A Note from the Author
This blog is written from the perspective of me, Kitty Doherty: a young, English-speaking, white, pansexual, cis woman with a literature degree and work-in-progress insights.
Some topics I explore are based on empirical evidence. Although other topics draw from research, they will be inevitably filtered through my lens; one that is undeniably biased and in many ways, privileged. While I can’t speak on behalf of those who experience language oppression in a way I don’t, I intend to do my best to promote the voices of people from oppressed groups, and I wholeheartedly welcome feedback from anyone with a perspective or experience different from my own.
I am also aware that in focusing on general differences between men and women with respect to language, I bypass the unique experiences of gender non-conforming folk. I focus mostly on the cis male/female dynamic simply because it is the topic with which I have the most knowledge and experience. I will continue educating myself and pointing my readers towards valuable resources from which people from positions of privilege can learn.
It is useful to analyse “language injustice” in its many variants in order to help all oppressed peoples. Language is entwined with racism, homophobia, ableism, trans rights and other life-impacting issues. But more on that later.
I am aware my blog does little to subvert the good ol’ gender binary and does, perhaps, reinforce the notion that men and women are irreconcilably different. This is not my intention.
My analysis is based on the knowledge that men and women are conditioned to speak and be spoken of in differing ways - ways that oppress some while giving power to others.
Men and women are not irreconcilably different. But until society treats all genders equally, it is crucial to talk about, study, and give awareness to these language-based differences in order to fight the big fight.