Effects on Gender and Ethnic Groups

1649 Words7 Pages
“Effect of Language on Gender and Ethnic Groups” It is widely accepted that Language has a profound effect on how we perceive and interact with the world around us. It is a major component of culture. The degree of which language influences culture or culture influences language is still in debate. However it is likely that both processes occur. Differences in dialects can highlight social differences between men and women and between different ethnic groups. This can promote prejudice and associate negative connotations with different ways of speaking. However, they can also be viewed as a characteristic that makes a particular culture unique. When certain categories of people speak in ways that are not expected, a subversion of power and prejudice occur. I can recount a personal experience of how differences in language can promote prejudice in gender. I often overhear my male friends’ conversations about relationships. A derogatory term they will often use is “pussywhipped”. A man is “pussywhipped” when their female counterpart possesses the dominance in the relationship. The term is a vulgar insult and is usually associated with lack of masculinity. Loss of respect among this group of males is also associated with being “pussywhipped”. What I find troubling about this word is that no vulgar equivalent for a relationship where the man is dominant over the woman exists. According to my group of male friends, “It’s because that’s how it’s supposed to be. You don’t need a special word for it.” The existence of this word and the lack of a female counterpart reflect the perception of women in the culture of male college freshmen. Men are perceived as more powerful orators and are often considered more authoritative in their speech. Women are seen that their language use is more garrulous, frivolous an illiterate (Holmes 162). Again we

More about Effects on Gender and Ethnic Groups

Open Document