genderissues

genderissues - GENDER ISSUES by Don L. F. Nilsen and Alleen...

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41 1 GENDER ISSUES by Don L. F. Nilsen and Alleen Pace Nilsen
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41 2 Betty Boop
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Breast Cancer
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41 4 A Computer Program for Generating Gendered Language Moshe Koppel and his fellow computer scientists at Bar-Ilan University have “developed a computer algorithm that can examine an anonymous text and determine, with accuracy rates of better than 80 percent, whether the author is male or female.” “Women are far more likely than men to use personal pronouns —’I,’ ‘you,’ ‘she,’ ‘myself,’ or ‘yourself’ and the like. Men, in contrast, are more likely to use determiners—’a,’ ‘the,’ ‘that,’ and ‘these’—as well as cardinal numbers and quantifiers like ‘more’ or ‘some.’ Women talk about people; men talk about things.’” (Thompson [2009]: 363-365)
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41 5 Deborah Tannen’s Findings “In men’s magazines, the sentences were always shorter, and the sentences in women’s magazines had more ‘feeling verbs.’” However, “when women wrote for men’s magazines, they wrote in the ‘male’ style. ‘It clearly was performance,’ Tannen notes. ‘It didn’t matter whether the author was male or female. What mattered was whether the intended audience was male or female.’” (Thompson [2009]: 366)
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41 6 The Pronoun Problem “We are told that because it is a plural pronoun, they must not be used to refer to single persons because it ‘doesn’t make sense.’ However the fact is that today, they is indeed both a singular and a plural pronoun, as indicated by the fact that all English speakers use it so.” “The idea that they is only a plural pronoun is an illusion based on the fallacy of treating the English of one thousand years ago as if it was somehow hallowed, rather than just one arbitrary stage of an endless evolution over time.” (McWhorter [2009]: 377)
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41 7 Is the expression “you guys” gendered? “Oprah says it. My yoga instructor says it. College students around the country say it. The cast of Friends says it, as do my own friends, over and over again.” “At least ten to twenty times a day, I hear someone say ‘you guys’ to refer to groups or pairs that include and some cases consist entirely of women.” (Bilger [2009]: 381)
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41 8 “One guy is clearly male. How does a word become gender neutral just by being plural?” “Can the same culture that says ‘it’s a guy thing’ to refer to anything that women just don’t get about male behavior view a woman as ‘one of the guys?’” “During the same decades in which feminist critiques of generic uses of ‘man’ and ‘he’ led to widespread changes in usage—no mean feat—’you guys’ became even more widely accepted as an informal and allegedly gender-free phrase.” (Bilger [2009]: 382)
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41 9 Internalized Oppression “Most of us are familiar with the idea of internalized oppression, the subtle process by which members of disenfranchised groups come to accept their own lesser
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2011 for the course ENG 312 taught by Professor Nilsen during the Spring '10 term at ASU.

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genderissues - GENDER ISSUES by Don L. F. Nilsen and Alleen...

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