Women and Language

Women and Language is a scholarly periodical covering communication, language and gender with a feminist perspective. Subjects include communications, philology, language and linguistics. Founded in 1975, Women and Lnaguage is published seminannually by George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Anita Taylor is the executive editor.

Articles from Vol. 20, No. 1, Spring

Bad Boys and Silent Girls: What Children Know about Language and Power
For the past twenty years many educational researchers have asserted that the pursuit of sex equity in education is negotiated in the day to day dynamics of the classroom. Most recently the AAUW report has repeated the call for educators to re-examine...
Bodies That Don't Matter: The Discursive Effacement of Sexual Difference
In her book Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, Judith Butler works to collapse the distinction between sex and gender. She begins with an hypothesis: If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps this construct...
Casey Geddes Miller (1919-1997): An Appreciation
Casey Miller, the doyen of nonsexist writing, died on January 5, 1997 of chronic obstructive lung disease at her home in East Haddam, Connecticut. Miller and her editorial and writing partner, Kate Swift, began their assault on linguistic sexism...
Classroom Talk: Coed Classes That Work for Girls
"Not long ago I was talking to a class of third graders. The boys sounded off as often as car alarms, and I called on them to keep them under control. Most of the girls had already learned that it was important to be quiet and well behaved. I rewarded...
From the 'Margins' to the 'Mainstream': Gender Identity and Fraternity Men's Discourse
Recent work by researchers of what we might call `marginalized' gender identities have suggested that gender is creatively constructed and fluid, and that language plays a large part in this construction. In this paper, I consider what happens when...
Keeping It Straight: The Negotiation of Meanings in the Constitution of Gender and Sexuality
One important social practice that is often overlooked in the study of gender and language is sexuality, although our notions of what it means to be `woman' or `man' are related to how we play out these meanings sexually. In other words, expectations...
Little Woman
Four days a week I work out in the men's weight room at Bally's Total Fitness in Peabody, Massachusetts. The club is on the basement level of the North Shore Mall, where the sun's rays never fall. Illuminated by artificial light, plastic bouquets...
Notes of a Non-Gendered 'Ecological' Writer
I've been told I write like a man. This pisses the hell out of me. Ever since I published my first book, a travel memoir, or what would now be called a work of creative non-fiction, Waterway Journey: The Voyage of Nora's Ark (Funk & Wagnall's...
Razor Girls: Genre and Gender in Cyberpunk Fiction
At the wane of the twentieth century, the Western world has begun to seriously consider feminist, post-colonialist, and post-structuralist modes of thought in order to revise and rethink its traditional ideologies. Among the most basic of these ideologies...
Reconceptualizing Gender through Dialogue: The Case of the Tex-Mex Madonna
For most people in the United States, Selena was introduced posthumously. On March 31, 1995, Selena Quintanilla Perez was shot and killed by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, in her Texas hometown of Corpus Christi. As Selena was rushed...
School for Courtship
Happy courtships are all alike; every unhappy courtship is unhappy in its own way. My own courtship, on the other hand -- the third hand -- didn't follow a digital pattern. Nor did it show an analog pattern: good, better, best/bad, worse, worst. My...
The Concept of Social Parallax
As long as we keep dutifully looping-the-loop in our thoughts, going over and over the same ground without noticing that we are actually getting nowhere, the seditious ideas that can potentially fling open our prison doors don't ...
To Have and to Be: Sex, Gender, and the Paradox of Change
The body is one locus of control in the organization of social life, a site upon which social order is maintained. Within that order, a fundamental structure relies upon the radical dichotomization of, on the one hand, female and male and, on the...
What Does It Mean to Write from the Body?
Every so often as one is reading, words leap off the page, saying, "HEY! I'm talking to YOU here." For me, the words belonged to Helen Cixous' "The Laugh of the Medusa": I shall speak about women's writing: about what it will do. Woman must...
Willa Cather and Brandon Teena: The Politics of Passing
Recent Cather scholarship has encountered a most formidable foe: language. The insightful analyses of scholars such as Sharon O'Brien, Judith Fetterly, Joanna Russ, and Timothy Dow Adams have allowed us to examine Cather's sexuality, which has itself...