Is English male-dominated language?

The history of society, as the feminists argued, was written from the male point of view ("it`s HIStory, not HERstory) The feminist movement thinks that the English language has full male-dominating patterns. Utterances like Every teacher plans his lesson  referred to teachers in general, and words with stem "man" (e.g., mankind, chairman)were used to denote both sexes. Feminists criticized these items as sexst; all patterns referring to men only were called "sexist, old-fashioned language." Therefore sentences like  Every students musy pass his exams were replaced by phrases like Every students must pass his or her/their exams. general terms containing the segment man, such as mankind  and  man-made were replaced by humankind and artificial. Here other changes: steward/stewardess - flight attendant, salesman/saleswoman - salesperson, policeman/policewoman - police officer, chairman - chairperson

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Elena Nikitina's picture
Elena Nikitina

HIStory... Funny, I didn't see it. And yes, we all try to be politically correct. And why not!

teacher1390's picture

As an undergraduate student I did a research study on the same issue in Persian. It is a common phenomenon  and can be found in almost all languages of the world. Based on a review of the relevant literature, I found a number of reasons why languages tend to be male dominated: 1. social status, women were and ( possibly are) traditionally considered to be inferior to men in terms of social status, 2. Power, men are phyisically and mentally believed to be more powerful, 3. Social roles, men assumed more important roles in society; most poems and literature in Persian are full of testestrone because most of them have been written by poets,4. Religion, many religions regard women as second class citizens compared to men . Of course, attempts have been made in many countries of the world to bring about a change in the situation. There may be more reasons. I would like you to add more  items to the list.