|Kyle Westgate |
Close your eyes for just a second and imagine yourself in the Adirondack Mountains. You bumped up against a tree with your bow and arrow in hand, surrounded by nothing but forest to investigate. You can just sit back on this old tree thats been there for who knows how long and just relax. Okay, open your eye and jump back into the reality of fast moving vehicles zooming past you on 10th avenue as you're trying to get to school at the infamous John Jay College of Criminal justice. Now that right there is the perfect description of my life so far. I am an outdoors type of man that loves the woods and would do anything to get out there when the opportunity comes knocking on the door. But don’t get me wrong, living in the greatest city on earth isn’t a nuisance for me either. I actually happen to love this city and all it's got to offer. My life is a flip flop of both worlds: being able to get your toasted bagel one day at the local “BagelsRus” to sitting on a tree stump enjoying nature the next day is the life.
I am a freshmen here and is my first year of the college life. The transition from high school to college life can be seen as one of the most difficult, but you have to overcome the problems you face in life. My major is fire and emergency services--- it's something about helping others and doing everything possible to make someone's day that draws me in and makes me feel whole. Helping others has always been a part of me, whether it was cheering up a friend, or patching up a cut. That being said, my dream job or career would be a firemen, or an EMT, helping others everyday, saving lives. Being there in the time of need is what I would love to do for a profession.
Have you ever notice how our English language uses terms like "mankind," how we say things like "it all started with the 'caveman' "? What about the women in the world? Why aren't they depicted in these common language customs and expressions?
Mary Daly's famous slogan describes it as living in a “ " sisterhood of men" ”(Daly QTD in Richardson, 2008). Women fall behind the social ladder in comparison to men when you look at the wage earning gap today but who decides this? Who said so?
Even the English language that we use today puts us in place as Laurel Richardson proclaims in "Gender Stereotypes and English language". It all starts with grammatical and semantic structure. Women don't have an independent existence; they are just part of man. Grammar books still often use pronouns like "he" to also mean as "he and she". And we have famous examples like "one step for man, one giant step for mankind," allowing no existence of an independent female.
When women are included, they have to come second in the order of English language behind man when it comes to formal etiquette, making them lower then man, as if less mature. A good example of this is the expression like "man and wife." Meanwhile, women are often grouped with children when we say things like "women and children." Men are called gentlemen while women are rarely referred to as ladies. Women have "girl talks" or a "girl's night out," further depicting them as immature when no one calls men's discuission's "boy talks" (Richardson, 2008).
In our workforce today, we still use terms like policemen, garbageman, postman. We often also associate professions ike lawyering and doctoring with male figures. A teacher, secretary, nurse is often seen as a women. You can even see this kind of bias in English slang when women are referenced as animals such as "fox" or "dog;" for men, sexual prowess is also animalized with terms like "stud." Though all of this is starting to take a turn, with workforce terms like police officer, mail carrier, and flight attendant, there is still progress to be made.
Are men and women really different? Do these linguistic biases represent the fact of a simple biological determination? No. It’s all a social construct that we have created in today’s society to separate and build differential power into gender identities. Throughout our English language, "man" constantly tries to overpower "woman" by the very way we speak, the way we use terms, and the way we categorize women.
Richardson, Laurel. Gender Stereotyping in the English Language. New York: n.p., 2008. Print.