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Since women have traditionally held very different societal roles to men, they have not been subjected to the same sociolinguistic scrutiny as men: a stay-at-home mother is not expected to use similar language when talking to her children as a male CEO would when conversing with his employees or the board of directors.
is a well-known idiom, but how accurate is this linguistically?
In this essay, I will discuss possible differences in assertiveness in the English language between speakers of different genders, with a focus on societal gender norms.
It's the perception of a gender difference, not a real gender difference.
Transcripts, however, will show you how gender differences affect language (unless they are faked, be careful! of women: relating or belonging to women or girls 2.
This is a subject I would warmly recommend further reading about.
Finally: to simplify matters, this essay is written from a gender-dichotomized perspective.
The ongoing development for acceptance of women in roles traditionally held by men is changing the way both women and men look at women’s speech, which is a chance to let go of old stereotypes of women, based on flawed research and popular belief.
There are some points which I wish to either clarify or elaborate on in this essay: Firstly, I somewhat heavily point out that linguistic gender differences are not inherent to the gender dichotomy.
This assumption has led to the belief that women’s speech should be corrected with tools such as assertiveness therapy to resemble the ‘norm’, masculine speech.
This stereotype further enforces the notion of inherent linguistic gender differences, even though its base presumption is nothing more than that - a stereotype.