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IB English Language and Literature. Language and Gender Monday 16 th – Thursday 19 th September. Watch then share your thoughts. “When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch.” Bette Davis

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ib english language and literature

IB English Language and Literature

Language and Gender

Monday 16th – Thursday 19th September


“When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch.”

Bette Davis

“A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction.”

Oscar Wilde


In pairs, first discuss then individually produce a paragraph response to the following question:

To what extent is our cultural value of men and women defined by the language we use?

For example:

Why is it ok to call a single woman a ‘spinster’ and a single man a ‘bachelor’? The connotations of these words have different cultural values.

nike women posters
Nike Women Posters

For each of the posters on the sheet, comment on the following aspects for analysis:

  • How does it challenge gender stereotypes?
  • Are there aspects of the ad that paradoxically reinforce or play into these same stereotypes?
  • Is this ad ultimately liberating?
  • How does the text of the advertisement either complement or work against the image?
ib english language and literature1

IB English Language and Literature

Language and Gender

Thursday 19th September

men are from mars women are from venus
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

In boy – girl pairs, where possible, discuss the following questions:

  • Do men and women speak differently?
  • Do men and women use language differently?
  • Or is there a combination of the above?

For Tuesday 24th September, produce a page long magazine opinion column which explores the gender differences between men and women

Think about your audience, purpose and use of language.

Think of this as a practice for your Written Task


Analyse the ‘Zits’ image carefully.

Treat it like an unseen in your Paper 1 exam.

You have 15 minutes to annotate the text

Think about:

Audience, stylistic features, language and consider the cultural values being commented on.

Be prepared to share your ideas with the group


Liz Lochhead’s work frequently focuses on girlhood, motherhood, the female side of a relationship.

  • She is very much a Scottish writer and Scotland is not an infrequent presence in her work, in one way or another.
  • One of her most prominent works is her punchy play Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off (1989), which brings both previous points together.
  • In the play, the main protagonist, Mary Stuart, is, after all, a Catholic queen in a Protestant land, and a woman in a man’s world.
  • Working through Lochead’s poem
  • Complete the tasks on the other side of the sheet