Putting the spotlight on gendered language

11 March 2015

In an article in the Conversation on gendered communication, Baden Eunson, Adjunct Lecturer in English at Monash University, discusses the many ways in which the English language is gendered “to reflect the dominance of male hierarchies throughout society” and provides examples of how to replace gendered language with gender-neutral expression. He highlights not only the obvious examples (“chairman”, “manpower”, “waitress”, “shopgirl”), but also the more subtle instances where men are referred to as “men” and women are referred to as “girls”, or where the reporting of Kevin Rudd’s farewell speech as outgoing Prime Minister focused on his words but the reporting of Julia Gillard’s farewell speech focused on her dress, hair and jewellery.

Read the Conversation article here