Asymmetries of Male/Female Representation in Arabic
1. The generic use of the masculine pronoun; for example, ‘to each his own’.
2. Ordering the masculine form before the feminine; for example, ‘husband and wife’ rather than ‘wife and husband’.
3. Euphemisms; such as using the term ‘lady’ instead of ‘woman’.
4. Semantic derogation; for example, ‘mistress’ which is no longer the exact equivalent of ‘master’.
5. Lexical and paradigmatic asymmetries; for example, the term ‘spinster’ which refers exclusively to females has no masculine counterpart in the English lexicon; nor does the title of address ‘Miss’ which reflects differentiation on the basis of marital status.
KeywordsLanguage Pattern Grammatical Gender Gender Inequity Professional Title Feminine Noun
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