Subordination and trivialisation - How language can reinforce the subjugation of women
Subordination and trivialisation are ways of using language that reinforce men’s traditional dominance over women or belittle or insult women.
Trivialisation is any language which makes something seem unimportant and it is closely related to subordination. Often things related to women are trivialised through language that makes something sound ‘small’ or ‘cute’. This may appear benign, but can have the effect of reinforcing women’s subordinate place in society.
I 'm no girl.
Pathdoc, I'm no girl, Shutterstock
Some key aspects of language to watch out for are:
- Naming conventions-titles and how to refer to people.
- Word or phrase hierarchy.
- Diminutive affixes.
- Terms for women.