You are what you say
*As Robin Lakoff shows, the sex based differences can be found in many examples such as how women use tag questions, the euphemisms used to describe women, and the double standards reflected in certain pairs of term.(eg* master: mistress)
*In this essay Lakoff* shows the gender discrimination through language. She *tells about the social implications of differences in men and women’s use of speech.** **She analysed the links between language, gender and power in her essay, where she questions who holds the power and how they use it*.* *Lakoff* argued that language is fundamental to gender inequality and it could contribute to the lack of women’s power in two areas- Language used about women and the language used by women.** **Lakoff* claimed that there were* certain features of women’s language that gave the impression women are weaker and less certain than men are.*
*Women’s language can be distinguished in a number of ways. One of them is ‘tag question’. The author feels tag questions are used more by women then men. ‘A tag question is a midway between an outright statement and a yes-no question; it is less assertive than the former, but more confident than the latter’ .A tag question makes the speaker sounds like he/she is not assertive* and avoids claim. It* softens the declarative clause. It’s like a question/confrontation which softens the initial part of the sentence. *Lakoff* gives many examples of tag question such as; ‘Sure is hot here, isn’t it’. Then she gives an excellent example *where she shows how women seek confirmation, even though it is clearly a yes or no answer.
... fully aware of the importance of the hidden power that language can express. Language can be revealed in many different ways, which ... had seventy-two percent preferences. This can show how language has the power to convey something disastrous, however, in a euphemism ... our lives and how we interpret things. Nevertheless, the power in language can cause negative effects as well as those positives. ...
“Q) When will dinner be ready?
A0 Oh…around six o’clock..?’
She also describes the use of ‘euphemisms’ which is a substitute word referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing. *The most famous one is the word ‘lady’* instead of woman. Lady brings a non serious tone to a sentence, someone who is not capable of doing *ir*responsible things. The word lady suggests that she is helpless and weak. On the other hand the word woman has more sexual implications on it. Another common euphemism for woman is ‘girl’. Girl also brings to mind someone who is *immature* and too young to trust upon anything considered serious. These words completely alter the sense of a sentence such as ‘She’s only twelve, but she’s already a woman’.
Finally Lakoff* *shows the double standards reflected in certain pair of words, used to describe men and women. There are some words which set standard for men and women’s role in society. Such as ‘master: mistresses; bachelor: spinster. Master usually reflects a man with power and authority to control one over another. Whereas mistress acquires sexual implications on it. In the same way bachelor suggests freedom and enjoyment but spinster is someone abiding by the strict rules of society. The linguistic double standards still holds a strong position in the society which discriminates women from men.
*Lakoff argues how language renders women’s speech tentative, powerless and trivial* and as such, it disqualifies them from position of power and authority. *Lakoff* shows the linguistic barriers through a set of claims, examples in a form of an anecdote. She sounds persuading and argumentative throughout her essay. But there is no strong evidence that truly shows the linguistic differences in men and women.
... a rush, which goes away, after being scratched. Unlike women, men can easily dissociate mentally from their genitals, which allows ... better suited for men or for women who should have been born as men (feminists). The fact that men and women communicate differently ... objective reality of interaction between genders at workplace. Men and women are expected to execute their professional duties with the ...