The Manifestation of Sexist Language in American Movies
In recent decades, sexist language arouses considerable interest among sociolinguists. To explore multifarious aspects of sexist language and those contributing factors that give impetus to the emergence and maintenance of such a language, many studies have been conducted. One assumption is that sexist language has its root in patriarchal ideology and hegemony accompanied by gender differences made by a society. Sexist language can manifest itself in grammar, words, idiomatic expressions, proverbs, and jokes. One facet of sexist language is insulting terms and taboo words that in most cases carry negative connotations against women.The present study, by conducting a content analysis aims to dissect these insulting terms used by male and female characters in the movies. To do so, 15American movies are selected which contain dirty language and then coded. The results verified the use of sexist language against women in form of insulting words and taboos. Similarly, it is confirmed that male characters use more sexist language than women, in particular, when an addressee is a male. Along the lines of other studies, women use less insulting terms especially when the addressee is a woman. As for the types of obscene words, a various linguistic terms (12 types)are found which in most cases have sexual denotations or connotations. The terms “bitch”, “whore” and “motherfucker” have the most frequency among other terms used in these movies.
Key words - Sexist language, gender, insulting terms