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Article

Androcentrism of English proverbs and anti-proverbswith gender components

Journal of Language and Education. 2018. Vol. 4. No. 2. P. 68-77.

Since the 20th century with the birth of feminism, gender studies have become under analysis of many areas of knowledge. The special attention is paid to the theory of androcentricity of the English language and deficiency of female image and speech. In this article the images of men and women presented by English proverbs and anti-proverbs are analyzed. The objective of this research is to find out if the proverbs are androcentric and present male mindset and world view. The other aim is to check if anti-proverbs reflect the changing role of women in the society. To fulfill these purposes the proverbs with gender components (man/woman, wife/husband, he/she etс.) were selected and underwent a semantic analysis. In order to reveal the evolution of the images of men and women we compared the images of men and women illustrated in the proverbs with those shown in anti-proverbs with the same gender components. As a result, we came to the conclusion that both proverbs and anti-proverbs are androcentric; however, in anti-proverbs female opinion is more representative in comparison to proverbs. To sum up, it is obvious that the role of women is changing and the changes are reflected in the language.