War, Language and Gender, What New Can Be Said? Framing the Issues


Taylor, Anita, and M. J. Hardman. 2004. “War, Language and Gender, What New Can Be Said? Framing the Issues.” Women & Language 27 (2): 3–19.

Authors: Anita Taylor, M. J. Hardman


The article focuses on the role of war, language and gender in perpetuating violence. Language has been shown as a window into culture and into the thought patterns of a culture. It has been examined as a tool of rationalizing and justifying violence, including war. Gender has been studied for its role in justifying violence, causing violence, as it manifests violence. Violence ranges from the massive annihilations of wars among nations to the similar and, perhaps, somewhat less severe damages of both physical and psychological dominations done by political structures, churches, and economic institutions. It includes individuals hurting other individuals, in all kinds of ways. As long as any dominator culture exists with virtually unrestricted access to resources a nondominator culture will resist. Whatever might have caused the initial shift from egalitarian to dominator patterns, most parties do not find the resulting relationships comfortable. So to perpetuate these relationships, the language through which people see and structure their worlds, and the narratives that frame those views and values, must validate the system.

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Violence

Year: 2004

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