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Gender Role in Language Essay

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Updated: Mar 22nd, 2020

Basic Concepts

Though the link between language and gender in its social sense may be not as obvious as it seems, a closer look at the structure of any language will reveal that it has a range of hidden innuendoes regarding gender identity.

The indications of certain words belonging to a specific gender can be noticed in the English language rather easily; the question, however, is whether these indications can be viewed as a step forward in promoting equality in the relationships between men and women, or whether these elements can be interpreted as restrictions imposed on one of the genders as a relic of the past, when equity between the two was impossible.

The so-called “women’s language” is, perhaps, one of the most dubious aspects of the gender issues development in the English language. On the one hand, the specified layer of the English language allows for locating the specifics of communication process for women. On the other hand, the idea of women’s language often presupposes the incorporation of the facts and a range of stereotypes, which have little to do with the actual manner of speaking that most women adopt in the communication process.

Power Issues

Language has a lot to do with power; particularly, language is often perceived as a tool for the hidden ruling class to exert its power onto the members of the American society, therefore, forcing them to adopt the behavioral patterns that they would have considered unnatural otherwise.

It could be argued that any attempt to address the gender specifics of a particular language can be viewed as an attempt of a certain social stratum to use linguistics as a tool for political issues and conflicts. This does beg the question concerning the ethics of correcting the existing gender inconsistencies in language.

One could also argue, however, that the relationships between men and women are reflected in the language in an arbitrary, objective and, therefore, quite a legitimate manner. Hence, there seems to be no need to view the existing language issues as the reasons for concern.

It also deserves mentioning that at present, the English language tends to project not only the stereotypes related to women but also the ones that are associated with men onto the people that speak it. For instance, the fact that a range of discourses in English outline the communicational shortcomings that are attributed to men is quite alerting. Manifesting the existing concerns related to the conflict between the two genders, the specified characteristics of the contemporary English are worth noting.

Also, the modern English language features little to no opportunities for people identifying them as transgender to be able to feel comfortable about their essence and speak the language so that they should not face any confusion or face the issues concerning gender stereotyping.

Transgender in Tonga

Unlike English, though, the Tonga language features a lot of flexibility in terms of its representation of gender relationships and gender identity. Often referred to as “fakaleitis” in the Tongan language, the representatives of the LGBT community have impressively more options for identifying themselves appropriately in the language in question.

This is a breakthrough compared to the current issues with gender and identity in the English language. However, it can be assumed that, with the resolution of the conflict related to gender issues in the states where English is spoken, the English language will alter as well, allowing people of alternative gender identities communicate in a more comfortable manner.

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"Gender Role in Language." IvyPanda, 22 Mar. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/gender-role-in-language/.

1. IvyPanda. "Gender Role in Language." March 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/gender-role-in-language/.


IvyPanda. "Gender Role in Language." March 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/gender-role-in-language/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Gender Role in Language." March 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/gender-role-in-language/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Gender Role in Language'. 22 March.

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