Essay # 3
Sexism in Language
The overall theme of sexism in language is the way we speak, whether it is a conscious realization or not, places women in a position that is subordinate to men. There main points are brought up in this film. These are: words people use that convey the misguided notion that men are superior to women, how children are socialized into this idea from a very young age, and the change that is taking place within language to equalize the roles of men and women.
Many words that we use are so common to us that we do not even realize that they are not inclusive towards women. A lot of these words are in reference to occupations. Such words include mailman, policeman, second man, milkman, etc. There is logical reasoning as to why we use these terms when talking about jobs.
Years ago, women were not allowed to work. They stayed home to tend to the house and children. Things such as the railway were started at a time when women were the homemakers and men the breadwinners. Therefore, men created them, and masculine terms pertaining only to males were used to refer to the occupation as well as things that went a long with the occupation, such as "second man." However times are changing. The film interviewed a woman who works on the railway. She loves her job and is very good at it. She does, however have to deal with all masculine terms that refer to the job. This is hard on her because the terms do not include her when she is a part of what they refer to.
There are also many slang words that people utilize today that stigmatize women, yet make men appear...