• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Does language used in literature and media embrace gender stereotypes?

Extracts from this document...


Does language used in literature and media embrace gender stereotypes? Language within our history and modern day societies and cultures plays a significant part in gender stereotypes in literature and media in the 21st century. There are many derogatory terms used towards women such as 'bitch', 'housewife', 'cow' and 'wench' whereas these terms wouldn't be used to describe men and there are no male equivalents to these derogatory terms. In 1970, a US feminist tract 'The Bitch Manifesto' attempted to rehabilitate the word 'bitch' claiming that it is used to put down women who refuse to accept male domination. The argument was 'John may think Mary is a bitch because she is aggressive but since he would praise the same quality in James, his use of the word bitch is in fact a compliment'. This kind of linguistic reform ignores the intention of the speaker: when John calls Mary a bitch it is not a compliment. Bitchiness is regarded as a negative female trait and a sign of effeminacy in any male. Speakers are now often hesitant to call a female dog a bitch because they fear they may be insulting the dog. As a tradition women's jobs were looking after the children and looking after the family home however the man's job was to go out to work to provide the family with money for food and other things they needed, however traditions have changed yet the language towards women hasn't. ...read more.


to be submissive to the male characters in the play, Stanley and Mitch, however she doesn't succeed and ultimately is defeated by the dominance of Stanley. Stella, one of the main characters in the play, shows her submissive nature towards Stanley. In scene three when the men are playing poker, Blanche provokes Stanley by continuously turning the radio on, this frustrates Stanley and causes him to hit Stella. Stanley here shows his dominance over the women, Stella and Blanche. The same night after Blanche initially leaves Stanley she returns to him and forgives him, this shows the weakness of her character showing that she deems it acceptable for Stanley to physically abuse her, even though she is pregnant and the abuse could have caused harm to her unborn baby. When Blanche questions whether Stella thinks its alright for Stanley to hit her she replies '...it wasn't anything as serious as you seem to take it...when men are drinking and playing poker anything can happen...' this shows that Stella makes excuses for Stanley and just because he had been drinking it was acceptable for him to hit her. In the long running programme 'Desperate Housewives' social stereotypes are portrayed. Brie is a typical housewife who cleans, tidies and cooks in the family home whilst the husband goes out to work. ...read more.


In the play 'Anthony and Cleopatra,' we see that Cleopatra is referred to as being a snake, '...my serpent of Old Nile, For so he calls me' In Shakespearean times when plays were performed in the theatre only men were the actors, even if there was a female character it would be performed by a man because women were seen as not being good enough to be able to act. Another example of the inferior language towards women would be the way that straight men verbally abuse homosexual men, they insult them by using words that often describe women 'sissy' 'feminine' 'womanish' 'pretty boy' 'nancy', all of these terms refer to women showing that if they want to insult someone because they think they're inferior or different then all they need to do is call them a women or say that they are acting like a women. From looking at magazines such as 'Max Power' and 'Loaded' which are men's magazines we can see that women are often portrayed as being personal assets of men, In 'Max Power' the parts of cars are referred to as being women. The divide between men and women stretches as far back as common Christmas carols. In the hymn 'Good Christian Men' there is no reference to women. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level A Street Car Named Desire section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level A Street Car Named Desire essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigating how language has changed in children's literature; in relation to interaction between ...

    5 star(s)

    who had no misgivings, and gave no uncertain word of command, and, let who would yield or make truce, would fight the fight out". This feature is not present in either ""Miss Potts"" or "Miss Loy's" descriptions, but appears again in the description of "Dumbledore" and it is likely that

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Class and Gender conflict in Pygmalion

    4 star(s)

    Liza reminds him that he had previously told her she `had a finer ear' than he possessed and adds, `And I can be kind and civil to people, which is more than you can.` (Shaw, 2003:104) Higgins is instantly infuriated and replies: `You damned impudent slut, you!

  1. Peer reviewed

    describe the way english language stereotypes men and women

    3 star(s)

    The word macho is a stereotypically masculine male, someone who display's conventional masculine characteristics. Another word for a man would be handsome, someone with good looking facial features or a pleasing general appearance. Whereas when describing a woman's looks you would use the word pretty if they have an attractive, pleasing face that is graceful.

  2. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    In comparison just over 20% of men say they are sociable, friendly and/or fun, and only about 10% of women say these are qualities they want in a partner. Four times as many females than males say that they want their partner to be caring, sensitive, kind or considerate.

  1. Refer closely to the literary and non-literary texts you have studied. Explore how gender ...

    Elizabeth therefore is a contradictory character as this is not the sort of behaviour expected from her. Emily Fox Seton also is a successful woman in her time. She has a career and has managed to live of her own earnings until now.

  2. An investigation into the similarities and differences between written social interactions through the new ...

    It is suggested that the phatic expression 'hello' was first used around the time of the invention of the telephone in 1876, however this was spoken. It was first used in a written text in 1872. Thus, it was recorded in dictionaries by 1883.

  1. A national hero, or a divisive force for Wales? Which is the more appropriate ...

    The case got dismissed, and the words 'what do we care for these barefoot Welsh Doggis?',15 were spoken loud and clear. As a result of the quarrel Owain gained support from fellow Welshmen and began to revolt. Like any revolt, support is needed in order for it to be sustained.

  2. Language Investigation. This essay will show the evolvement of gender fairness in the ...

    EVALUATION This investigation works to an extent, if redoing it I would look at more films and a more modern film with a white princess, such as Tangled or Brave and compare Princess and the Frog with them to see the extent of third wave feminism.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work