Sexism and Language

Topics: Gender, Linguistics, Semiotics Pages: 2 (477 words) Published: February 21, 2011
Sexism and Language
Pre- Reading Journal Entry
Yes I agree, because if words include “man” behind them, then it’s almost like saying men are much better than women. It implies they’re superior to us and females aren’t as great as men. If gender-based language was changed to gender-neutral terms then it gives a sense of equality women are sometimes offended of how underestimated they are.

Alleen Nilsen’s informative “Sexism and Language” (1977) proclaims that many English words tend to show sexism towards girls since it makes women seem either invisible or terrible. It starts off with Nilsen giving some examples of sexism when she compares animals to humans and states that girls have the negative comparisons while men are named after good animals, and then she moves onto how English words glorify men; the word clerk-typist is to describe men but in contrast, women are called with feminine words like nurse or a cook and then the selection ends with Nilsen saying females are compared to items that people have for pleasure. The purpose of this article was to inform people of how there’s so much sexism in our language still today in order to make citizens realize that, even though our culture has changed, the words we speak everyday can have sexism in it. Her audience is to both men and women and she tells them about the way American English reflects our value.

❖ Semantic- arising from the different meanings of words or other symbols (192) ❖ Lexical- of or pertaining to the vocabulary of a language (195) ❖ Pejorative- having a disparaging effect (196)

❖ Valiant- brave (197)

Rhetorical Strategies
1. Alliteration- “…because besides being…” (192)
2. Rhetorical Question- “Now, how can the Marines ask someone who has signed up for a man-sized job to do women’s work?” (195) 3. Diction- “Hugh Hefner might never have made it to the big time if he had called his girls rabbits instead of bunnies.” (194) 4....
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