From a sociological point of view, discourse often works as a litmus for traditions and principles that a particular society is based on. As a result, any text written in the XXI century can be defined as a masculine or a feminine one and, therefore, informs the gender of the author. Indeed, despite numerous attempts to transform the society and provide more opportunities for both genders to be able to choose their own behavioural patterns, there is still a rather obvious line drawn between a feminine and a masculine style of writing, the former traditionally being considered indirect and facilitative, while the latter is usually interpreted as aggressive and uncompromising. Nevertheless, in many cases, a masculine writing style can be used by a woman, and vice versa, which the article under analysis is a very graphic example of. In her research titled ‘Talking traditions of marriage – negotiating young British Bangladeshi femininities,’ Pia Pichler uses a variety of techniques that are traditionally considered “masculine” in order to get her point across.
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First, Pichler uses little to no words denoting doubt and uncertainty, such as “may,” “maybe,” “supposedly,” etc. – on the contrary, the author resorts to the adverbs that confirm her certainty, such as “must”: “Wedding proposal must not be interpreted as a detachment” (Pichler 2007, 207). While not making her article exactly aggressive, the given methods of expression show clearly that Pichler foes do not hesitate to express her opinion, and neither does she doubt it.
Another obvious element of masculinity in her text is a large number of personal pronouns. This shows that the author is determined to not only convey her message to the reader but also convince the latter. Pichler uses such first-person pronouns as “my” (Pichler 2007, 202–204), “me” (Pichler 2007, 204), and “I” (Pichler 2007, 214); moreover, she uses the possessive pronoun “my” five times on page 203. Such focus on the researcher’s persona is traditional for a male writer rather than for a female one.
Still, the elements of feminine style are also present in the text. Pichler tends to use adjectives and adverbs in her text in order to make it more eloquent, which is traditionally defined as a feature of feminine discourse: “Ardiana vehemently airs her opposition” (Pichler 2007, 207), “shameful and embarrassed” (Pichler 2007, 205). Therefore, it would be wrong to claim that the given text is deprived of feminine style elements completely. Such a balance between feminine and masculine elements is crucial for a text since it introduces the readers to the inexhaustible opportunities of expression that writing offers.
Pichler, P 2007, ‘Talking traditions of marriage – negotiating young British Bangladeshi femininities,’ Women’s Studies International Forum, vol. 30, no. 10, 201–216.
Rouncivell, G 2002, ‘Tie the knot at Leighton Hall: a dream wedding,’ Lancaster Guardian, 11 January, p. 167.
Wodak, R 1999, ‘Gender and discourse,’ Canadian Journal of Communication, vol. 24, no. 2, para. 1–9, Web.
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