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How are attitudes to Gender in our Society reflected in Lang

            "Man, n human being; adult male person; human race; pl Men, v; supply with men for defence work etc; fortify; man handle move without mechanical aid; treat roughly; as manful; bold, resolute; manlike manly; virile, bold, mannish (woman);like man".
             "Woman, n adult human female; female sex; pl Women; womanhood condition of being a woman; womankind women in general; womanly having good qualities of woman; womanish effeminate".
             The English Dictionary, a seemingly unbiased book, describes men as being virile and vital to our race - how would we cope without men for "defence and work"? "Male" words all seem to have the same connotations - strong and important.
             On the flip side, womanhood is seen as being a "condition". It seems as though womanhood is something that the female half of the human race should not have been lumbered with.
             "Misogyny n hatred of women; n misogynist". Yet there is no direct equivalent for men, which provides further evidence that the English Language has a built in gender bias.
             In normal everyday situations, the male orientated gender bias is very obvious - did your manager tell you today that manpower needed strengthening, and that he didn't know what mankind was coming to when both the milkman and the postman want to become firemen. He thinks he"d better consult the chairman.
             Even the words that seem to "mirror" each other when describing men and women seem to be negative towards women - they even sound and have connotations that are derogatory: a term of respect for a man, or the title of knighthood, is "sir". The female equivalent is "madam" - which usually, to most people, means the owner of a brothel. It can also apply to a person who occasionally flies off the handle - "stroppy little madam". The word "master" usually conjures up images of the head of the household (and can also mean "acquire knowledge"-"men are power!") "Mistress" often provokes thoughts of a woman playing the third party in an affair.

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