Speaking Up Understanding Language and Gender Author: Allyson Jule

Ebook(PDF) - 144 pages
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03 Jul 2018
Multilingual Matters
198 x 129

Key features

- Readers will gain an understanding of gender and language in the media, religion, relationships, workplace, technology and education

- This book engages with the current debates about gender/identity and discusses if the debates are really about language

- It is written for those who want facts - real ones - to back up their arguments

- It asks why it is that women’s language and voice are policed so much more then men’s – examples include vocal fry and Hillary Clinton

- It discusses what it is OK to say, and when, and why this changes

- It debunks a lot of myths about women’s language – e.g. they don’t really talk any more than men do…

- It makes academic debate and research accessible and welcoming to everyone, and encourages everyone to join in the conversation


From slut-shaming to the allegedly shrill voices of female politicians, from vocal fry to online misogyny, the language women use (and the language used about them) is as controversial as it has ever been. Our language use and our gender have an enormous impact on the way we understand ourselves and the world around us, and the way we are treated by society. Using the latest academic research, Allyson Jule tackles some of the most pressing issues facing feminism today, including how language use and related ideas about gender play out in the home, workplace and online. It turns out that many popular ideas about gender and language are more complicated than they first appear. This book will change the way you think about language, and give you the tools to challenge the world around you. 


Fascinating and hugely informative, Allyson Jule will make you realise just how powerful language is in creating the gender norms that many of us are trying to battle against. This is a brilliant way to understand how language has shaped women's experience in a patriarchal world. Timely, rigorous, and so important, Jule's research gives substance and weight to the current feminist conversation.

- Marisa Bate, contributing editor at The Pool and author of The Periodic Table of Feminism

A highly accessible beginner's guide for the era of #MeToo and LGBTQ+, but also of neoliberalism and Trump. It will be a welcome addition to the field of gender and language.

- Mary Talbot, author of Language and Gender

I can't wait to read it!

- Sofie Hagen, stand-up comedian and podcaster

Speaking Up is so much more than a book about the linguistic habits of men and women. It is a journey through feminist history, a retrospective of the successes and failures of the research that has shaped the study of language and gender, and a close look at the underlying social forces that influence our language patterns daily in personal relationships, the workplace, and beyond.

A rich, insightful journey through the hidden dynamics behind language in action.

- Ada Brunstein, writer and editor

In its own words Speaking Up was written to be an accessible introduction to academic research in this dynamic field, and I think Jule absolutely achieves this. The book assumes no prior knowledge of language and gender studies and is unintimidating, accessible and gives a good introduction to language and gender, while applying our understanding to current world challenges.

- BAAL News, Issue 116, Winter 2020 - Jill Crawley, Lancaster University, UK

Speaking Up is more than an introduction to theoretical research about language and gender: it is a call to action and transformation of social realities through self-reflection about our own practices.

- Language in Society 48 (2019) - Fernanda Lazaro, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I anticipate recommending this book to the many secondary-level students who ask me for advice on resources for their language-and-gender projects. It is clearly aimed at a general rather than a specialist audience, but it will also be valuable to those enrolled in various introductory third-level courses. Even experienced scholars will find useful the crystal-clear definitions and discussion of basic concepts, as well as the succinct and well-selected glossary items.

- Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2019 - Janet Holmes, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Reading [this book], we feel that [the author] has studied everything that has ever been said on gendered linguistics; she references Foucault and the Kardashians with equal rigour.

- The Bookbag - Florence Holmes

Speaking Up has spoken, and we should listen. What is at stake is nothing less than our humanity.

- Women & Language, Volume 42, Issue 1 Spring 2019 - Susan J. Behrens, Marymount Manhattan College, USA

Author Biography:

Allyson Jule is an academic specialising in the interaction between language and gender. She is Co-Director of the Gender Studies Institute, Trinity Western University, Canada and an associate of the University of Oxford's International Gender Studies Centre. She has published widely, and her work has featured in TIME magazine and The Ladies Home Journal.

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