Mosqueda 1
Ramona Mosqueda
Writing 001
Catherine Koehler
December 16, 2013
Language and Gender: Annotated Bibliography
The study of gender and language has ranged a controversial debate about the language
and behavior of men and women. When society is asked what it means to be a women or a man
they more than likely will respond with anatomical parts. Some people might also respond with
definitions like, “being a man is being tough” or being a women means “being a housewife or
cleaning.” Ultimately society believes biological factors play a role in gender’s diction, syntactic
approach, and communicative strategies. As a result of society’s expectations people feel a need
to act a certain way, or like men say follow the “The Guy Code” in order to be accepted.
This bibliography is intended to show the relationship between gender and language in
recent gender studies. It provides annotations of authors whose studies demonstrate how verbal
and body language differ among men and women. As a result of these observations we came to
realize that society indeed set a certain standard of how people are supposed to behave based on
their gender. We came to realize that biological factors does not play a role in gender and
language like society thinks, but their expectations of how we should behave do.
Cofer Ortiz, Judith. “The Myth Of the Latin Woman: / Just Met a Girl Named Maria.”
Ortiz Judith reflects on personal experiences that have made her realize the stereotypes
people have assigned to Latin American women. What Ortiz sees as culture, others may see it as
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a “whore, vulgar, or to most men a come-on behaviors.” Cofer describes many situations where
because of the way she dressed she was labeled as vulgar and too provocative. Cofer asserts the
prejudice occurs because of the denial of opportunities for upward mobility among Latinas. She
is grateful that her parents were able to provide her with an education. With the help of her
poetry and novels she hopes she can receive positive interest of her culture, and that people can
see past her skin color, accents, and clothes.
Kimmel, Michael. “’Bros Before Hos’: The Guy Code.” Language Awareness. Ed.
Escholz, Paul, Rosa Alfred and Virginia Clark. Boston, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013: 469-475.
Print. Kimmel, a researcher, lecturer and writer on men and masculinity explores the meaning of
masculinity and the homophobia of men. Kimmel confirms through his observations that being a
man has more meaning to men then what being a women means to women. His observations
point out a “Real Guy’s Top Ten List.” All the epigrams involve showing no emotion or
admitting to weakness. Men tend to show masculinity because they feel they need to be
positively evaluated by men. They have a fear of homophobia, where their peers serve as
“gender police” who are checking to see if they cross boundaries of manhood. Kimmel
acknowledges that this fear affects the actions of men. Men maintain an effort to manly cover
everything they do from their walk, talk, how they eat. Based on his observations Kimmel argues
that masculinity is not biological but an adaptation policed by other guys. Meaning that
biological factors is not what makes a man a man. People have implicated that just because men
have certain anatomical parts then they need to act rough and tough. Men have set a certain
standard of a man being tough and emotionless just because they have specific body parts that
makes them superior. To Kimmel that assumption is incorrect we were made the way we are for
a reason, which does not mean being masculine means being emotionless or hard as a rock.
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Odhiambo, Calvin. "The Name Game: Using Insults to Illustrate the Social Construction
of Gender." College Teaching 60.1 (2012): 25-30. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Oct.
2013. Calvin, Odhiambo describes a classroom activity in which students get into groups of the
same sex and come up with insulting words to gain insight into how gender is socially
constructed. The author analyzed that men came up with more derogatory names because they
are not looked upon by society as vulgar compared to if women would have said them. Calvin
also observed that insults that women see as negative, are actually seen positively by man, for
example “player.” Based on this activity the author implies that gender is socially constructed by
human interaction not by biological features. He assesses through this experiment that there is a
gender inequality that society has constructed not by biological factors.
Zeisler, Andi. “The B-word? You Betcha.” 2007, Nov. 18. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. Zeisler,
Andi along with Lisa Jervis starters of the Bitch Magazine in 1996, assess the meaning of the Bword and why women are labeled with that word. She explains that bitch is used culturally to
explain a women who is strong, angry, uncompromising, and uninterested in pleasing men. An
incident happened while they were on tour where men nervously asked whether they hated men
or if men were even allowed to read the magazine. Zeisler and Jervis explain every time they are
asked that they use the magazine to help elevate women, not as a source of hate against men.
Due to this misunderstanding the B-word is still a problematic term. Andi points out a situation
where a supporter of McCain asked him “How do we beat the bitch?” instead of rebuking the
questioner he laughed it out. She assesses the fact that women are labeled with this word for
being outspoken just like Hillary Clinton.
Zheng, Baohua. "The Different Using Of Language Between Sexes." Canadian Social
Science 3.4 (2007): 61-63. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. Boahua, Zheng
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emphasizes on the controversial social gender differences such as diction, syntactic approach,
and communicative strategies. Baohua explains that women’s choice of words is based on the
judgment they will receive by Zheng. Women do not usually use profanity like men do because
if they do society tends to judge them differently. Women tend to use softer, politer, feminine
words such as “pretty, beautiful”. Men on the other hand use more assertive, authoritative, and
dominant words. He implies that linguistic forms used by boys’ group is hierarchical they need
to demonstrate control whereas the girls’ group is about equality. Baohua concludes by saying
that women’s emotional state makes them more vulnerable to men, therefore they are seen as
psychologically inferior.