简析英汉语言中的性别歧视

减小字体 增大字体 作者:张卉媛  来源:www.zhonghualunwen.com  发布时间:2009-12-06 11:02:29

  Historically speaking,women have been considered to be inferior to menThey have been discriminated in one way or anotherThis unequal sexist phenomenon is also reflected in most of human languagesThis paper only attempts to discuss this phenomenon very briefly
  ⅠSexism analysis from vocabulary and semantics
  Sexism exists in the choice of wordsIn history,males and females have played different rolesTherefore,people use various terms to describe themOne word may have positive connotations,while another with the identical linguistic meaning may have negative onesFor example,both 'spinster' and 'bachelor' mean 'a person who is not married'But 'spinster' refers to a female who is no longer young and seems unlikely to marry'Bachelor' refers to a male who has just not married'Spinster' is derogatory but 'bachelor' is not'Eligible bachelor' means a rich young man who has not yet married,in Chinese '钻石王老五'The Chinese meaning for Spinster and Bachelor are '老处女' and '单身汉'We can see the sexism in these wordsThe same situation is also for governor and governess,and others
  In Chinese,some characters with '女' component are detrimental to women,such as '嫉妒','婪','妄','奸','妓'If we dissemble these characters,they can be interpreted as women's common failing,which is a gender-based failing to the exclusion of menThose Chinese characters seem to pass on the message that women are characteristic of those negative emotions,disposition,and maneuverWe know in Chinese,there are more Chinese terms refer to a prostitute,such as '妓','娼','婊',even '姑娘' and so on,and the only most frequently used one for a man is '嫖',still with Chinese compound character '女'(woman)
  ⅡSexism analysis from Grammar
  Sexism in English is also shown in traditional grammar,with the use of he,his to replace infinitive pronouns as a typical example
  In English,none of the personal pronouns can indicate both genders,but it is prescribed that such infinitive pronouns as each,everyone,anyone,etc,which include both men and women,should be replaced in formal writing by he,his,himself,etc,otherwise it is labeled as 'wrong use' or 'nonstandard use'For example,someone phoned me,but when I picked up the receiver,he suddenly hung it upEveryone is here,isn't he? Everyone took his seatAll the sentences impress us by suggesting that women are unimportant and could be ignoredEven if the number of women in the group is much larger,the expression is still the same
  ⅢSexism Analysis from English and Chinese proverbs
  Besides vocabularies and grammar,proverbs in both Western and Chinese cultures also show sexismLet's see some traditional English proverbs1A man of straw is worth of a woman of gold2A woman's tongue is the last thing about her that dies3Long hair,short wit
     The first proverb shows sexism towards women's social positionThe second proverb is towards woman's wordsIt seems to people that women are liable to gossip;they are talkative,and noisyThe third proverb is the sexism towards women's ability and wisdomTraditionally thinking,the IQ of women is lower than menHowever,biologically speaking,the body structure and brain structure are all the sameWhat men can do can also be done by womenThe Nobel Prize is the highest Prize in the world acknowledged over the worldAnd in total 33 women have won the Prize in fields of Physics,Chemistry,Physiology & Medicine,Peace and LiteratureThe first woman is Marie Curie who won the Prize for two times,in 1903 for Physics and in 1911 for ChemistryAs a woman,she has achieved a great success,and most men are unable to compare with her accomplishments
  In the old Chinese,there are also many derogatory sayings about womenThe old Chinese famous philosopher Confucius said in the 'Analects of Confucius' that '唯女子与小人难养也' and'君子有三戒:少之时,血气未定,戒之在色'In his thought,'君子'does not contain '女子','女子'is something '君子' should get away fromThere is another saying to show this,'红颜祸水'Obviously,in the old China,the social position of women is very lowIt is so low that men consider women as their plaything,like '尤物'They do not consider women as human beings equal to man
  Women and men are equalIf given more chance,women will achieve moreIn the world governed by men,women can also be eminent leadersFor example,in nowadays world,there are three most important women politicians:German Chancellor Angela Merkel,Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi and Secretary of State Condoleezza RiceNobody dare say they are not as excellent as man because they are great women who have their influence over the whole world
  ⅣConclusion
  In the whole article,we are talking about language in sexismHowever,language is only a reflection of social phenomenonIt is the ideology and people's thinking style that we should changeIn the 'Tao Te Ching' written by Lao Tze,this famous philosopher thought much higher about '上善若水',the highest goodness is like waterAnd traditionally thinking,women is compared to water,'女人似水'Water is the softest thing but it is also the firmest thingWe all know the saying '水滴石穿'-Water dropping day by day wears the hardest rock away'柔弱胜刚强'-'The gentle and soft overcomes the hard and aggressive' is also one of the most important themes in 'Tao Te Ching'Therefore,although women are physically smaller and weaker than men,they can be larger and stronger in other aspectsWe should not look down on anybodyActually,all human beings are equal

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作者:张卉媛
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