The Instigator
Jemin
Con (against)
The Contender
warren42
Pro (for)

Should English language be male-centered?

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Debate Round Forfeited
Jemin has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/3/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 387 times Debate No: 95845
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

Jemin

Con

to date, sexism in language has survived
warren42

Pro

I accept. I'll be defending the status quo, my opponent's BoP is to prove a net harm from this.
Debate Round No. 1
Jemin

Con

The English language is firstly built upon the ideology that "the male is the norm phenomenon". This means that we refer to humans as "man" and other potentially sexist generalisations. On top of this, there are the problems surrounding Lexical Asymmetry in our language. This term is used to describe two words with the same denotation, but generally with an unequal connotation. For example, a woman who sleeps around with lots of men might be labelled a "slut", which in our perceived society is seen as an insult or a put down; something that makes the person feel less about themselves based on a label. In contrast, a man who sleeps around with lots of women might be labelled a "player", which in our perceived society is seen as more of a compliment or a gesture of respect for what they"ve done. However, does this really make the language itself sexist or just our ideas about it? This where the ideological theories of the relations between our human minds and language comes in. There are two types: Reflectionism and Determinism. Reflectionism is the theory that language reflects our thoughts; such as someone believing a woman sleeping around with men is unfavourable and labelling them with something profound such as "slut", or someone believing that a man sleeping around with women is impressive and labelling them with something complimentary such as "player". Determinism on the other hand is the theory that language influences our thoughts; such as the word "slut" in itself has made us think of it as something bad and the word "player" as something impressive. Therefore, to suggest that Lexical Asymmetry is a birth from reflectionism is to say that connotations of the activity has caused us to think negatively of the word; and that to suggest Lexical Asymmetry is a birth from determinism is to say that the word has led to us creating bad connotations of the activity. My personal opinion is that because language is so old, Lexical Asymmetry has probably been built on over the years due to Reflectionism and Determinism and led us to the modern connotations we have today.

Insulting usages are ways in which the English language displays a semantic over representation. This means that there is a lexical gap when we insult people because of their sex. For example, not only are there more insulting usages for women, but also the connotations surrounding insulting usages for females are generally perceived as far worse than the connotations surrounding insulting usages for males. For example the word "whore", which is generally used to insult women who sleep around, can also be used against males; however the key difference to note is that when it is, it is often a marked term as "whore" becomes "man-whore". Essentially this is sexist in itself, but also the connotations surrounding a "whore" appear more negative than with "man-whore" because we associate the ideas of a man sleeping around as being successful and a women sleeping around as wrong.
warren42

Pro

Thanks Con.

The essay that my opponent plagiarized [1] for his argument essentially rests on two premises.

P1. Connotation and denotation are both inherently a part of language rather than social structures.
P2. There is a tangiable impact to negative connotations.

Re: P1
A word's connotation and denotation are not both a part of language. Rather, connotation is a social construct, while denotation is a part of language. "Connotation represents the various social overtones..." while "Denotation represents the explicit or referential meaning..." [2] Therefore, the connotation of words like "slut" are not a problem with language, but rather a problem with societal views.

Re: P2
My opponent has shown no impact. If there is no impact there is no reason to negate.

[1] https://www.youngwriterssociety.com...
[2] http://www.csun.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by BackCommander 1 year ago
BackCommander
If by "start debating" you mean "plagiarize someone else's writing" then I do believe you've already started.
Posted by Jemin 1 year ago
Jemin
Can we start debating
Posted by Sciguy 1 year ago
Sciguy
Behold, the most mental debate in DDO history.
Posted by Sciguy 1 year ago
Sciguy
Behold, the most mental debate in DDO history.
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