The Importance Of Sexist Language

841 Words 4 Pages
Sexist language is often part of people’s everyday speech. It manifests in many ways, including exclusive terms, gendered insults or derogatory terms, and the use of male pronouns as the generic. Linguistic sexism reinforces harmful stereotypes and ideologies, so many feminists believe there is a need for language reform. However, some people think we should not try to change language to combat linguistic sexism because they think it’s less important than other feminist issues or they have concerns about freedom of speech. In the end, it is important to attempt language reform because language influences the way people think, even in small ways, and it’s difficult to combat sexism in different areas of society when sexism exerts such a strong presence on something as important and as prevalent as the way we speak and the words we use. One particularly harmful area of sexist language is the use of gendered insults: specifically, insults used primarily to derogate women. Terms like bitch, slut, …show more content…
Others may say that it’s impossible to stop people from using words. Yet it’s natural for words to fall into and out of use with time. Language reform is simply an attempt to facilitate this natural change and direct it so that it will reduce the harmful effects of sexist language. Additionally, attempting to change language is not the same thing as trying to restrict freedom of speech, it’s simply asking people to find other ways of saying things that don’t perpetuate harmful ideologies. There are plenty of similar words that have become inappropriate to use due to societal changes, especially words used to refer to people of color. It’s not going against anyone’s freedom of speech to tell them not to use hate speech, and while sexist language isn’t on that level, the idea behind it is similar, that these words have harmful effects, so they shouldn’t be

Related Documents