Words and Women. An eligible bachelor vs. an eligible spinster

Iulia Grad


The subject of gender discrimination in language and the relation between language and social structures is well known and widely debated. Nevertheless, everyday experiences show, over and over, the linguistic hierarchy at work when men and women are concerned. This paper has two main parts. The first one concerns the image of women in language and the other one treats the manner in which women usually use the language. Despite the fact that these social unwritten rules and deep rooted preconceptions are, in my opinion, difficult to ignore, the initiative of analyzing such facts represents an important first step in reducing the negative effects of the phenomenon. Obviously, we are aware of the fact that the problem is extremely profound and the imposed usage of certain nondiscriminatory terms represents not a very efficient solution, but, all in all, this analysis is the first phase of a much profound change that hopefully will occur.


language, gender, discrimination, social structure, discourse, women

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