Thursday, March 3, 2011

gender-biased materials?in textbooks?

sexist use of language?
gender-biased materials?
in our textbooks?
is it true?should we bother?never heard about this before...hmmm..
yeah, me too, never heard and never thought about it before..ever since I used the textbooks, seriously, this topic never came across my mind..until I read these two articles:
1) Gender Representation in Malaysian Secondary School English Language Textbooks by Jayakaran Mukundan and Vahid Nimehchisalem
2) Subliminal Sexism in Current ESL/EFL Textbooks by Hasan Ansary & Esmat Babaii
the sociolinguists, who do the reasearch on language and gender, really pay their attention to every single point related to their field.however, it's rather surprising to see how a letter-difference between these words: 'letters' and 'letter' denote different meaning in the eyes of the sociolinguists.
they said, these words are the examples which show gender biasness present in the textbook as 'letters' is commonly associated with female while 'letter' is for male.
how could these words show biasness?they have no difference in meaning, still the same - the written message which is sent by post in an envelope, only the word 'letters' shows plurality...what's the big deal? am I right?yes?no?
yeah, perhaps it's not a big deal for those who live in a community which does not really concern about this issue..however, Mukundan and Nimehchisalem assume that when you write a letter, you are involved in active communication like a manager, while writing letters connotes that you are only writing for someone or you merely deal with letters (eg: clerks). It means, men are portrayed of having a higher occupational standing compared to women.
(betul kan?tak terfikir pun sampai macam ni..huhu just tau, kalau as 's' makne nye plural, kalau xde, makne nye, singular...sape sangka....rupa2nye...huish!)
(tgk exmple kat bawah ni, lagilah...huhuhu)
now, next example, the words 'busy' and 'work': which one is frequently related to female and which one is more male?
ha...the answer is..
'busy' --> female
'work' --> male
and why they said the use of these words symbolise gender biasness in the textbooks?
the reason is:
1) busy, which often describe female shows that it has no denotation of reward/payment + refers to paid/unpaid employment + the use of excessive energy/possibly wasted effort.
2) work conveys the meaning of productivity and payment.
thus, the difference in meaning of the words shows biasness as the men always portrayed as the breadwinner and often have higher economic status.
(gender bias ni, bukan perempuan je kene, cause dalam artikel 1 ad cakap, watak lelaki dalam textbooks, walaupun selalunye die lg bnyk dr watak perempuan dan selalu dapat lebih, tp, dalam textbook, diaorg ni pun mengalami biasness sbb, watak lelaki selalu dikaitkan dgn negative characters kalau nk dibandingkan dgn perempuan...huhuhu jdnye, pasal gender biasness dalam buku teks ni, bukan la perempuan je selalu kene, lelaki pun ad...just...sebelum2 ni, xpenah terfikir pun ap yg ad dalam buku teks tu, boleh ditafsirkan sebegini rupa...gender biasness dalam buku teks?menarik2~)
-teringat zaman gne textbook..kalau la time tu terfikir mcm ni...agak2, macam mane?

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