In legal documents at International, European, and National levels one notes a constant preoccupation with politically correct language as far as the discrimination of women is concerned. An example of such a concern is the European Constitution, Article II-83. A brief analysis of an excerpt bears witness to the fact that gender issues, as well as the adoption of a political correct discourse, are in the way in which this article is construed from a linguistic point of view. The excerpt in question follows: “equality between women and men must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay. The principle of equality shall not prevent the maintenance or adoption of measures providing for specific advantages in favour of the underrepresented sex”. Even a cursory analysis of the linguistic constructions of this excerpt shows the care with which words have been used: one can note, for example, that the expression “women and men” is chosen instead the more typical and less marked “men and women” to suggest that the order in which lexical items appear is not a mere stylistic variation, but reflects an existing power relation in which men are seen as first order human beings and women come second after them, that is to say, as the article itself notes further on, are underrepresented. To change this typical order is not only a syntactical choice, but also and above all one that challenges well-established power relations.

Can legal language be gender-neutral? Some thoughts on (non)-sexist language in English and Spanish

PANO ALAMAN, ANA;TURCI, MONICA
2008

Abstract

In legal documents at International, European, and National levels one notes a constant preoccupation with politically correct language as far as the discrimination of women is concerned. An example of such a concern is the European Constitution, Article II-83. A brief analysis of an excerpt bears witness to the fact that gender issues, as well as the adoption of a political correct discourse, are in the way in which this article is construed from a linguistic point of view. The excerpt in question follows: “equality between women and men must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay. The principle of equality shall not prevent the maintenance or adoption of measures providing for specific advantages in favour of the underrepresented sex”. Even a cursory analysis of the linguistic constructions of this excerpt shows the care with which words have been used: one can note, for example, that the expression “women and men” is chosen instead the more typical and less marked “men and women” to suggest that the order in which lexical items appear is not a mere stylistic variation, but reflects an existing power relation in which men are seen as first order human beings and women come second after them, that is to say, as the article itself notes further on, are underrepresented. To change this typical order is not only a syntactical choice, but also and above all one that challenges well-established power relations.
REVISTA GENERAL DE DERECHO PÚBLICO COMPARADO
A. Pano Alaman; M. Turci
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/78728
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact