Gender Communication Artifact Woman by Toni Braxton

timer Asked: Feb 5th, 2019
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Question Description

Investigate: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? And then, Analyze! (25%)

Keep in mind stronger (“A”) paper will exceed the minimum requirements noted below. For specifics see the grading rubric below.

You will write a 4 page, single-spaced (specifically 2,400 words minimum) paper in which you examine a form of a tangible gender communication (an artifact) i.e. TV episode, newspaper article, movie, song/music video, photograph, magazine, exhibit, advertisement, social media group or exchange, interview etc. You will give a clear description of your artifact answering thoroughly Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. You will then analyze your example employing AT LEAST 4 concepts from our weekly readings, modules (commentaries), and/or discussions.

Introduction (1/3 of a page minimum/specifically 200 words minimum):

A creative opening and attention getter

A strong thesis statement that clearly articulates your major claim of the paper

A clear preview statement that shows how you will organize your paper

Body (3 page single-spaced minimum/specifically 1,800 words minimum see the breakdown for each of the three sections of the body below):

You should thoroughly introduce your artifact using who, what, where, when, and how (400 words minimum).

oPlease give any background information you have about it such as when did it appear, how was it delivered, what is it about, why was it made, when was it made, what was the context in which the artifact emerged – controversy, situation, audience?

oAfter this description, your reader should clearly understand it as a piece of gender communication.

Definitions of at least 4 concepts (minimum) you have chosen (use scholarly sources specific to the discipline of communication to define your concepts) (400 words minimum).

A discussion that connects your chosen concepts to your artifact (1,000 words minimum).

oQuestions to answer for each concept in your analysis (you may add additional questions as well):

§ Why/How does the concept relate to your artifact?

§ How does the artifact fit in, further, or work against other scholarly work you found? (Use peer reviewed journal articles)

§ What were the responses to this artifact and how does that relate to the concepts/research you have found?

Implications/Conclusion (2/3 page minimum/specifically 400 word minimum):

A brief restatement of what you did in the paper.

Most importantly here is the discussion of so what? Why does your analysis matter? To gender communication studies? As part of larger implications for society?

Bring closure to your submission

Sources: You should have a MINIMUM of six current sources (stronger papers will have more):

One must be your readings or modules/commentaries (you may use more but you still must meet the other source requirements as well)

Two can be popular press sources

Three MUST BE peer reviewed journal articles on communication

Four of your sources must come from UMUC's online library

Proper APA in-text citations should be provided in addition to a reference page with full APA source citations.

Deductions for not meeting the following requirements are noted below:

Meet or exceed the word count for each individual section

be typed using a 12-point Times New Roman font

be single-spaced (nothing should be double spaced)

have one-inch margins on all sides

have a title page (that contains only the title, student's name, and UMUC) –

the title page is numbered page 1 in the upper right hand corner

use the American Psychological Association (APA) format for citations (both in-text and/or reference list)

be well organized with the required subheadings for each section (as noted below)

be free of typos, grammatical errors, etc.

be submitted to both and your assignment folder by the due date. There is a 20 point deduction for submitting your artifact paper late and it is only accepted up until one week after the original due date.

be informative and provide solid support for the thesis

use quotations sparingly

all sources found on the reference page must be cited in the body of the paper with proper in-text citations

Use the required subheadings in your submission:


Who, What, When, Where, Why, & How




Be sure to read the sample artifact paper below by Tepy Berriman entitled Legally Blonde. It is a wonderful example of a quality paper.

Unformatted Attachment Preview Module 4: Gender and Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Topics I. II. III. IV. Gender and Verbal Communication Gender and Nonverbal Communication Strategies for Successful Gender Communication Summary I. Gender and Verbal Communication In the past modules, we've spent a lot of time defining key concepts. We've done this to make sure we have a common understanding as we proceed with our discussion. Now, we must step back a bit to recognize the important role language plays in how we understand and apply meaning to everything. We attach power and meaning to the words we use. Our language affects how we see the world, others, and ourselves. Language enables us to communicate our thoughts, ideas, and perceptions to others (Stewart, Cooper, Stewart, & Friedley, 2003). Language also reflects and expresses how a culture views gender. Gender is constructed through our actions and our words. A. The Relationship Between Language and Gender 1. Defining and Understanding Language Language is defined as a system of symbols, signs, letters, and words used by a speech community to share meaning and experience. Language is symbolic, and abstract. The word pencil is a symbol for a writing instrument because there is social agreement about the object that the word represents. There is nothing inherently "pencil-like" about the word pencil, and this example reveals the arbitrary nature of words. Trenholm and Jensen (2004) discuss the three levels of meaning in language: • semantic • • syntactic pragmatic Semantics examines the meaning of words. Through semantics we recognize that kites are for flying and cars are for driving. Semantics provides a denotative or dictionary meaning of words as well as a connotative or personal, emotional meaning of words. The denotative meaning of dog is a domesticated carnivore, but on a connotative level, you may envision a brown Labrador who is a loyal, trusted companion. A few of you may not like dogs, however, so your connotative meaning would be quite different—you may envision a barking, begging, biting, nuisance! Syntactics focuses on how words are arranged in grammatical sequences (Trenholm & Jensen, 2004). We are usually unaware of syntactic rules unless they have been violated (Adler & Towne, 2003). For example, syntax helps us to recognize that the words in the question, "Would you me to go out with like?" are incorrectly ordered. Instead, the question should be worded, "Would you like to go out with me?" In English, meaning is derived from how words are ordered. It is important to recognize that different languages have different syntactic rules. In French, the question, "Do you speak French?" is "Parlez-vous français?" which, directly translated, means "Speak you French?" The question "Have you the dinner made?" would be acceptable in German. Having a good vocabulary and a firm understanding of grammar doesn't ensure successful communication. You must also understand pragmatics to correctly interpret the messages you receive from others (Trenholm & Jensen, 2004). Pragmatic meaning is derived from how language is used in interactions. Pragmatics takes into consideration how the context, the relationship between communicators, the appropriateness of your behavior, and understanding the speaker's intentions affect an interaction. For example, in the United States it is commonly understood that when someone asks "How are you?" it is not a request for information (Adler & Towne, 2003). The respondent is expected to provide a short answer such as "Fine" or "Okay. How are you?" It would be inappropriate for the respondent to provide a long list of medical ailments and personal problems unless he or she were conversing with a medical doctor or psychologist. Pragmatics can be especially difficult when interacting with someone from another culture or coculture, where norms and expectations may differ. You'll recall from module 2 sociolinguist Deborah Tannen's assertion that men and women come from different cultures and, therefore, have different communication styles, causing them to experience cross-cultural communication when they interact. Women use a communication style that emphasizes rapport talk, which builds and maintains relationships, and men use a communication style that focuses on report talk, which disseminates information and enhances status (Tannen, 2001). 2. The Constraints of Language If you've ever tried to express yourself and were unable to find the appropriate words to do so, you've experienced the constraining effects of language (Ivy & Backlund, 2004). We are able to verbally express our thoughts, feelings, desires, experiences, and wishes only as long as the words exist to do so. Ivy and Backlund argue, "There might be a whole host of 'realities' that you have never thought of because there are no words within your language to describe them" (p. 156). Date rape is an example of a term that was once nonexistent in our vocabulary. It is a term that refers to a sexual assault perpetuated by a friend, partner, acquaintance, or date. Although women have been sexually assaulted by significant others for years, it wasn't until someone coined the term date rape that it received the attention and concern it has. Up until then for the most part, this phenomenon didn't really exist, and no one spoke of it. Victims did not have a word to describe what happened to them. Most survivors of date rape are female, but males are also victims of date rape committed by men or occasionally women. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is based on the work of linguist and anthropologist Edward Sapir and his colleague, Benjamin Whorf. Sapir and Whorf believed that language shapes people's actions and thoughts. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis comprises two parts: linguistic determinism and linguistic relativity. Linguistic determinism states that language does not simply allow us to share our ideas; it literally shapes our ideas (Stafford, 2006). We use words to describe ourselves because our identities are symbolically formed through language, but the words we use are often inadequate to fully describe the complexity of our personalities, abilities, aspirations, and actions. Think About It 4.1: Female Firemen What if you grew up in the 1970s and wanted to be a fireman, but you were a girl? Does the occupation fireman sound limited to male applicants? Were female occupational opportunities limited because of the common language of that time? Are children growing up today more likely to perceive the job firefighter as an occupation for both men and women as a result of gender-neutral terminology? Language relativism, the most widely accepted premise of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, asserts that language has a profound influence on our perceptions (Adler & Towne, 2003). "If language determines thought, then speakers of different languages will experience the world differently" (Trenholm & Jensen, 2004). There are plenty of words from other languages that have no direct translation in English. For example, the lighthearted nature of the Dutch is expressed in the word uitwaaien, which means "walking in windy weather for enjoyment" (Pattinson, 2005). In Japanese, the word bakku-shan means "a girl who looks attractive from behind, but unattractive from the front." In Central America, a government employee who appears only on payday is known as an aviador. What do these words teach us about their cultures? Think About It 4.2: Does Not Translate? Have you learned another language and found that it lacked a word to describe something you commonly say in English? Or have you found the reverse to be true when you tried to translate the "something" back into English? What if the words we use in everyday interactions to express our thoughts and feelings are biased and sexist? Let's explore some of the differences in the way language defines men and women. 3. Language Creates Different Expectations of Men and Women Cultures generally make distinctions between characteristics of the biological sexes to organize and make sense of the world (Ivy & Backlund, 2004). We go beyond the initial categorization through our use of language, however, and assign different expectations to men and women. In the process, we define women and men quite differently. Differences in the portrayal of men and women are clearly visible in media articles about female politicians, athletes, and professionals that often focus on their physical characteristics (Wood, 2007). Language defines women according to their relationships and their appearance, and men by their achievements, status, and actions. The media usually emphasize women's clothing, figures, hairstyles, and attractiveness while highlighting men's accomplishments and successes. Wood argues that this reinforces the perception that women are trophies who must rely on their physical appearance for a sense of identity. Think About It 4.3: Different Expectations Do you feel that women are more likely to be evaluated for their appearance and their relationships and that men are more likely to be evaluated for their accomplishments? What evidence can you provide that either supports or refutes this claim? If indeed this is occurring, what are the consequences? Might plastic surgery, eating disorders, and codependency be issues for women? Might high levels of stress be the result for men who feel compelled to succeed and number their accomplishments? Women are defined by their relationships—specifically, by their marital status. The terms Mrs. and Miss indicate whether a woman is married or unmarried (Wood, 2007). Males use the term Mr., which does not reveal their marital status. A relatively new addition to our vocabulary is the term Ms., which does not indicate marital status, but it has not been fully integrated into the general public's vocabulary. Some women reject Ms. because they feel it is associated with feminism; other women adopt Ms. specifically because of its association with feminism (Ivy & Backlund, 2004). Traditionally, in Western cultures the woman assumes her husband's last name when they marry (Wood, 2007). This practice further defines a woman by her relationships. The woman gives up her own identity and takes on that of her husband. Although some women anxiously anticipate taking their husbands' names, others perceive the practice as equating them to property acquired by men (Ivy & Backlund, 2004). A few women are opting for alternatives to this practice by keeping their maiden names or using a hyphenated last name. It is also common practice for all children to assume the father's last name. Ivy and Backlund note that all last names are male because children receive their father's last name at birth. On the rare occasion that a child is given the mother's last name, the mother most likely passes on the name of her father. Think About It 4.4: Changing Last Names If you are a woman, what are your thoughts about changing your last name? If you are married, did you change your name? Why or why not? If you did not change your name upon marriage, how did others react to your decision? Men, how would you feel if your wife did not change her last name? 4. Gender-Specific Language Choosing a title for this section was not easy. You'll see that it is labeled gender-specific language. Another label is sexist language. What are your thoughts when you see the words gender-specific language? How about sexist language? Both labels refer to the same thing, yet each may bring up a very different connotation. Remember, gender-specific language and sexist language can be used synonymously, and they refer to "Verbal communication that conveys differential attitudes or behaviors with regard to the sexes: language that demonstrates that one sex is valued over the other" (Ivy & Backlund, 2004, p. 159). It favors one sex by suppressing the other (Gamble & Gamble, 2003). The English language has a male bias and contains some language that actually excludes women (such as masculine pronouns and male terminology); thus it is considered sexist. "If words and expressions that imply that women are inferior to men are constantly used, the assumption of inferiority tends to become part of our mindset" (UNESCO, 1999). The language we use—the language society uses—clearly influences our perception of ourselves and others. Many gendered words and expressions are implicit rather than explicit, but the negative results are still the same. For example, the terms spinster and bachelor should be considered equivalent terms (Palczewski, 2004). However, there is clearly a negative connotation attached to spinster that is not attached to bachelor. Palczewski also notes that man can be used as a verb but womancannot. It is acceptable to say, "Man the ship!" but unacceptable to say, "Woman the ship!" The above section entitled Language Creates Different Expectations of Men and Women revealed one area in which our language is gendered and sexist. We will now focus on three prominent examples of gender-specific or sexist language: metaphors, masculine pronouns, and man terminology. As you read the examples and explanations that follow, reflect on how your use of language influences your perceptions of yourself and others. a. Metaphors "Hey, sweet buns!" "How's my cupcake?" "You look delectable!" "What do you think, pumpkin?" "You're a tart!" "You are one smart cookie." Have you ever been called any of the previously mentioned names? How did it make you feel? Your interpretation of the messages you receive is influenced by your relationship with the speaker, the situation at hand, the context or environment, and your goals in the interaction. Pet names used by a loved one are interpreted quite differently from comments that come from a boss, a co-worker, or a stranger. The metaphors that compare women to food often trivialize women (Wood, 2007). Metaphors that compare women to plants and animals also abound (Ivy & Backlund, 2004). For example, women are called cow, heifer, kitten or sex kitten, fox, bitch, tiger, and chick. In addition, there are animal names that refer to female genitalia and are considered vulgar and offensive. Women are also referred to as a rose, violet, daisy, buttercup, and sweet pea. These names frequently trivialize and objectify women. Metaphors also exist for men that compare them to animals, food, and plants. They are not as plentiful as the list of female metaphors, nor are they as commonly used (Ivy & Backlund, 2004). However, the effect can be negative because they may trivialize and objectify men as well. Some examples provided by Ivy and Backlund include bear or teddy bear, ass or jackass, stud, sport, wolf, pig, meathead, weenie, cream puff, beefcake, and pansy. Metaphors aren't the only form of gender-specific language. Please complete Try This 4.1 before proceeding. Try This 4.1: Gender-Specific Language - Please go to My Tools -> Quizzes & Exams -> to complete this quiz. What mental pictures did you envision as you completed the activity? Were you quick to assign some occupations and behaviors to a particular sex? How does your use of language frame the way you perceive the world and others? We will now look at the use of masculine pronouns. b. Masculine Pronouns The English language does not have a gender-neutral pronoun in singular form. In written and oral communication, the terms he and his have traditionally been used to reference both males and females. For example, "The boss called his subordinates into the meeting room." However, use of the generic terms he, his, him, or himself by authors and speakers makes the listeners or readers more likely to perceive a male. This form of writing and speaking is becoming increasingly outdated and unacceptable. c. Man Terminology Policeman, congressman, foreman, cameraman, craftsman, salesman, spokesman, manpower, repairman—the list goes on and on. The traditional use of man as a generic noun creates ambiguity (James Cook University, 2001). The term is exclusionary, and some women find it demeaning or offensive. The use of male generic nouns creates stereotyped images in the minds of the receivers. Do you envision a female when you hear the statement, "A salesman already helped me" or "The spokesman was late for the speaking engagement"? Your answer, most likely, is no. d. The Effects of Sexist or Gendered Language There are many negative consequences of gendered or sexist language. Here are a few examples (Gamble & Gamble, 2003; Stewart, et al., 2003): • • • • • Sexist language promotes narrow-mindedness. Sexist language offends and belittles others. Sexist language influences our thoughts and predisposes us to view the world in a gender-based manner. Sexist language promotes a patriarchal or male-dominated society. Sexist language trivializes and objectifies people. Think About It 4.5: Sexist Language What other drawbacks exist to using sexist language? Have you ever knowingly or unknowingly used sexist language that resulted in a negative communication outcome? What happened? How could you have modified your language or behavior to help the situation? You should be motivated to use gender-neutral language as you recognize the negative effects of sexist language. 6. Gender-Neutral Language Our use of language can be confining and restrictive or liberating and empowering (Gamble & Gamble, 2003). Successful communication outcomes are more likely when you demonstrate sensitivity by using gender-neutral language. Gender-neutral or nonsexist language is language that treats both sexes equally, is inclusive of both sexes, and does not explicitly or implicitly reference gender or sex. a. The Benefits of Gender-Neutral Language Ivy and Backlund (2004) present five reasons to use gender-neutral or nonsexist language: 1. Gender-neutral or nonsexist language communicates sensitivity. 2. Gender-neutral or nonsexist language reflects nonsexist attitudes. 3. Gender-neutral messages are less likely to be misinterpreted by the receiver and help the speaker have a more receiver-centered orientation to communication. 4. Gender-neutral language reflects present-day thinking, and sexist language represents the outdated thinking of the past. 5. Using gender-neutral or nonsexist language results in stronger written communication skills. b. Using Metaphors Generally, metaphors used to describe men and women as animals, food, and plants should be avoided. The exceptions to this recommendation would be when you have a close or intimate relationship with someone and you use a metaphor in an endearing manner. Both parties must view the exchange as positive for this to be considered acceptable. When in doubt, be sensitive to others and do not use animal, food, or plant metaphors to describe people. You don't want to be perceived as trivializing, objectifying, or discriminating against women or men. c. Alternatives to Masculine Pronouns There are several alternatives to the use of male, gender-specific pronouns. We will examine four: 1. Some authors use she/her to refer to males and females alike (James Cook University, 2001). For example, "Burp the baby after she finishes one-third of the bottle." This approach, however, is rightly criticized for being just as exclusive as the he/him variation. 2. New gender-neutral pronouns such as sie and hir have been introduced, but because they have not been widely accepted or used, most people have never seen or heard ...
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Tutor Answer

School: University of Maryland



Gender Communication Artifact:
Woman by Toni Braxton
Institutional Affiliation




Gender Communication Artifact:
For a message to be passed from one person to the other, language whether verbal or non-verbal
must be used. However, there are different approaches to communication that prompts people to
wisely choose the words and or the nonverbal communication techniques to express themselves
in the right way. The selection of the kind of language to be used in the process of
communication is dependent on such aspects as the place, age, professionalism, and gender.
When it comes to society, communication based on gender has received great attention due to the
aspect of masculinity and feminism. As such, men and women have different ways of expressing
themselves based on the two ideologies. Through music, interviews, speeches among other
communication platforms, gender-based communication could be derived. This paper shall,
therefore, be looking at the song “woman” by Toni Braxton as an artifact on gender
communication. It is one of her greatest sons and remains to be a hit even in the modern world.
The paper shall also be looking at how the song connects to the concepts learned in class. The
paper shall be concluded by a justification of the analysis on the song and why it fits into the
category of a gender communication artifact.
Who, what, when, where, why, and how
Toni Michelle Braxton, popularly known as Toni Braxton is one of the greatest women
musicians in the United States. In addition to being a singer, she is also a TV personality and an
actress. She remains to be one of the most favorite singers to most of her audience since her
debut in 1993 (Lieb 2013). Her songs continue to inspire many people across the globe, and her
works remain to be an example of what music should be like.
The song could be seen to have been inspired by the long struggles that women have gone
through to receive the appreciation they deserve. Through the song, Braxton urges men to stop
their discriminate ways of treating not only their women but also the women in society. Men are
therefore encouraged to appreciate the roles that women play in their lives and stop acting as if
they are the only ones who struggle to make life better for them and their families.
The song was released in 2010 in her album named Pulse (Pickens 2015). Upon the release of the
album with the song being one of the hits, it remained at number 9 the US billboard for the top
200. The song “woman” continues to be one of the favorites in the album among her fans as it
sends an informative message to the society. This is however dependent on how well one
analyzes the message from the song.
The idea of the songs is derived from the happenings in the homes and in society. It is a situation
where women do not receive the support they deserve from their male counterparts. Though
women play a significant role in ma...

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