ERIC Number: ED183021
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
An Analysis of Classic Arguments Against Changing Sexist Language.
Blaubergs, Maija S.
Proposals for changing sexist language, while having an increasing impact on patterns of language usage in America, have also continuously been argued against in the media and in academia during the 1970's. The proposals for eliminatinq the usage of masculine terms as "generics" have received the most criticism. In this paper, the various arguments that have been presented for retaining masculine/generic usage are illustrated and analyzed. The arguments are classified as follows; (1) the "cross-cultural" arguments; (2) the "language is a trivial concern" arguments; (3) the "freedom of speech/unjustified coercion" arguments; (4) the "sexist language is not sexist" arguments; (5) the "word-etymology" arguments; (6) the "appeal to authority" arguments; (7) the "change is too difficult, inconvenient, impractical or whatever" arguments; and (8) the "it would destroy historical authenticity and literary works" arguments. It is claimed that the arguments have been overlaid with ridicule and hostility towards feminists, and that they can be viewed as political rather than substantive. (Author/AMH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the meeting of the Southeastern Women's Studies Association (Johnson City, TN, February l979)