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Violence In Language Essay

871 words - 4 pages

Language is both a blessing and a curse. Without it, we couldn't share and receive information vital to our existence. Language not only develops in conjunction with society’s historical, economic and political evolution, but also reflects that society’s attitudes and thinking. It surrounds us, shapes our thoughts and is being shaped in turn. But are we its masters or its slaves? Whether we like it or not, we live our lives under the spell of language. Language is how we communicate and understand the world around us. The possession of language is powerful and unconscious in the human brain. We wield the power of speech with nothing more than mere nonchalance. Even thousands of years after ...view middle of the document...

These set languages are all fully capable of degrading, undermining, and persecuting human beings. Languages like these can also alter the psyche of a people with detrimental effects to their descendants from generation to generation. It becomes a never ending cycle of oppression that is often undetected.
Sexist language has long oppressed women in every society. Writer Gloria Anzaldua in her work, Boderlands/La Frontera:The New Mestiza, asserts that language is male discourse. Professor Mia Anderson examines the role of sexist language in education:
Whether conscious or unconscious, subtle or overt, sexist communication has
serious, pervasive and cumulative effects. It may devalue the ideas, work and
words of particular individuals or groups (traditionally women); unfairly single
out, exclude, ignore, or discount individuals on the basis of sex; establish,
reinforce or perpetuate one set of accepted behaviors or expectations for women
and another for men; and limit abilities (or perception of abilities), opportunities
(or perception of opportunities), personal goals, and career directions, thus
impeding an individual's personal, academic and/or professional development.
"In short, sexist communication perpetuates social and educational injustices.
Language not only develops in conjunction with society’s historical, economic and political evolution, but also reflects that society’s attitudes and thinking. Language not only expresses ideas and concepts, but actually shapes thought
Language "implies control over one's destiny, over the morality and cultural codes peculiar to the group that speaks it, it demarcates the group from others, it is a warning sign saying 'keep off'."(Safhir). If one accepts that our...

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