When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon in 1969 he uttered a memorable sentence: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” If he had landed on the moon today, no doubt he would have said a much more politically correct sentence: “That’s one small step for a person, one giant leap for humankind.” Less poetic but certainly more literally representative of the whole of the human race!
Language tends to use male pronouns automatically whenever the sex of the person is not known: “Every student must bring his own calculator.” This is a sexist use of language, which often suggests an inherent male dominance in many fields of life, and can reinforce the idea of female inferiority.
There is a tendency to associate certain jobs with men or women. For instance, “A director must do his best for his company,” but “A nurse must treat her patients with kindness.” In addition, job names often include reference to the sex of the person: “I’m meeting a group of businessmen next Friday,” or “The housemaid must clean this.” The use of such words tends to emphasise the idea that it is not normal for women to be in professional, highly-paid, technical or manual jobs, and that it is not natural for a man to work in such a caring (and generally poorly-paid) role as that of a nurse.
I. READING COMPREHENSIONANSWER QUESTIONS 1-2 ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION GIVEN IN THE TEXT. USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
1) How has language changed since the 60s?
- Masculine names are used generically and for the better jobs, (and /or) references to the female sex are more often found in names of inferior jobs.
ARE THESE STATEMENTS TRUE OR FALSE? JUSTIFY YOUR ANSWERS WITH THE PRECISE WORDS OR PHRASES FROM THE TEXT
3) Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon in the early 60s. FALSE
- The use of such words tends to emphasise the idea (…) that it is not natural for a man to work in such a (…) poorly-paid role.
II. USE OF ENGLISH
7) Find in the text a synonym for unforgettable (adjective)
8) Give one opposite for land (verb) (line 2)
9) Find in the text one word meaning: “essential, characteristic, intrinsic or innate” (adjective).
10) Complete the series with another word of the same semantic group:
- Job, work, occupation, business employment, profession. post, position
11) Join the following sentences using a relative pronoun. Make changes if necessary.
He used a sexist word. Its meaning was pejorative for women.
12) Fill in the gap with a correct form of the verb in brackets:
13) Give a question for the underlined words: We attend English classes three times a week.
- How often do you attend English classes? (“How many times” is not accepted)
14) Use the words in the boxes to make a meaningful sentence. Use all and only the words in the boxes without changing their form.
Your enough good not is cooking.