Forma y Función
versión impresa ISSN 0120-338X
BOLANOS CUELLAR, Sergio. womens'language: a struggle to overcome inequality. Forma funcion, Santaf, de Bogot, D.C. [online]. 2006, n.19, pp. 137-162. ISSN 0120-338X.
This paper attempts to show that the intellectual construct womens language is entirely justified on a political, ideological, and economic basis that stresses the fact that women have historically been victims of overt (and covert) discrimination and exploitation in our society. Linguistically speaking, however, a womens'language seems not to exist in traditional strict terms, but rather as a rhetorical term used in the form of a synecdoche. Despite their incompleteness, two attempts of characterizing truly women languages, Nu Shu and Láadan, are discussed, underlining and recognizing their legitimate symbolic value as equalizing manoeuvres. Women have resorted to more subtle linguistic means to emerge as visible agents in our society. Linguistic resources go from a passive acceptance of the traditional all-inclusive generic masculine forms, through the equalizing use of both masculine and feminine markers, to the most progressive, liberal and controversial strategies of using feminizing forms, i.e. all-inclusive generic feminine forms. womens'struggle to overcome inequity and inequality is a legitimate endeavour which is leaving visible linguistic traces in our languages. Women are changing languages around the world.
Palabras llave : womens'language; Nu Shu, Láadan; inclusive linguistic masculine forms; masculine and feminine linguistic forms; inclusive feminine linguistic forms.