Women are too Polite: Stereotypes of Inferiority 2 of 10

Are you overly polite to your own detriment? Do you “bend over backwards” to be subservient?  Here in one of my all-time favorite movies, the Triplets of Belleville”, a waiter literally bends over backwards for his mob guests.  Over-politeness is is the second of ten ways women corroborate stereotypes of inferiority.

2. Politeness

Politeness puts the speaker in an inferior position or an equalizing, thoughtful or non-threatening position.

                        Please excuse me. I am sorry to bother you, but do you happen to have the time?

Lakoff (1975) explored the concepts of locution and female discourse,  specifically how women’s choice of language differs from men’s.  Lakoff refers to many women’s perlocutionary communication patterns (Austin, 1962) as Women’s Language.  Lakoff describes ten elements of Women’s Language, the 1st of ten elements is Hedging.

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