Language and Gender: Implications on the Development of Female Self Concept in Zimbabwe
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This article analyzes the relationship between use of language and gender in the development of the female self concept.The argument is that language can reinforce asymmetrical gender relations in society through the use of gender specific vocabulary. Two concepts, that is gender and patriarchy, are discussed and their relationship to the use of language is shown. Socialist Feminism as the guiding theoretical perspective is discussed as well as Cooley's concept of the looking glass self. A detailed analysis of the t relationship between language and gender is undertaken and in it the following issues are critically discussed: language used about women, language used by women and linguistic differences to social interactions.This article concludes by showing how education can be used as a tool in the deconstruction of gender stereotypes about women in the use of language.The need to avoid the use of derogatory and demeaning vocabulary in interaction both inside and outside the classroom is emphasized.