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A thorn by any other name: sexist discourse as hate speech

A thorn by any other name: sexist discourse as hate speech Scholarship on hate speech usually addresses racist and ethnicist discourses, and less often homophobic discourses. This article opens a conversation about sexist discourse as hate speech. In arguing that sexist discourse should be considered hate speech, I review several definitions of hate speech, one of which I use in analyzing the texts of neoconservative author William D. Gairdner. I argue that, although Gairdner's sexist discourse does not meet the legal definitions of hate speech, it is consistent with linguistic criteria for hate speech and that, since Gairdner's discourse is representative of mainstream sexist discourse, all such sexist discourse counts as hate speech. I conclude by asking why, amid all the published works on hate speech, the question of sexist discourse as hate speech is rarely even addressed. Since society still operates as if `male' and `female' were simple, self-evident categories, we, as feminists, must still respond to and challenge the sexist discourses that perpetuate and reproduce such dichotomies. One way to do that is to recognize sexist discourse as a form of hate speech and to challenge it on that basis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Discourse & Society SAGE

A thorn by any other name: sexist discourse as hate speech

Discourse & Society , Volume 18 (6): 22 – Nov 1, 2007

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References (29)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0957-9265
eISSN
1460-3624
DOI
10.1177/0957926507082193
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Scholarship on hate speech usually addresses racist and ethnicist discourses, and less often homophobic discourses. This article opens a conversation about sexist discourse as hate speech. In arguing that sexist discourse should be considered hate speech, I review several definitions of hate speech, one of which I use in analyzing the texts of neoconservative author William D. Gairdner. I argue that, although Gairdner's sexist discourse does not meet the legal definitions of hate speech, it is consistent with linguistic criteria for hate speech and that, since Gairdner's discourse is representative of mainstream sexist discourse, all such sexist discourse counts as hate speech. I conclude by asking why, amid all the published works on hate speech, the question of sexist discourse as hate speech is rarely even addressed. Since society still operates as if `male' and `female' were simple, self-evident categories, we, as feminists, must still respond to and challenge the sexist discourses that perpetuate and reproduce such dichotomies. One way to do that is to recognize sexist discourse as a form of hate speech and to challenge it on that basis.

Journal

Discourse & SocietySAGE

Published: Nov 1, 2007

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