Robin Lakoff's Language For Women

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“The language of the favoured group, the group that holds the power, along with its non-linguistic behaviour, is generally adopted by the other group, not vice versa. In any event, it is a truism to state that the ‘stronger’ expletives are reserved for men, and the ‘weaker’ ones for women.” — Robin Lakoff, “Extract from Language and Woman’s Place” Robin Lakoff’s piece was first published over forty years ago, and since then I think more women have begun to use the ‘stronger’ expletives reserved for men. The entertainment industry has had a hand in this development, I believe, because it seems like every television show (or at least the ones I watch) features female characters that use expletives. MTV used to completely bleep out curse words and put a black censor over the speaker’s mouth, but now only half the words are bleeped and the…show more content…
They work in fields that traditionally have been reserved for men, and I think they sometimes need to speak ‘men’s language’ in order to be taken seriously, as Lakoff writes, “For surely we listen with more attention the more strongly and forcefully someone expresses opinions, and a speaker unable – for whatever reason – to be forceful in stating his views is much less likely to be taken seriously” (246). If people tend to pay more attention when someone uses an expletive, then I say save the words and use them once in awhile when the occasion calls for it. I know people who curse all the time, and the expletive’s power is diminished. My dad, for example, loves to say ‘shit.’ When I was younger, I hated to hear him use it because I thought it meant he was angry, but now I’ve become used to him saying the word. However, I think I need to take my own advice because I love using curse words, but there are still a few that I reserve for when I’m at my boiling point, and that’s when all self-censorship flies out the

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