January 25, 2017 English Language

Sexism, set of attitudes and behaviors towards people that judge or belittle them in the basis of their gender, or that perpetuate stereotypical assumptions about gender roles.

Nowadays, the term is most often used to refer to men’s attitude towards women.

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2. History.

Traditionally, rights to property and nationality passed through the male line, with the result that women’s legal status was generally inferior to that of men: until the 20th century, women had no voting rights, limited rights to property, and were, in most respects, subject entirely to their fathers or husbands.

While the term “sexism- dates from the mid-1960s and came into frequent use after the rise of women’s liberation movements in 1968-1969. Feminists in Eastern countries have also appealed to the United Nations to enforce women’s rights. In the West, discussion has shifted from legal rights towards attacking prevailing sexist attitudes in society. The women’s and gays’ liberation movements which emerged particularly in Britain and the United States in the late 1960s also succeeded in raising public consciousness about sexism.

3. Sexist language.

Linguists have pointed out that the English language is inherently sexist because it carries certain assumptions about gender roles. These include all expressions of people are male: for example, the use of “he” as a generic pronoun; “man” as a typical person (as in “the man on the street”); or the inclusion of “man” in job titles (for example, “chairman”). Other expressions they believed demean women: the habitual listing of the masculine first, (“men and women”) or the use of the diminutive endings, “-ess” or “-ette” to apply to women’s jobs (such as “usherette”).

The result has been that even some advocates of non-sexist language have become disillusioned because it seems increasingly impossible to change attitudes by making changes to language.

4. Sexism and Culture.

Many of the predominant cultures in the world today are founded on a patriarchal system (rule by fathers).


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