he’ and ‘man’ used generally can mislead your audience.
In English, we can find many sexist language expressions, verbs or phrasal verbs: To Man Up: “Being a man”, means being “strong”, fearless and confident. You are saying that men should not show and feel emotions. You are discouraging a sense of positive masculinity and declaring that women are instead weak-over emotional.
Gender Fair Language is not only introduced by changing some linguistic aspects of our vocabulary but also there is an association made for this proper use of non-sexist language. This institution is guided to teachers and their students in classrooms on college campuses, and in online learning environments. It is called The National Council of Teachers of English and it is devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. This mission statement was adopted in 1990. It promotes the development of literacy, the use of language to construct personal and public worlds and to achieve full participation in society, through the learning and teaching English and the related arts and sciences of language.
Non-sexist language is a resource we have at the tip of our tongues. Language reflects reality and we have to work on changing the unequal gender arrangements that are reflected in our human’s behaviours. The words we use can also reinforce current realities. Words are the tools of thought. It is time to take into account that it is not the same if I think of myself as a ‘girl’ or as a ‘woman’, it makes a difference . Do we want a truly inclusive language or one that just pretends?
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