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Essay on “Language and Gender Bias” Complete Essay for Class 9, Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Language and Gender Bias

Language is a very powerful factor in our lives. It is the vital and the most common method of communication. Yet it is often misunderstood and misinterpreted, for language is a very complicated mechanism with a great deal of touch. Sometimes during conversation with another individual we must take into account the person’s linguistic pedigree. There are people who use language that would be considered prejudicial or biased in use. But the question, which is raised , is in regard to language usage: is the language the cause of the bias or is it reflective of the pre-existing bias that the user holds? Some people believe that the language that we use in day- to-day conversation is biased in and of itself. They feel that the term mailman, for example is one that excludes women mail carriers. Then there are those who feel that language is a reflection of the prejudices that people have within themselves.

There are words in the English language that exist or have existed that have inherently been sexually biased against women. For example, the person who investigates reported complaints, report’s findings, and helps to achieve equitable settlements is ombudsman (Merriam Webster Dictionary). This is an example of the gender bias that exist in the English language. The language is arranged so that men are identified with glorified and illustrious positions, and women are identified with more service – oriented positions in which they are being dominated and instructed by men. So the reflecting  the privileged position of the male and the subservience of the female. Even in  relationships, the male in the home is often referred to as the “man of the house,” even if it is a 10-year-old child.

Even in the example of word pairs the bias is evident. The masculine word is put before the feminine word. As in the examples of Mr. and Mrs., his and hers, boys and girls, men and women , kings and queens, brothers and sisters, guys and girls and host and hostess. This shows that the semantic usage of many of the English words is also what contributes to the bias present in the English language. There are illustrations where women are seen as passive while men are active and bring things into being.

To be a man, according to some linguistic differences, would be considered an honour. To be gifted by genetics with the encoding of a male would be as having been shown grace, unmerited favour. There are far greater positive nuances connected with being a man than with being a woman. Let’s take the example of “ shrew” and “shrewd.” The word shrew is taken from the name of a small be specially viscous animal, however in dictionary , a “shrew” was identified as an “ill- tempered, scolding woman. “ in the same light, the world shrewd comes from the same root; however, it was defined as “ marked by clever discerning awareness.” It is also trite not to scold little girls for being ‘tomboys’ but to scoff at little boys who play with dolls or ride girl’s bicycles.

Sometimes during conversations between friends, you we use the words like “babe,” “broad,” and “chick.” These are words , which are used in reference to or pointed toward women. It is certainly the person’s prerogative to sue these words to reflect women, but why use them when there are so many more to choose from? Language is the most powerful and most effective tool of communication. It is also the most effective weapon of destruction. There are times when people use the language to validate whatever prejudices they may harbor. For years, Merriam- Webster Dictionary held as their key definition for the word nigger something to the affect of “ term used to refer to persons of darker skin.” This seems to be prevailing even after most other dictionaries changed the definition of nigger to mean an “ ignorant or uniformed person.” Blacks directly felt this. Even today, Merriam- Webster continues to use this definition as well as another that says that nigger means  “a black person,” along with a definition that says a nigger is a “member of a group of socially disadvantaged persons.” But even in that, one cannot ignore the underlying prejudicial tones of that definition.    

Although there are biases that exist in the English language, there has been considerable change towards distinguishing these biases and making the essential changes formally so that they will be implemented socially. It is necessary for people to make the proper adjustments internally to use appropriate language to efficiently include both genders. We qualify language. It is up to us to decide what we will allow to go with and made proper changes in the area of language.


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