The Feminization of Professional Names

An Outrage against Masculinity
  • Benoîte Groult


The French generally think that their language, formalized by Vaugelas as early as 1647, then constantly rectified by successive grammarians and brought into line by that guardian of the French language, the Académie française, is a treasure to be protected. However, as sociolinguistics has demonstrated, language is not only a tool or a means of communication. Vocabulary is not neutral. It holds up a mirror to society and reflects its prejudices, taboos, and fantasies, perpetuating its structures and hierarchies. Language is power.


Europe Suffix Monopoly Salon 


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  1. 4.
    See Mona Ozouf’s Les mots de femmes: essai sur la singularité française (Paris: Fayard, 1995).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Roger Célestin, Eliane DalMolin, Isabelle de Courtivron 2003

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  • Benoîte Groult

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