Gender Biased Language

Improved Essays
In recent times, there has been a focus on forming language policy in order to minimise discrimination perpetuated by language. This has come about as more studies look at the means in which language can be used to undermine groups politically, socially and economically (Wiley & Lukes, 1996). Through the support of ideologies such as Standard English and dogmatic grammar rules, we see the way in which discrimination is perpetuated and fortified through language. One such area where language is a powerful tool to discriminate is that of gender. Gender biased language such as male-based pronouns and gender-specific titles have shown to subvert females (Kleinmann, 2002). The maintenance of such language is often defended as agreed upon conventions …show more content…
There is no doubt that females are under-represented in politics and this is to due to social constructs, which restrict participation and representation. Language is often used to trivialise the involvement of women in politics, and as politicians are considered the masters of rhetoric, it is no surprise it is employed to devalue the contributions of their colleagues based on gender. An example of this is the common criticism received by women in politics of “playing the gender card” to seek advantage (Donaghue, 2015). Such use of rhetoric implies that women who point out the injustices faced by females are using gender as a tactical advantage. As Donaghue (2015) says, it is quite ironic considering that most females in politics who bring attention to gender inequality are often faced with harsh …show more content…
Evidence for gender disparities in economics can be seen in the wage gap, gender roles in the workforce and sexual harassment. Language is a means in which the inequity of genders in economics is perpetuated. Daily and Finch (1993) outline three ways in which sexist language occurs in the workplace, job titles, courtesy titles and the male-based generic pronouns. The use of male-based job titles and generic pronouns when referring to a non-specific person reiterates gender stereotypes in the workforce and promotes inequality. More subtly, however, is the use of courtesy titles, which unnecessarily draw attention to marital status. The consequence of this information is that it can affect employability and earnings of women, as marital status and the ability to have children have been shown to affect job security. Sexist bias is well ingrained in the workforce and is reflected through the language that is

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