Gendered Languages Encourage Chauvinism

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shocks

Village Sponsor
#1
Speakers of English are often confounded by gender markers in other languages. In German, for example, there are three different words for "the" depending on whether the object in question is masculine ("der"), feminine ("die"), or neutral ("das"). For instance, in Germany all dogs are masculine and all cats are feminine.
Now, you may not think that identifying all bridges as being female ("die brucke") would have any ramifications for ladies who speak German. It appears that bridges were designated female because they are things that people walk all over, and yes -- societies where gendered languages are spoken tend to be male-dominated. Not only that, the effect increases with the number of gender markers present in the language.
It's been posited that being forced to assign a gender to all objects gives more importance, in the mind of the speaker, to people's gender than if they were using neutral language. And the effect isn't negligible. In countries where the dominant language employs a sex-based system of gender identification, female participation in the work force drops by about 12 percent, whereas in countries where the language uses a non-sex-based gender system, female work force participation actually increases slightly, by about 3 percent.
5 Surprising Ways Your Language Affects How You Think

German
The kitchen die kuche

French
the bicycle la bicyclette (you can ride it)
the radio la radio (talks too much)
 

Breizh

Village Elder
#3
Without saying anything about the above text, I only want to correct that of course we have (male) dog = der Hund or der Rude as well as she-dogs = die Hundin. The same for cats: tomcat is der Kater and cat or queen = die Katze.

None taken ;)
 
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