Women's Complicity in Linguistic Sexism: A Report on the Chinese Internet

Friday, 20 July 2018: 18:30
Oral Presentation
Zhuo JING-SCHMIDT, University of Oregon, USA
This presentation describes emerging misogynistic personizers that are morphologically productive in the Chinese cyber lexicon. The analysis focuses on the way the personizers are used across the gender line in Chinese social media as a community of practice. The findings show that women participate in female pejoration as much as men do, and that men are more inclined than women to use pejorative personizers that specifically attack female empowerment. Additionally, men construct masculinity and power by using certain misogynistic personizers as generics. I argue that the verbal misogyny is part and parcel of a larger gender ideology by illuminating the mutual constitution of the linguistic pejoration of women and the gender order in post-reform China, which is characterized by the dominance of elite masculinity, female dependence, sexual objectification, and sexual commodification. This study has implications for research on women’s condition in contemporary China, raises awareness of gender inequality, and lays the groundwork for social actions toward gender equality.