Sexism in the Japanese Language

1646 Words7 Pages
In contemporary Japanese, we have distinct difference in how each gender talk. This is constructed in the system of Japanese. Yet, people do not recognize the social differences among gender. This trait must have a historical reasoning behind systematic society. This research tries to study the gender difference in the contemporary Japanese, as well as the history of how the sexist language developed in the society. I chose this topic because I was simply curious in how Japanese people talked. This research gave me an opportunity to examine how different I talk compared to male Japanese speakers. Also, as a prospective sociology major, it was interesting to see how gender influences our daily speech. Usually when talking about these topics, it also mentions about how women are inferior to men in a sense. As a feminist, I was interested in how the speech developed, and how it is being used. In this study, I will first talk about the history of how these distinctive languages have developed. Then, I will examine the use of words in the contemporary Japanese language. This use of words will include the first person pronouns used in a speech, and also the sentence end particles. After the usage, I will use the experiment to conclude about the conversational dominance between male and female speaker. At the end, I would like to sum up with the explanation of why sexist languages still exist in Japan. The history of Japanese women’s speech is fairly long. It started out in the Heian period. At first, the women’s speeches were limited to only few noble women who worked in the Shinto shrines. Abe expresses those speeches as imi-kotoba (pg. 653), or the taboo words. The term “imi” means something ominous. Therefore, this imi-kotob... ... middle of paper ... ... the long history of Japan. Also, Japanese people do not realize that they are unconsciously using a sexist language. The systematic society of Japan automatically creates the social norms. Japan still has fairly large gender difference compared to Western countries. Works Cited Itakura, Hiroko, and Amy B. M. Tsui. "Gender and Conversational Dominance in Japanese Conversation." Language in Society 33.2 (2004): 223-48. ProQuest. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. Sakita, Tomoko I. "Sexism in Japanese English Education: A Survey of EFL Texts." Women and Language 18.2 (1995): 5-12. ProQuest. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. Abe, Hideko Nornes. "From Stereotype to Context: The Study of Japanese Women's Speech." Feminist Studies 21.3 (1995): 647-71. ProQuest. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. Peng, Fred C. C. Male/Female Differences in Japanese. Tokyo: East-West Sign Language Associiation, 1981. Print.
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