Minggu, 06 Juni 2010

GENDER AS REFLECTED IN ENGLISH

GENDER AS REFLECTED IN ENGLISH

Arilia Triyoga

08142006

POST GRADUATE PROGRAM

ENGLISH EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

AHMAD DAHLAN UNIVERSITY

Man and woman are created different from physically, biologically to socially. These differences result the differentiation in language refers them and the language they used. Because of that differentiation, appears term gender in English. Gender in English defines as grouping of words into masculine, feminine and neuter, according as they are regarded as male, female or without sex. There are three ways of distinguish masculine and feminine: by changing the ending or adding a certain bound morpheme to the noun, by changing of words and by placing words before or after. While, sexism still exists on English although it is reduced. Feminist have claimed that English is a sexist language and woman seems to be discriminated. To avoid that, the alternative words are suggested to reduce or eliminate sexist English.

Key Words: Gender, Masculine, Feminine, Sexism, Sexist Language, Male, Female, Neuter.

A. INTRODUCTION

As a social phenomenon, language is closely related to social attitudes. In the past, women are supposed to stay at home, remaining powerless and generally subordinate to man, whereas men are considered as the center both in the family and society. In a word, for a long time women have been looked on as “the weaker sex” in society. Even in English-speaking countries, which hold the claim that “every one is created equal”, discrimination against women exists. Language simply reflects this social fact.

Gender defines as the condition of being male or female. Gender meant here is grouping of words into masculine, feminine and neuter, according as they are regarded as male, female or without sex. Masculine gender includes most words that refer to males; Feminine gender includes most words that refer to females; Neuter gender includes mostly words that do not refer to males or females.


B. DISCUSSION

1. MASCULINE AND FEMININE

Masculine is the name which has characteristic of the male sex, such as father, author, uncle, brother, etc. While feminine is the name which has the characteristic of female sex, such as, girl, mother, aunt, sister, etc. The words man, he, his and him are often used in referring to human beings of either sex. There are three ways of distinguish masculine and feminine; by changing the ending or adding bound morpheme to the noun, by changing of words and by placing word before or after.

a. By changing the ending or adding a certain bound morpheme to the noun

Masculine

Feminine

Actor

Actress

Author

Authoress

Duke

Duchess

Emperor

Empress

Giant

Giantess

God

Goddess

Heir

Heiress

Hero

Heroine

Host

Hostess

Waiter

Waitress

Steward

Stewardess

Prince

Princess

Count

Countess

Poet

Poetess

Manager

Manageress

Mayor

Mayoress

Shepherd

Shepherdess

Usher

Usherette

Sailor

Sailorette

Conduct

Conductette

b. By changing of words

Masculine

Feminine

Bachelor

Spinster

Buck

Doe/deer

Bullock

Heifer

Dog

Bitch

Carl

Countess

Stage

Hind

Horse

Mare

Father

Mother

Gentlemen

Lady

Lord

Lady

Son

Daughter

Sir

Madam

Brother

Sister

Boy

Girl

Cock

Hen

Drake

Duck

Gander

Goose

Wizard

Witch

King

Queen

Friar

Nun

Husband

Wife

Nephew

Niece

c. By placing words before or after

Masculine

Feminine

grandfather

Grandmother

Landlord

Landlady

Manservant

Maidservant

Peacock

Peahen

Policeman

Policewoman

Chairman

Chairwoman

2. SEXISM

Sexism is discrimination based on the gender of a person -- looking down on people because they are male or female. Sexist language is language that expresses bias in favor of one sex and thus treats the other sex in a discriminatory manner. In most cases, the bias is in favor of men and against women. The existence of sexist language is due to sexism in society. As a social phenomenon, language is closely related to social attitudes.

What are the kinds of sexist language?

a. Language that excludes women or renders them invisible

The use of the generic masculine subsuming all humanity in the terms man, father, brother, master.

Example

Alternative

man

human being, human, person, individual

mankind, men

human beings, humans, humankind, humanity, people, human race, human species, society, men and women

working men, workmen

workers, wage earners

man on the street

average person, ordinary person, the common tao

forefather

Ancestor

layman

layperson, nonspecialist, non professional

manhood

adulthood, maturity

manning

staffing, working, running

to a man

everyone, unanimously, without exception

one man show

one person show solo exhibition

founding fathers

Founders

manpower

human resources, staff, personnel, labor force

brotherhood of man

the family of humanity, the unity of people or of humankind human solidarity

early man

early people, early men and women, early human beings

statemanship

diplomacy

man-made

manufactured, synthetic, artificial

old masters

classic art/artists

masterful

domineering, very skillful

b. The Singular Masculine Pronouns He, His, Him.

Example

Suggested Alternatives

When a reporter covers a controversial story, he has a responsibility to present both sides of the issue

When reporters cover controversial stories, they have a responsibility to present both sides of the issue

Each student should bring his notebook to class every day.

All students should bring their notebooks to class every day.

Everyone packed his own lunch.

Everyone packed a lunch.

If a customer has a complaint, send him to the service desk.

Customers with complaint should be sent to the service desk.

The handicapped child may be able to feed himself.

Handicapped children may be able to feed themselves.

c. Terms ending in man to refer to functions that may be performed by individuals of either sex.

Example

Alternatives

anchorman

anchor, anchorperson

businessman

business executive, manager, business owner, retailer

cameraman

camera operators, cinematographers, photographers

chairman

chairperson

congressman

Representative, member of congress, congress member, legislator

craftsmen

artisans, craft artists, craftpersons

draftsmen

drafters

firemen

fire fighters

fishermen

fishers, fisherfolk

foremen

supervisors

lineman

line installer, line repairer

lumbermen

lumbercutters

milkman

milkdeliverer, milk supplier, 'milko' (informal)

pressmen

press operators

policeman

police officer, law enforcement officer

repairmen

repairers

salesman

salesperson, sales representative, sales agent

spokesman

spokesperson, representative

sportsmen

sports enthusiasts

statesmen

diplomats, political leaders

watchmen

guards

weatherman

weather reporter, weathercaster, meteorologist

d. The use of terms that call attention to a person's sex in designating occupations, positions, roles, etc.

Example

Alternatives

delivery boys, delivery men

deliverers

Motherhood, fatherhood

parenthood

political husbands, political wives

political spouses

headmasters, headmistresses

principals

cow boys, cow girls

ranch hands

traffic in women

sex tourism

girl watching

street harassment

bellman, bellboy

bellhop

clergyman

Member of the clergy, minister, rabbi, priest, pastor, etc.

mailman, postman

mail carrier, letter carrier

fathers (religious)

priests

laundrywomen, washerwomen

launderers

chorus girls

chorus dancers

longshoremen

longshore workers, stevedores

cleaning women, cleaning lady

cleaners

stewardess, steward

flight/cabin attendant

corporate husbands, corporate wives

corporate spouses

domestic, maids,

household workers, servants household help

e. One tendency involves words that are clearly restricted in reference to one sex or the other, with female words tending to have less favorable meanings.

1) The word “master” means “host” while the feminine word “mistress” has the surface meaning “hostess”, but actually its connotative meaning is “lover”.

2) The word “governor” refers to “a person appointed to govern a province or state, whereas the word “governess” just means ‘nurse maid”.

3) The word “professional” refers to a person qualified or employed in one of the professions. When we say “he is a professional”, he may be thought to be a boxer, whereas when we say “she is a professional”, she is likely a prostitute.

4) When “tramp” refers to male, it means that the man is homeless; he goes from place to place and does no regular work. While when it refers to a female, it also indicates that she is a prostitute.

5) The word shrew taken from the name of a small but especially vicious animal is defined in Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary as an “bad-tempered, scolding woman,” but the word shrewd taken from the same root is defined as “having, showing, sound judgment and common sense.” and illustrated with the phrase “a shrewd businessman.”

6) “The man in the street” and “The woman in the street” is in the same situation, yet the former one just shows that the man is an ordinary person; the latter one can indicates that she is a prostitute.

7) “Dog”, when “he is a dog” means a man is untrustworthy and adventurous but when a woman is a dog is sexually unattractive and unsuitable for dating.

There’re still so many sexist English which discriminates woman’s position. Animal imagery is one example where the images of woman seem considerably less positive than those for men. Consider the negativity of bitch, old biddy, and cow, compared to stud and wolf.

Bitch defines as a female dog or other animal of the dog family or a woman especially a cruel and unpleasant one. Biddy defines as a hen; a fowl, for a woman especially a garrulous old one. Cow is a large farm animal kept for milk or meat or an offensive word for a woman. Stud is a place where animals especially horses, are kept for breeding. For man stud defines as a young man who is thought to be very active sexually or who is regarded as a good sexual partner.

Chick and kitten are sweet but helpless pets. Women may also be described or referred to in terms of food imagery, which is equally insulting. Saccharine terms, such as sugar, sweetie, honey, are mainly, though not exclusively, used for addressing women. Less complimentary terms such as crumpet and tart, however, are restricted to female referents.

Crumpet refers to a light soft yeast cake, eaten buttered. For a woman crumpet is chiefly Brit slang sexually attractive women collectively. Tart defines as a shallow pie containing fruit or other sweet filling, usually not covered with pastry. Tart is defined differently for woman; it means a prostitute or a woman considered to be sexually promiscuous.

C. CLOSING WORDS

Male and female are created different. They have their own portion is social life. In English, gender refers whether they male or female. Masculine is regarded as male and feminine is regarded as female. Although sometimes sexist English still appear, it is better to use suggested alternative words or phrase to avoid and to reduce sexism. It is because sexism seems unfair for woman.

In respect to English Language Teaching, it is important for the teacher to introduce gender in English include in sexism. It is in order to make the students understand about distinguish between masculine and feminine. It is also to avoid misunderstanding of the meaning of some words in order to eliminate sexist English by introducing the students the alternative words or phrases. It will reduce the distance between male and female.

REFERENCE

Chaika, Elaine. 1982. Language the Social Mirror. Massachusetts: Newbury House Publisher

Freeborn, Dennis. 1993. Varieties of English. Second Edition. New York: Palgrave

Holmes, Janet. 2001. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Second Edition. England: Pearson Education

Hornby, AS. 1995. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English. Fifth Edition. New York: Oxford University Press

_________________1422 Hijriyah. English Grammar for Class Three. Ponorogo: Modern Islamic Boarding School Darussalam Gontor

ELECTRONICALLY SOURCES:

Biddy. Accessed on 18th of June 2009. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/biddy

Crumpet. Accessed on 18th of June 2009. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/crumpet

Lie, Xiaolan. Sexism in Language (Journal of Language and Linguistics). Accessed on 15th of June 2009. http://www.shakespeare.uk.net/journal/5_1/5LingLei.pdf

Sexism. Accessed on 15th of June 2009. http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexism

Sexism in Language. Accessed on 15th of June.

http://www.upou.edu.ph/gender/gender_fair.htm

Tart. Accessed on 18th of June 2009. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/tart

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