Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Gender in Language

      I found Mr. Robertson's presentation to be one of the most interesting topics thus far.  It is a point that still relevant in todays society, and many aspects of his points are difficult to deal with.   He began his presentation by reading different stories written by second graders, and told us to guess if a boy or girl wrote them.    The class was able to guess correctly almost every time.  I found the second grade boys writing to be "Lord of the Flies" esque.   Their stories were about courage, fighting, and honor, whereas the girls stories were about love, feelings, and community.  Mr. Robertson then read us more papers written by high school students, and the differences in tone were far more difficult to notice. Although many of the students were able to guess the sex of the gender, there were far more incorrect guesses.
      As his presentation went on, he moved towards the lasting effects of this differences in speech.  He talked about the effects it has on women in the workplace.  He said, "Females are taught at a young age that they cannot speak strongly. They are not able to assert there will as strongly as men."  I thought that his presentation proposed and addressed a real problem in society, but what he did not offer is a solution. There is no clear cut solution because this 'problem' is so deeply ingrained in society.  The issues he talks about are unconscious decisions that aren't necessarily problems, but are not advantageous to women in the workplace.  I found it difficult to relate to what Mr. Robertson said because it adversely affects me positively, but I do find it to be a major problem as women continue to move into the workplace.  I believe the best way to help "solve" this issue is by spreading awareness and knowledge on the topic.

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