‘Language Gender Stereotypes – The Puppeteer of society ‘ – by Lauren Dayman

For many decades, the divide between the two sexes has always been debated on how extreme it is impacting lives however is it real or is it just fantasy…an illusion caused from years of learning from the same outdated system that society used to shape us like puppets on a string .

Recent articles such as Sarah Kaplan’s Guardian article  ‘Mansplaining : New solutions to a tiresome old problem’ argues that ‘mansplaining’ is done by men and to women but the solutions only show how women can address it rather than how and why men should stop it whereas in Liz Cookman’s article ‘Allow me to explain why we don’t need words like ‘mansplain’ argues that entitlement is still a problem and before mixing more man-words together , it is worth to remember that it is still offensive whatever the gender.

Before confronting the idea of the difference of gendered language, we first need to understand what these differences are said to be as recorded by a different range of linguists.

Back in 1975 around the time when the sex discrimination act came into place, Don Zimmerman and Candace West at the UC Santa Barbara analysed conversations between the two sexes and found that men interrupted(when a new speaker starts to speak over the current speaker when there is no indication that they were going to stop speaking. Seen as a purposeful violation) more than women in average conversation. This therefore would suggest to the people that men are more dominant then women which is what the dominance model suggests. However when you think about conversations with people you know and don’t know , we tend to interrupt people more when we know each other than strangers to not seem rude to the person we don’t know , so the people interrupting might not be dominant like the study suggests but more familiar with the person but due to the stereotypes held within society , we are made the believe that this makes men more dominant and blinded to the idea of what kind of interruptions and their real motives. Is it really fair to assume to generalise the motives of people we don’t know based on stereotypes enforced into people at birth?

With the previous theory shown , the times have moved on since then with new bits of technology like the iPhonea and the Nintendo Switches as well are new perspectives on how we as a society view the sexes as a whole with more people deviating from the social norm. Also attitudes about language and gender has also deviated from what we once found. Janet Hyde have both concluded that gender isn’t the cause of the language differences between the sexes but in reality they difference is so microscopic that if it were an objects , it would be impossible to see with the human eye. Hyde’s meta-analysis concluded that the difference we near to 0 so with this information why do we still believe that there is a difference between the sexes.

One word…stereotypes. ’The Female Brain’ covered the difference of how much people talked and concluded that women utter 20,000 words and men utter 7000. Seems legit right. Wrong, after some time, it turns out that these statistics were false but by the time they mentioned this fact it was too late due to the stereotypes we want this to be true since most people hate being wrong and believe things as facts without checking for themselves.

So after reading this do you see yourself as free or just a puppet on a string following the ‘rules’ of society based on the stereotypes from birth.