In today’s world, women suffer from many burdens placed egregiously by the collective against them. By neglecting the identification of these faults and by failing to seize our agency in resolving them, there lies individual guilt in the allowance for perpetuation. To analyze this further, we must search in introspection the reason for why it is that the profanity used commonly in mainstream media is directed towards female-identifying individuals. We must ask ourselves why the comparative used in these insults place women in an inferior position to “the normal”. What differentiates the extent of insult that is expected to be felt between being regarded as a “dog” to a “female dog”? 

As Oscar Wilde remarked on the nature of identity, “most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” The fundamental pursuit of many, as outlined, are simply reflections of other people. According to many reports,[]  language in the status quo continues to retain a large influence in how the society which uses it thinks. Without even realizing it, many of one’s opinions and passions are products of the culture surrounding a particular language, which, in perpetuation, maintain the doctrines that the language is grounded in; principally, this is regarded as linguistic relativity. By continuing to use the language in a way which its faults are never corrected, the language becomes further entrenched in problems that become only harder to solve. [] 

Heavily gendered languages also demonstrate the complexity of worldviews and their role on the state of the equality of the sexes.[] In this, even if the language does not place forth a false pretense of female inferiority, removing negative connotations associated with a particular gender becomes much more difficult due to the rigidity of the linguistic structure.[] Ethically, the preservation of equality in society is the most clear direction in upholding values seen in a just society. Practically, gender equality will allow for unseen windows of opportunity and streams of ambition to be found free where it was caged before. What can be exposed from this understanding then are the barriers that disallow these practical, and ethical, benefits from being as readily implemented as they should. 

As it was alluded to earlier, language appears to be one of the most difficult barriers to cross in conquering gender inequality; while language is not solely responsible, it’s inevitable attachment to the formation of stereotypes paints it as a culprit of many of today’s systemic problems within the conversation of gender but also beyond. By increasing our individual accountability for the words we use, and by working to actively understand the connotations of words in an ever-growing and ever-changing language such as English, we must venture forth wary of how impactful language can be. Perhaps, if the cultures of these languages sought this maturity and initiated its natural course towards a linguistic metamorphosis, from a shackled language, as tethered as a caterpillar to the ground, may a butterfly emerge, and break free of its chains. 

By Sanjit Neil Samanta


“The Subtle Ways Language Shapes Us,” BBC Culture (BBC), accessed February 19, 2022,

Barbara C. Scholz, Francis Jeffry Pelletier, and Geoffrey K. Pullum, “Philosophy of Linguistics,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Stanford University, January 1, 2015),

World Bank Group, “Gendered Languages May Play a Role in Limiting Women’s Opportunities, New Research Finds,” World Bank (World Bank Group, February 7, 2019), 

“The Problem with Gendered Language That No One Realizes but Should,” IndiaTimes, September 12, 2018,