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How languages reveals embodies and sustains attitudes to genders?LANGUAGE AND GENDER

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francais123 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted June 1, 2010 at 3:09 AM via web

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How languages reveals embodies and sustains attitudes to genders?


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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 1, 2010 at 3:23 AM (Answer #1)

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In my opinion, language can reveal cultural attitudes towards women.  For example, the Japanese language shows attitudes towards women in the derivations of some words used to refer to family members.  The character for "husband" is one that means "lord" or "master."  By contrast, words for wife mean things like "inside the house."  This clearly shows what is expected of women.

Language can help sustain attitudes as well.  For example, in English, we tend to always use the pronoun "he" to refer to a person in the abstract.  We refer to human beings as "men."  You can argue that this encourages us to think of men as the "true" people and women as sort of afterthoughts.

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