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On March 23,2010 President Barrack Obama Signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) or more commonly Know as Obamacare into law. This has been the most extravagant reform of the United States medical system in roughly 45 years. Obamacare

Speaker → Message → Audience

Research shows that certain characteristics of message delivery in mixed gender conversations depend on the gender of the audience and the speaker. In other words, men speak to women differently than they would speak to other men. The same is true for the way women speak to men.

It is important to note that in this paper I will be referring to men and women in terms of gender and not sex. It is a common misconception that the terms sex and gender are interchangeable. Sex means the biological and physiological characteristics that make us female or male. Gender refers to psychological and emotional characteristics of individuals [2]. We are born a certain sex, but our gender is socially constructed Today, men do not talk to women differently because they fundamentally perceive them as comparatively unintelligent. These communication differences are a result of centuries of social conditioning. Otto Jesperson argued that “the speech of women- rapid, illogical, fluent- reflects a rapidity of thought and perception that is essentially shallow.” [4]. In the paper that follows, I will thoroughly explain different styles of speech and uses of language that allow further social construction of gender differences in the workplace. But first, a little history about the English language. English as a Man-Made Language

When studied, it is obvious that English is a language made for men, by men. Specific examples show that our language and speech reflects as well as perpetuates a patriarchal ideology [4]. Women’s use of the language is considered deviant when compared to men’s use. Daniel Spender states that “in a hierarchical society predicated on divisions and inequality and constructed on a concept of leaders and followers, it is not coincidence that the language of women is held to be lacking in authority, forcefulness, effectiveness persuasiveness.”[9]. The notion of ‘women’s language’ is based on considering all women as a group. It also considers the language of women as an inferior variant of men’s language [4]. In a way to continually claim a dominant form of the English language, research shows that when women as a group use more standard language then men use more colloquialisms and regional dialect features [4]. Otto Jesperson was a linguist who wrote in the 1920s detailing women’s deviant use of the English language. These writings were important in understanding how the communication of women is today still perceived as negative. Jesperson also contended that “women had a debilitating effect upon the language and it was reasonable for men, certainly with great justice to object that there is a danger of the language becoming languid and insipid if we are to content ourselves with women’s expressions.”[9]. Assertions such as this only help to further the view that English is a man made language. Another linguist who exhibits the same feelings as Jesperson is Stuart Flexner. He studied vernacular words coined by men and concluded that it was males who were the makers and innovators of language. Around the same time, researcher Brian Foster stated that he believes women envy the male ownership of the English language and wish to steal it [9]. To some these statements seem extreme and it is important to note that both Flexner and Foster published these assertions only about 30 years ago. A basic principle of feminism is that society has been constructed with a bias which favors males. One of the basic principles of feminists who are concerned with language is that this bias can be located in language. Some feminists refer to the language as sexist and androcentric [9]. Feminist linguist Julia...
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