Posted by: kaitlynproffitt10 | November 5, 2012

Anchorman (the emphasis of the word man at the end of a word)

As we have been talking about women leading in a typically masculine role I started to think of the film Anchorman. For those of you who have not seen this movie I attached a clip that sums up what I am focusing on for this post. One of the quotes from the movie that emphasizes why a woman should not be a news anchor states “the word is anchorman, not anchorlady,” which made me think that maybe part of the problem with women leading in typically masculine roles is the title of the position. For example when you thing of a police officer you also think of policeman, when you think of a mail carrier, you also think of mailman and when you think of a firefighter you also think of fireman. Although there are more politically correct versions of the terms fireman, anchorman, and policeman; these are the terms that you grow up with as a child because they are easier to understand. 

I think this distinction (the word man) that is made within the words makes it difficult for men and women to see these words/terms as being applied to women as well as to men. Since language is the number one thing that sets us apart from other animals, I think every word we use sends a powerful message. I am not sure if there is any way to change or compensate for the power and influence words such as fireman, policeman, and mailman have on women, but I strongly believe that words that describe a position and end in the word man have a negative connotation for women. Although there is no solid evidence to back up my thought (at least none that I could find), it is just an idea that I was pondering that was provoked by the film Anchorman. 

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Responses

  1. I agree that even though this is a comedy, it was certainly social commentary on the issue of women in the news. Ever since I watched MissRepresentation, and got so mad at the montage of clips from the men anchors bashing women, I pay attention to the treatment of females on the news now. If any of you noticed during Hurricane Sandy, most of the anchors actually on the scene at the beaches and shorelines were women. It was incredibly dangerous, but I was so glad to have representation in the field that didn’t cover dainty topics, but rather made the women anchors fight to stand up straight against those winds. My favorite part was when it panned back to the main newscaster who was a male, and he gave her mad props for “excellent coverage” of the storm.

  2. i stoppped reading at “Since language is the number one thing that sets us apart from other animals”


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