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Sexism and Language . Caitlin Bridson-Pateman and Brianna Cheyne. Defining sexist language: . “Words, phrases , and expressions that unnecessarily differentiate between women and men or exclude, trivialize, or diminish either gender” ( Parks & Roberton , 1998 ). History .

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sexism and language

Sexism and Language

Caitlin Bridson-Pateman and Brianna Cheyne

defining sexist language
Defining sexist language:
  • “Words, phrases, andexpressions that unnecessarily differentiate between womenand men or exclude, trivialize, or diminish either gender” (Parks & Roberton, 1998)
history
History
  • Second Wave - Overt
  • Third Wave - Covert
overt
Overt

Definition: Sexist language usage that can be straightforwardly identified.

  • “Old-fashioned”
  • Clearly marks women as being inferior to males
overt1
Overt
  • Dictionaries
  • Generic pronouns and nouns
  • Surnames and titles
  • Semantic derogation
covert
Covert

Definition: An indirect level of sexism that enables someone to express sexism while also denying responsibility for it.

humour
Humour
  • Reinforces unequal power relations
  • Attempts to make sexism ironic
presuppostion
Presuppostion
  • To suppose or assume beforehand, take for granted in advance
language reform
Language Reform
  • Damage the masculine has already done on behaviour
  • Change the sources, rather than the symbols
  • Equal rights = equal words
  • Clear communication
language reform1
Language Reform
  • Strategies of Reform:

- Critique

- Alternative Terms

- Inflecting pejorative words positively

- Answering back/wit

retaliation against reform
Retaliation Against Reform
  • What should be changed/why should there be change?
  • Eliminating masculine?
  • Losing all sex-specific terms?
what can be done
What Can Be Done?
  • Research
  • Action
  • Clarity