Linguistic Sexism and Violence in Some Countries' National Anthems

Topics: Nationalism, Discrimination, Sexism Pages: 2 (427 words) Published: February 3, 2012

Having a distinct national anthem just like a unique national flag as a form of national identity is one thing that is common to virtually every country or nation of the world. An anthem according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica is a song or a hymn expressing patriotic sentiment that is either governmentally authorized as an official national song/hymn or holding that position in popular feelings. However, the national anthems of many nations are not just mere songs of praises but hymns of allegiance to nations sung or recited with utmost respect at important occasions or ceremonies as a sign of honour or symbol of loyalty and patriotism. They are usually carefully, emotionally, and meaningfully worded to reflect the ideologies, politics, philosophies, cultures etc of given nations. They therefore, easily appeal to the emotion, arouse feelings or captivate the attention of patriotic citizens when sung or recited.

Linguistic sexism according to Tswanya (2007:1) simply refers to the use of a gender-specific language which shows a bias towards one sex, which results in discrimination against the other sex and which is most commonly used to favour men/males over women/females. Yusuf (2006:12) similarly describes linguistic sexism or sexist language as the use of words or expressions that portrays a level of bias or prejudice for a particular sex or gender and which tend to discriminate against members of the affected sex or gender, directly or indirectly thereby alienating or relegating them when/whereas they are supposed to be referents of the message or information communicated. Feminist linguists the world over for about three decades have been embarking on serious campaign against linguistic sexism or gender biased language in all form of human communication. They advocate the use of gender-neutral words like...
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