VIC Sexism in languages26 sept. 2021
Acknowledging the inherent sexism in languages overall, and Finnish in particular; aim for sexual equality in the use of language
The pupils delved into the sexist traits, their structures and usage in the Finnish language; they compared Finnish to other languages studied at our school as well as other mother tongues spoken by our students; they observed the language used in our everyday life (school, home, the media etc.); we will look for ways to realize equality in languages.
Pupils discussed a lot about these themes and made posters.
In English, pupils tried to find a neutral word for the English word. They had letters and on the paper there was a 'masculine' word, and they tried to find a neutral word for that.
They played a game and during the game they had a paper where there were words in Finnish and their translation in French. To get a point, they tried to guess if the French translation would be masculine or feminine. In Finnish, there are no articles like in French.
Pupils had advertisements and other things where there was a girl's or a boy's name. E.g. ice-breakers, which are very big and very strong boats, has a male's name, so they named the boat by a female's name. Vice versa, e.g. a biscuit box, which is something sweet, is named by a girl's name, but the sausages are named by a boy's name.
They also found Finnish idioms where there are something masculine, and they changed them and used feminine words there, e.g. In Finnish they say 'Big brother keeps eye on you' so they changed there 'big sister'