TITLE: Teachers as Scholars: Sexism and Language: Still a Problem After All These Years
DATES: November 17, 2017
TIME: 9:00 AM- 3:00 PM
LOCATION: University Hall, ADP Center 1145
INSTRUCTOR: Alice Freed, Ph.D.
In 1922, the linguist Otto Jespersen devoted a chapter of his well-respected book "Language: It's Nature Development and Origin" to the language of "The Woman," treating woman's speech as different from the norm. Then in 1973, another linguist, Robin Lakoff, sparked the interest of feminist linguists by being among the first to discuss women's language in the context of the second wave women's movement. The treatment of many of the topics that these two linguists addressed has evolved dramatically in the subsequent years; some of the issues raised have been resolved and some have been abandoned. What has not changed is that people in general and the English language media in particular continue to treat women as a special category when it comes to language. News stories are often filled with stereotyped discussions of speech characteristics erroneously attributed to women, women's speech continues to be scrutinized and monitored, and evidence of sexism in language continues. A discussion of these phenomena reveals both how far we have come and how much things have stayed the same.
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