Globibo Blog

What Is Gendering Of Languages?

While language is a tool for communication, it is also much more. The language we use subtly guides our thought process.
Gendering a language refers to the putting bias towards a certain sex or social gender identity over others. English is not a gendered language. It doesn’t usually have masculine/feminine for nouns.
The function of gendered language is to reinforce patriarchal hegemony in society. It eliminates and makes women invisible from the narrative. For eg: If we keep saying businessman and waitress continually, we will begin to associate those roles with the gender. So, gradually the depiction of these job roles will be gendered as we have spoken of them. It is a better practice to use gender-neutral terms for the people engaged in these jobs. We could stop assigning gender needlessly and perhaps, say “businessperson” instead of “businessman” and “businesswoman”.
The catch is, that many of these words have been propagated over ages and been incorrectly absorbed by the students. For eg: Mankind, history and so on. When we say mankind, we negate the role of women in the society. Similarly, history wipes away her past.
Grammar and syntactical rules for most languages are built in a way in which feminine terms are derived from their masculine counterparts. In languages such as English, Finnish, Turkish and Scandinavian, there is no gendering of nouns. On the other hand, French, Italian and Germans ascribe a lot of gender to their language. Many gendered languages exist all over the world, one just has to be careful while using it.

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