The English Language Systematically Degrades and Devalues Women

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The English Language Systematically Degrades and Devalues Women It is often argued that the English language needs to be modernised to keep pace with the rapidly changing societies in the world. One reason for this is many words and their usages are viewed as sexist, in that they are discriminating against individuals based on their gender. In this essay, I shall discuss many factors relevant to the argument that the English language systematically degrades and devalues women.

One possible argument in agreement with this statement is that male words and their female equivalents are often asymmetrical in their connotations and …show more content…

Even the word ‘female’ is a marked term derived from ‘male’, and ‘women’ is derived form ‘men’. This repetitive format stems from the fact England has always been a patriarchal society, where female liberation is a relatively new idea, and as a result the English language still strengthens and perpetuates sexist attitudes. However, it is possible to argue that this is gradually changing, and the language is becoming less discriminate, because many marked terms such as ‘authoress’ are dying out; this is a sign of changing attitudes in society.

Another illustration of how the English language devalues women more than it does men is that there is a vast amount of insulting lexical usages for females, often with no equivalents for males, and usually with increased negative connotations compared to the insults aimed at males. For example, there are innumerable sexual insults such as ‘whore’, ‘slag’ and ‘slut’ that portray the view that women are sex objects. Lexis that denotes a man’s sexual lifestyle are incontestably more positive in general, for example ‘stud’, ‘player’ and ‘Casanova’. The idea that women are less significant than men is conveyed in the large

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