Sexism In The English Language Analysis

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“If a little girl acts like a tomboy, most parents have mixed feelings, being at least partially proud. But if their little boy acts like a sissy (derived from sister), they call a psychologist,” (Nilsen 166). A quote from Aleen Pace Nilsen that demonstrates the toll that prejudice and sexism has on our society. Throughout her essay, Nilsen provides us with many interesting points regarding the inequality between women and men in the English language. Nilsen states that many common English words tend to show sexism towards girls since they seem to make women feel inferior to men. She demonstrates this clearly, by using metaphors and examples associated between the two genders. Despite overcoming an immense amount of inequality between…show more content…
Nilsen states how in English language women are viewed upon their sexual characteristics and inferiority as opposed to men who are viewed for their masculine figure and their achievements. She demonstrates this effectively by comparing the usage of enonyms that are associated between the two genders. Nilsen starts off by using an example which compares a woman to a range of mountains, she states, “My most interesting finding was that the trapper referred to a range of mountains as, ‘The Teats’.” Given this name because of the similarity between the figures of mountain ranges and women’s breast. Meanwhile, on the other hand, men received eponyms that were given in honors of an accomplishment. “There are many eponyms based on the names of famous American men: Barlett pear boysenberry, franklin stove, ferris wheel, gatling gun..”(Nilsen 152). By using these enonyms, Nilsen makes it obvious that women were once only valued for their sexual figure and that men are valued for their accomplishments and success. Words that are commonly used in our everyday lives, have negative connotations that elicits a sense of belittlement towards the female

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