doi.orgLanguage and gender: Mainstreaming and the persistence of patriarchyIssues related to gender (and sexuality), largely ignored in the early development of sociolinguistics, have emerged as a cornerstone of the field. Spurred on by the feminist movement and new generations of engaged scholars addressing how language use both reveals and embeds gender inequalities, scholarship on such questions is now “mainstream” across a range of disciplines. Deborah Cameron argues that the primary focus in recent decades on social identity and performance, while path-breaking in many ways, has had the unintended consequence of drawing attention away from core issues of power and patriarchy in terms of gender relations.
I agree with the argument stating that the main focus of the feminist movement on social identity has resulted in removing attention from another core issue, which is the power of patriarchy in terms of gender relations.The shift towards a more identity focused theory, paved way for the study of language and its use in revealing gender inequality. Moreover, the use of language allowed us to view language that had been seen to embed undertones of gender inequality. Due to the shift the utilization of the study language as it pertains to male power over women has diminished. When looking at today’s day and age, “patriarchal social relations remain deeply embedded in almost all societies”. So the use of language to view the inequality between women and men is detrimental.
This article really shows you how negative language is used against women in order to degrade them. I agree with the above comment that it really is something that women encounter on a daily basis. A lot of the time women are ridiculed for doing the exact same things that men do. When it comes to sex, if a woman has slept with multiple people, you could see men referring to her as a "slut" or even go as far as to say things like "she's been passed around". If a man sleeps around, he's almost always praised for it. In order to change this, I believe that you have to start with educating younger people and having them grow up knowing that this type of language when referring to women is not acceptable.
While reading this article, it's sad to say that I was not surprised by the negative connotation against women. This is a fact that I have seen not just in articles, movies, shows, etc. but every day life. Women are always belittled and put down. However, I have never seen men treated that way - not in real life, or any tv show or movie. The difference in our treatment just because of our gender is ridiculous to me. We must change the way people view and refer to women so that stories like the one the author faced or Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign never occurs again. We need to do this so that our gender is not used as a weapon against us but instead, as a propeller to a bright and successful future.
This article was definitely eye opening as to how today's language is used to belittle women. One of the biggest examples in this article was how Hilary Clinton was seen with a "shrill voice" in the presidential campaign in 2016. The only reason that people associated her with the shrill voice was because they think all women have that. And in their minds, she was incapable of being President because of it. It was a way to belittle Clinton and her campaign for presidency. Unfortunately, people said the same about current Vice President Harris as well. Too many people are used to men being in high power positions that they can't fathom women doing it instead. It's time to stop equating women with terms like "shrill" or "timid" in order to belittle them.
Upon reading this article, I was saddened at the fact that when the author was invited to give a speech, the men in attendance solely went in protestation, and were rude in immediately opening their newspapers the second she began to speak. This anecdote, coupled with the stereotype that women are difficult to listen to because of their "shrill" voices makes the use of language even more important and impactful. If a man says the exact same speech in the exact same order as a woman, chances are more people will understand and agree with him.
This article open up a new concept to me as I personally never thought about sociolinguistics which encompasses the study of language in regard to class, bilingualism, occupation and gender. In the article author states that many "experience language as an instrument of male power over women, used to silence, misrepresent, belittle, and harass them." She gave an example from her personal life where she said was invited to Berlin to give a speech about the topic of language and gender, and she was very enthusiastic to do so, especially upon seeing that some other professors actually showed. But the fact was that those professor went there just to register a protest against her before she even spoke. This is crazy! But true!! Another obvious example is the presidential election in 2016 when Clinton's shrill voice was criticized during campaigning. If we want to change this concept of sociolinguistics, we need to change the view of gender and language.
It was very sad to read that the author was invited to Berlin to give a speech about the topic of language and gender, and she was very enthusiastic to do so, especially upon seeing that some other professors actually showed. However, she soon found out that the only reason they came was to register a protest against her before she even spoke. Despite the numerous issues described in the article, it was refreshing to see the contrast she illustrated between present day and the 1970s/80s when she said, "Today the anecdote I've just told prompts incredulous laughter. Language and gender is mainstream...publishing on it is no longer an obstacle to getting hired, or getting tenure." Despite issues such as persistence of patriarchy still existing today, it felt nice to see that there is a silver lining to the status of women in present day and goes to show how far the efforts of the feminist movement have come.
Before reading this article, I have personally never encountered the concept of sociolinguistics which encompasses the study of language in regard to class, bilingualism, occupation and gender. I also agree with the stance Deborah Cameron took in reference to the persistence of patriarchy and gender. As mentioned in the article, " [women] still experience language as an instrument of male power over [them], used to silence, misrepresent, belittle, and harass them". Patriarchy is definitely persistent and prevalent. As language aligns with actions, the persistence of patriarchy and misogyny is extremely detrimental to women and our society as a whole.
I agree with the article that language and gender are weaponized against women "language as an instrument of male power over women, used to silence, misrepresent, belittle, and harass them". The example of the 2016 presidential election is mainstream proof that women have to work against language and gender while those ideas help and benefit men. During the campaigning Clinton's shrill voice was criticized but Trump's sexualized talk about women is simply dismissed as locker room banter. Clinton was criticized for the tone of her voice but Trump gets away inappropriate behavior towards women. The way to combat this is by changing the way we view language and gender.
I thought the push towards understanding identity within feminist theory and critical spaces was an interesting mention. Cameron's summary of Judith Butler's ideas in 'Gender Trouble,' "...which conceptualized gender as “performative,” a form of identity that was not given in advance, but constituted through repeated acts," (Cameron) is very true and viewing gender as a performance allows us to better explore it, but it does restrict that exploration to the binary. If we think about gender as an act, we observe it through what we believe to be the epitome of masculinity and femininity, and whatever behavior falls into the in-between of those concepts is still subject to an "othering."