Feminism and Language Essay
Feminism and Language
Among different disciplines of the society, feminist geography, feminist history and feminist literary criticism, collectively becomes the Feminist Theory. This theory had a long walk of time, starting from this movement till 90s; at its third extent of its evolution. The time of post war and the baby boomers, the 60s and 70s were in the extent of the second wave.
From this stage it reaches the first wave of 19th and early 20th century from the very point of time, when this became collectively the movements of this evolution that includes women’s rights, gender difference and theories and philosophies, which were the three social factors; of politics, society and economic equality of men and women in return gave birth to a concept called Feminism (Maggie 278). One of the factors, society has a concern with feminism amongst many, about the Language. This movement has influenced the usage of language at large.
Linguistics brunt their midnight oil, to work on the description of the language usage that reduces the assumption of the biological sex of human connection. The thrush for the neutral gender was clearly manifested on its agendas of gender-inclusive language, which involve both the sexes or the genders and of gender-neutral language that proposes, gender hardly have any role in the language, for which it becomes neutral regarding in language usage. It is further argued to be non sexist language or politically correct language.
Through these analyses the paper is shaping its findings of the relation between Feminism and Language. The philosophy of language have had its hurdle to establish the point of existence, but the criticism that displayed the male bias in the language like English, another criticisms is that the philosophy is ill equipped for the use of the feminists paved a way to a wider arena where its been suggested not to lay off the philosophy from the language. A cognitive feminist concept stretches the idea to limits where the traditional philosophy can help understanding the issues important to feminists.
In Feminism, there have been numerous reasons to prove it ill suited for meeting the feminist needs, but the only factor that remained the lowest common denominator is the presence of maximum Individual in the philosophy. Criticism regarding polarity of individualism has been done in length and breadth, but interestingly, detection of those criticisms are always variable for different areas of philosophy being under the spot light and the different concerns of the particular critic, and the due to lack of single judgement the issue remains pseudo (Hintikka & Hintikka 139; Hornsby 87 and Nye 323).
It has long been for the philosophy, since the beginning to be tagged with the usage of men bias of English language. Thinking can be free flowing when the language muses with mother tongue. Because, apart from English, there are different families of languages, which have much complex linguistics and can be used more flexibly in the context of both men centric and feminist uses. Such is the status of mother tongue, which frees itself from the men bias of English language. Needless to say, this can include many more languages in the common criticisms of the point of existence of philosophy of language.
This also frees the critics from the psychological debate of the women and men. Moreover, individualism dose not have any scope to appreciate the concept of Social, where the central issue; feminism itself is the brainchild of social or society. Thus, the approach empowers the presence of language in feminism to the social causes of politics and power relation. Feminism is concern with the study of people and the domination function on others. Here the feelings and ideas are conveyed through a media. In this act of communicating language plays the most important role of media.
Thus, it communicates, manipulates and controls to make it vital to understand the work of power. It is still a longing desire for many feminists to have a philosophy of language that will comprehend the social communication, but as a matter of fact, as of now; the presence of Individualism has it to be employed (Hornsby 97). In a Feminist mind set, the interchagability of the sexes are more important concept than decent English. As per the dogma of the convention, it has been engraved on the generations of student to think ‘he’ in connection of male only.
Precisely, this is wrong. But the same had been practiced as the concept at its maximum limit. In the same school of thought a feminist would never go for ‘he’ if it can be presented as he or she, and would never chooses the author, where the author or the authoress can be put on use. And here the turning-point of the matter, which establishes the other side of the feminists on language, where they hate such kinds of vocabularies like, actress and waitress. Rather insist here for the masculine use for women and men.
Of course it appears to be exclusively masculine in cases like these for those who are just learning the language (Gelernter 2008). Unlike the second wave, where the gender usage had been in use as person specific, the third wave is moving the approach in a more social level. Previously it was about the usage of the gender to address the person, but here it is about the perception of the language usage and that influences a larger group or category of the mass. It deals with the different way that men and women speak.
Like, men being direct and forceful, women being hesitant, polite and apologetic. It analyses the complex negotiation among the genders regarding gender specific context like public speaking or intimate conversation and by routine, what women and men should do that is the co-operativeness and competitiveness. This makes the language of the two genders clear leaving no room to assume that all women are powerless, all males are powerful, or that gender always makes a difference. This is how; this feminist linguistics has focused on the social forces too.
Nevertheless, it is suggested that the linguistics feminism of language perception to be kept at bay. It is so, because the sexism becomes difficult to analyse or challenge as they are more locally oriented and content specific. As a result the second wave feminism needs to be merged with the third wave in order to address both the local and global issues (Mills 2008). Language is not all about what we speak, it is about the writing too. By the verge of the second wave, the western society already produced some specific writing skills, which are inclined to feminism.
It was a separate category of the scholarly interest. All the underrepresented women work in the history had to gain specific positions in the categories of history or writings. Various presses started taking effort to make the printings of the numerous works, as it was discover quite lately that the women were constantly writing (Blain 1231). This has been further ignited with the growing interest since 1970 in women writing as ‘powerful’. Since then many publishing houses responded in the women works like the long length of Novels and written Biographies.
With this scrutiny, one editor reacted that most of the women work have been neglected from citing in most of the books available. Though now the picture is almost stable in this respect. Thus writing as another medium of communication has proved to be equally important when the expressions in the context are about women and men. This media is more typical as this is a kind of media where the data can be stored for future references. Thus, it is more permanent by character.
Lastly, the philosophy remains important as that is the tool of the communication, which generates the thoughts to express in a language where the form may vary from what we speak and what we right, though it can be mirrored as the fountain head of the total concept takes birth in the womb of thought. So, after a handsome amount of conversations it has become quite clear that the Feminism as per the feminist theory is concerned, it is a social issue and includes many thing and aspects of society and the human life as a whole, but intends for the female race.
It is not about being superior or inferior, good or bad, right or wrong. It is about being rational and be equal with both the genders. It is movement of social structure, where the politics, economic status of the social lot and the power makes the conglomeritic platform to deliver and establish the orders of the gender equality. And to support this entire process, Language has eventually become a part of Feminism; strong enough to control the chemistry of thought process. Bibliography Blain, Virginia. ; Clements, Patricia. ; Grundy, Isobel. (1990).
The feminist companion to literature in English: women writers from the Middle Ages to the present. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990. Cambridge Companion to Feminism in Philosophy. Fricker, M. and Hornsby, J. , (eds. ) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 2000. Gelernter, David. “Feminism and the English Language. ” American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research 4 Nov. 2008 <http://www. aei. org/publication27571>. Humm, Maggie. The dictionary of feminist theory. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1990. Hintikka, M. B. and Hintikka, J. “How Can Language Be Sexist? ” in Discovering Reality.
Harding, S. and Hintikka, M. B. (eds. ) Dordrecht: D. Reidel: 1983. Hornsby, J. “Feminism in Philosophy of Language: Communicative Speech Acts”. in The Mills, Sara. “Third Wave Feminist Linguistics and the Analysis of Sexism. ” School of Cultural Studies, Sheffield Hallam University 4 Nov. 2008 <http://extra. shu. ac. uk/daol/articles/open/2003/001/mills2003001. html>. Nye, A. “The Voice of the Serpent: French Feminism and Philosophy of Language”. in Women, Knowledge and Reality: Explorations in Feminist Philosophy. Garry, A. and Pearsall, M. (eds. ), NY and London: Routledge: 1996.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 16 November 2016
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