Sexism in language
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CitationNaufela Nafisa, A., & Naira, K. (2010). Sexism in language. BRAC University Journal, Special Issue(01), 80–91.
This paper aims to examine the various forms of sexism that exist within languages. Over the years sexism has been weaved into the language system so subtly that people end up submitting to sexist views without even realizing it. Many a time have people laughed at jokes that are sexist and used proverbs reflecting attitudes that patriarchal systems have enforced over the years. Thus, considering a nurse to be only female and an astronaut to be male is something quite common. Even in social mixed sex conversations, women often fail to gain the floor. Thus this paper attempts to throw light on the obvious that people usually fail to see. It tries to show the different levels at which sexism exists in the language system (morphological, phrasal, and semantic). The paper focuses on Bengali and English: two languages from different parent groups. English is a Germanic language and Bengali an Indo-Aryan language which is a branch of the Indo- Iranian languages. Examples of these two different languages show how sexism has spread its domains and infiltrated all languages; whether they belong to the same parent language or not.