“Linguistic Violence.” Institutional Violence, eds. Robert Litke and Deane Curtin (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1999): 13-35.



Linguistic Violence


William C. Gay



  1. Introduction


1.1.  Who Am I?


I am a woman.  I am black, poor, and lesbian.  I am uneducated and unhealthy, disrespected, and discontent.

Since, in part, I am who I am because of what I am not, what I am not is integral to the constitution of who I am.  Whatever I say or whatever I do is tainted by my particularity and by my epistemic and moral fallibility.  I cannot and should never try to pretend I am the Voice of Reason.  Instead, I can relate my own and some others' specific experiences as oppressed by the Voice of Authority.

Sartre has taught me that I want to be what I am not--what I have not yet become.[1]  Nevertheless, whether actively or passively, consciously or unconsciously, in being who I still am, I help to maintain what I am not.  For this reason, I suspect, Paul Churchill ended his essay on why we seem unable or unwilling to end torture and genocide by saying, "We are all Bosnians.  We are all Serbians."[2]  To carry out this logic, I must go beyond merely identifying myself with what I am not and also recognize in myself what I am.  I am sexist, racist, heterosexist, classist, colonialist, part of an educational elite, affluent, cared for medically, well respected, and quite comfortable.

So, I am both what I am not yet  and what I am still.  I need to be sensitive to the "other" that I am not and to the "-isms" from which I have not totally escaped.  If Foucault can say that before the nineteenth century "life itself did not exist,"[3] I can say, following Sartre in his view that I am not free until all are free, that "I do not exist."  None of us does--not in the full existential sense, not as long as we still live in a world of domination and exploitation, in a world of war and injustice.  We cannot truly exist until a world of positive peace and global justice is realized.  Perhaps humanity itself will never exist.


1.2.  What Am I Talking About?

In addressing linguistic violence, I am mindful of numerous forms of violence that I will pass over in silence.  For example, I will not be commenting on the on-going slaughter in Bosnia.  Often, the number and gravity of the instances of such forms of violence far exceed what is typically found in linguistic violence; in several cases, they are also far more pressing.  My comments, then, need to be seen as an effort to draw attention to only a small portion of a much larger picture.  Nevertheless, I will be trying to show how this linguistic portion of the picture relates to the larger problem of violence in society.

In my recent research on linguistic violence, I conducted a computer search of Philosophers Index, Sociological Abstracts, and Linguistics and Language Behavior.  I focused my search on sources indexed since 1980 which referenced both language and violence or related combinations of terms, such as linguistics and alienation, language and oppression, language and domination.  Surprisingly, I obtained 270 pages of abstracts on over 550 sources.  Though many of these sources turned out to be irrelevant, quite a few presented me with new and intriguing perspectives, as well as much more empirical information than I usually come across when I restrict myself to philosophical sources.

My subsequent efforts involved organizing this material, which I grouped into sources relevant to addressing three key questions.  In this essay, I indicate how these sources help in responding to the following questions.  First, does it make sense to talk about linguistic violence?  Second, what is the extent of linguistic violence?  Third, what can be done about linguistic violence?

To answer the first question, I argue for the extension of the term violence to cover more than physical harm and against a strictly institutional view of language.  In relation to the second question, I present a framework for the analysis of linguistic alienation and a continuum of linguistic violence that ranges from children's jokes to the domination of language by totalitarian regimes.  As a partial answer to the third question, I cite a couple of feminist critiques of language that can serve as paradigms for responding to linguistic violence.



2.  The Reality of Linguistic Violence


2.1.  Extension of the Term Violence


Hannah Arendt says that "violence is nothing more than the most flagrant manifestation of power."[4]  Given this definition, one might expect violence takes many forms.  Numerous writers, in fact, have applied violence to more than direct bodily harm.  I will give two examples.  Within philosophy, Newton Garver has developed a typology of violence that includes overt and covert forms, as well as personal and institutional forms.[5]  In Garver's terms, what I call linguistic violence would be an example of covert institutional violence--assuming language is an institution and that its harm is more psychological than physical.  Within peace studies, John Galtung has distinguished direct, symbolic, and cultural violence.[6]

For his types of violence, Galtung suggests a triangle is a better image than a three-tier stratum, and he defines his types as follows, "Direct violence is an event; structural violence is a process with ups and downs; cultural violence is an invariant, a 'permanence' ... remaining essentially the same for long periods, given the slow transformations of basic culture."[7]  In Galtung's terms, what I call linguistic violence includes that portion of cultural violence which negates "identity, meaning needs" and linguistic alienation would be an example, but I also use linguistic violence to cover linguistic instances of what he terms "direct" and "structural" violence.[8]  In an insightful comment on his triangle image, Galtung notes, "Violence can start at any corner in the direct-structural-cultural violence triangle and is easily transmitted to the other corners.  With the violent structure institutionalized and the violent culture internalized, direct violence also tends to become institutionalized, repetitive, ritualistic, like a vendetta."[9]

Thomas Platt is a critic of the extension of the term violence.  Characterizing Garver's and others' usage of violence as polemic, Platt raises three main objections.  His initial criticism is that such writers draw from the condemnatory nature of the term "violence."  Platt claims that the "moral dubiousness" of various practices is independent of whether they are characterized as violent.  More specifically, he stresses that "as the range of things denoted by a term expands, its descriptive force contracts."[10]  Platt's objection, however, can divert us from the recognition that even a term that is polemic or condemnatory can have descriptive aspects.  For example, to call an act "murder" is both condemnatory and descriptive in that one is also implying that someone has been killed.  Further, a contrast between descriptive and condemnatory terms is a vacuous distinction if no statements are purely descriptive--if all of language is ideologically or normatively charged.[11]

Platt's second objection reduces to a minimalist ethic the moral perspective of those who extend the application of violence.   He contends that violence is neither the only nor the most common form of immoral behavior.  He goes on to state:

The contemporary tendency to extend the notion of violence assumes that it is the necessary condition for justifiably designating an action or practice as immoral.  This assumption in turn seems to arise from our marked tendency to adopt an entirely negative ... 'minimalist ethic'.  Such a morality equates immoral behaviour with harmful behaviour, thus reducing one's moral obligations to a single obligation; the duty of non-maleficence.[12]

What Platt notes can occur, but I and many others oppose harm and still affirm other moral principles.  Jim Sterba, for one, has not only brought several of these moral alternatives to our attention, but he has also argued for their reconcilability.[13]  Moreover, I can regard harm as a sufficient condition for moral condemnation, rather than a necessary one.

Platt's third objection is that such expanded usage may increase the level of violence.  He suggests that claims that others are acting in violent ways can be used to justify counterviolence and can lead to increased social sanctions.  Such a development, he says, could "increase the amount of real violence in the world rather than to decrease it, while at the same time decreasing the amount of personal freedom in the world by extending the realm of behaviours justifiably subject to social control."[14]  In response, I would simply note that just as I can be more than an ethical minimalist, I can also choose nonviolent responses to violence--regardless of how far I extend the term "violence."


2.2.  Violentism and How Language Harms


Duane Cady introduced us to the term "warism,"[15] and Bob Holmes first used the term "nonviolentist."[16]  Holmes observes, "Pacifism is opposition to war, nonviolence opposition to violence.  While one cannot be a nonviolentist without being a pacifist, one can be a pacifist without being a nonviolentist."[17]  Simply extending their efforts, I wish to suggest that even more pervasive than warism is violentism.  If Holmes is correct that nonviolence is broader than pacifism, then violentism is broader than warism.  Hence, I define violentism as the belief that use of violence is and perhaps should be used to achieve goals, and I suggest that global culture has been and probably long will be one of violentism.  I think this concept, though not this term, is actually part of what Cady tries to convey in one of his more recent essays.[18]  (In my conclusion, I will say a few words about nonviolentism.)

But how does language do violence?  How does language hurt or harm us?  Rejecting the theory of etymological oppression, Stephanie Ross argues that "the ancient roots of ordinary English words cannot--by themselves--make those words oppressive."[19]  Instead, Ross accepts Joel Feinberg's contention that hurt is a species of harm and that victims are necessarily aware of hurts.  (For example, while assault is a hurt, undetected burglary is a harm.)  Ross presents the distinction between offense and oppression as parallel to Feinberg's distinction between hurt and harm.  As she puts it, "One can be oppressed unknowingly but offense requires (logically or conceptually) the awareness and acknowledgment of its victim."[20]  So, language in general can perpetuate the harm of a system of oppression, regardless of whether individuals consciously experience the hurt of its offenses against them.  The issue is whether such linguistic violence is an unavoidable consequence of the institution of language or whether through conscious effect it can be eliminated.


2.3.  The Debate over Language as an Institution


The view that language is an institution is now largely associated with Ferdinand de Saussure.  He regards language as a convention that is beyond the control of the speakers who passively assimilate it.  In his terminology, "The signifier, though to all appearance freely chosen with respect to the idea that it represents, is fixed, not free, with respect to the linguistic community that uses it."[21]  "Of all social institutions," Saussure insists, "language is least amenable to initiative."[22]  In the science of linguistics, meaning is established diacritically, that is, through the oppositions among the terms in the system.[23]  As Saussure sees it, "in language there are only differences" and its "concepts are purely differential and defined not by their positive content but negatively by their relations with the others terms of the system."[24]  The linguist can describe, but does not condemn, the actual signs available in a language system.

When this institutional view replaced the voluntarist view, many saw this shift as part of the achievements of liberal political philosophy.   Talbot Taylor notes that, in contrast, a voluntarist view includes a normative element which "inevitably raises fundamentally political questions of responsibility, power, authority and ideology."[25]  One positive consequence of the establishment of the institutional view was that, supposedly, the authority of traditional political authorities to set linguistic codes was ended.  Instead, since appeal is made to descriptive linguists for empirical answers to questions concerning rules, the institutional view claims to be "independent of political issues of authority, power and ideology."[26]  Empirically, institutionalists cite as one of the consequences of their perspective the publication of the New (Oxford) English Dictionary.  But has this shift really moved beyond all forms of problematic authoritarianism?

Historically, the shift to an institutional view actually occurred well before Saussure when John Horne Tooke, a once well-known political liberal of late-eighteenth century England, criticized the voluntarism in Locke's writings on language; so, ironically, while Locke's political philosophy challenges established political authorities, his linguistic philosophy retains the authoritarian associations of linguistic voluntarism.  Taylor suggests that Tooke's criticism of Locke aimed to "free language from the control of political authorities."[27]  Recall Nietzsche's subsequent analyses of the power that comes from naming the world.[28]  Tooke seems to be a precursor of Nietzsche in this regard.  As Taylor observes, "Tooke believed that political authorities had been able to reject or defuse populist arguments in favour of greater rights, basic liberties, just laws, and the like because those authorities had tricked their subjects into accepting the obfuscating significations the authorities gave to the crucial terms 'law', 'right', 'just' and so forth."[29]

Despite its shift away from traditional political authorities, Taylor concludes that the descriptive approach "is just another way of doing normative linguistics, and an ideologically deceptive one at that.  If, in language, our situation is one in which there is no escape from the mechanisms of power, then it is better that we be aware of our situation."[30]  In other words, the institutionalist view did not so much escape from an authoritarian appeal as substitute another one.  The difference, as Taylor notes, is that institutionalism "places that authority under the institutional control of a newly empowered elite, the new masters:  namely, the professional scientists of language."[31]  John Wesley Young traces how further problems of authoritarianism emerged within both approaches.  In this century, the normative or voluntarist approach led to the logical positivist's call for the reform language, and the descriptive or institutional project led to the later Heidegger's claim that naming a thing is what gives it being.[32]  While phenomenologists have tended to focus on the prospects that such linguistic creations can enrich our being, Young stresses how ideologists have used linguistic creations for distortion and oppression.[33]  If Being or the Leader gives us names for things, does this practice enable language to determine thought?

We seem to have come full circle.  The institutional approach, which freed us from traditional political authorities, turned authority over to professional linguists who themselves have too often been coopted by the totalitarian state.  Nevertheless, Young suggests that while the efforts by totalitarian states to control thought through the control of language are the closest we can get to a laboratory experiment on whether the determinist thesis is correct, it demonstrates only limited success.  In addition to political dissidents, many feminists and some socialists have also been at the forefront of those who have challenged the authoritarianism in the institutional view of language.  They have done so in recognition of human freedom and in pursuit of linguistic emancipation.  The time has come for peace activists to join in this struggle to a much greater degree.



3.  The Analysis of Linguistic Violence


3.1.  Rossi-Landi and the Radical Interpretation of Wittgenstein


The concept of linguistic alienation can be traced back to Marx.  Richard Wilkie observes, "Language symbol alienation, that is, the estrangement of human beings from their concepts and ideas as expressed in words, appears to Marx to be the case of language symbols having lost or distorted their human referent.  People, therefore, having lost such referential meaning in their language, will have lost or lost control of their own consciousness as well, since ... language "produces" consciousness."[34]  The most extensive and persuasive effort to develop this concept, however, has been carried out by the Marxist linguist Ferruccio Rossi-Landi.[35]

Arguing that speaking is a type of work, Rossi-Landi explores the analogies between linguistics and economics.  Since words can be marketed, language can function as capital with huge profits being reaped by the elite groups that control the means of linguistic production.  Those portions of language that are treated like private property result in linguistic alienation for the masses.

Ranjit Chatterjee has made available to the English reader Rossi-Landi's radical interpretation of Wittgenstein.  Chatterjee cleverly, though sexistly, subtitles her essay "A philosopher's meaning is his use in the culture."[36]  Chatterjee claims that for Wittgenstein "philosophy is a struggle against the fascination of language" and that "language is always in danger of being both idle and an idol."[37]  Her conclusion is that for a Rossi-Landian Wittgensteinian:

the end of linguistic alienation, of human beings being charmed and fascinated by a fetish object, comes when language ceases to be idle, but paradoxically, language ceases being idle by going to work on itself, against itself.  Just as the philosopher-fly can only leave the trap of the fly-bottle by the forgotten route of entry, every user of language can reach the end of linguistic alienation only by a thorough understanding--and rejection--of the hold of the fetish object.  This is the connection with negative thought Rossi-Landi detected in Wittgenstein.  By this connection, the reason for Wittgenstein's anti-theoretical posture, his noble inability to found a school, becomes clear.  The founding of a school that would expound doctrines in the medium of words would simply represent the failure of the critique of language.  Methodological minimalism in philosophy has as its consequence maximalism in the medium of deeds.[38]

I will try to take this recommendation of methodological minimalism to heart.  As a consequence, I will act more like Wittgenstein in suggesting we look at how language is used--to the diverse ways in which linguistic violence is practiced.[39]  Also, in the spirit of Rossi-Landi, I will not only describe these uses but also criticize them.[40]


3.2.  Secondary Status of the Debate on the Roots of Linguistic Violence


From the perspective I have just sketched, identifying and eliminating linguistic violence is more important than developing and defending a rigorous theory of linguistic violence.  In other words, I am not going to argue for a primordial, monocausal root of linguistic violence, and I am not going to propose an elaborate theory of linguistic violence.

I am aware of and sensitive to those scholars who seek to provide the types of theoretical accounts that I am avoiding.  Some think the primordial problem is sexism; some think it is racism; still others think it is class; and the list goes on.  I agree with Arthur Brittan and Mary Maynard that such contentions are reductionistic.[41]  In this regard, they critique models of biological essentialism and cultural determinism.  While most of us are beyond biological essentialism, we do have a legacy of and schools currently oriented to cultural determinism in relation to language.  In contradistinction, they contend:

Sexism is not defined by sexist language, it is sexism which gives sexist language its potency.  The labeling of a group in terms of this or that characteristic only has consequences if the label is underpinned or supported by the possibility of force, violence, or other sanctions.  Names and labels can do a lot of damage, but only as components, not determinants of domination.[42]

As Marx said in the eleventh thesis on Feuerbach, "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it."[43]


3.3.  Types of Linguistic Violence


Now, I turn to some examples.  The following five sets of examples are arranged on a continuum that ranges from the most innocent and professionally self-referential to the most abusive and globally intractable.  For each category and the legions between each, I presume nonviolent alternatives can and should be developed.  But, here, I only offer, contra Platt's advice, an account which seeks to be both descriptive and condemnatory.


3.31.  The Aggressive Language of Children--And Philosophers


"When I was a child, I spoke as a child ..."  When I was a child I spoke the language of racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism.  Perhaps, I did not know any better.  However, as a parent and an educator, I cannot fall back on such an excuse.  On the contrary, along with other adults, I have a responsibility to help educate children about peaceful and just ways of thinking and acting, including how we speak to and about one another.[44]  In order to provide this education, we need to observe children and respond to them.

Children around the world not only mimic the oppressive language of adults but also practice their own forms of linguistic aggression.  One area where this practice is particularly conspicuous is in children's jokes. Recall the various responses we made as children when we asked our friends "What is black and white and red all over?"  Regarding children's jokes, Sandra McCosh concludes:

In all, children's jokes can be seen as aggressive, but usually in only a mild degree.  The jokes make the listener feel like a fool because he doesn't know the answer, but in a funny and amusing manner.  Most children state that they tell jokes because they are funny and fun to tell, and they enjoy making their friends laugh.  Their main purpose in telling jokes is to communicate with their friends and peers, and not to express hostility, although jokes can be a harmless outlet for aggression and hostility, especially towards adult authority figures who control so much of their lives.[45]

By the time we are adults, the aggressive component usually becomes much more primary.  One need only turn to everyday discourse on cars and sports to see the pervasiveness of aggression and violence in our adult language.  Chang and Zastrow provide marketing explanations for why automobiles have names such as Charger, Stingray, and Javelin.[46]  Likewise, they note the background socialization in violence and aggression that leads sportscasters and fans to say such things as "the halfback 'exploded', 'sliced', 'plunged', 'ploughed', 'cut', 'knifed', 'punched' or 'rambled' through the line, when in fact all he did was to run through an opening."[47]  And we are all too aware of the application of such discourse to sexuality.

Lest we become too smug in our sense of superiority to the hoi polloi, we need to recall Edwin Burtt's insightful and still a propos essay, "Philosophers as Warriors."[48]  In this essay he details the way we employ aggressive, warist language to describe how we go about mounting our arguments and demolishing our opposition.  In relation to philosophical discourse, Andrea Nye has recently demonstrated that even the history of logic reflects various aspects of sexism and power.[49]


3.32.  Subtle Forms of Linguistic Violence


Structuralism has taught us to reflect on the unsaid. But we also need to reflect on who is not speaking--on how the silence of many people is achieved through the system of oppression.  An unheard voice obviously has a difficult time bringing about social change.  As Marsha Houston and Cheris Kramarae note, "Silencing is used to isolate people disempowered by their gender, race, and class."[50]  Even when the disempowered speak, how they speak is often controlled as well.[51]

The language of prestige is one of the ways this goal is achieved.  James Scott refers to prestige as "the public face of domination."[52]  In cases where authority is demanded rather than earned, powerholders typically "represent an institution through which they exercise power" and often rely on "outward, public manifestations of dominance through sumptuary regulations (wigs, robes, uniforms), elaborate rituals (announcement of judge with all in attendance standing, solemn high mass, official inspection) and an imposed etiquette of address ('your honor," "your worship," "Sir")."[53]  Scott suggests we should be alert to the prospect that euphemistic language often points to some form of coercion that powerholders seek to hide, and he gives examples such as the substitution of "pacification" for armed attack and "re-education camps" for the imprisonment of political opponents.[54]  Silence or conformity in discourse is the usual response by the public.  As Scott notes, "Only when subordinates wish to provoke a crisis in a calculated way or are angry enough to throw caution to the winds are we likely to encounter a public transcript which breaks with norms of deference."[55]

As Walter Ong has shown, an even more subtle way in which language has been used to support oppression occurred in the transition from orality to literacy.[56]  Orality is open and public; those who know the language can understand most of the speech that they hear.  Literacy is closed and private; those who know the language do not necessarily understand the writing that they see.  While orality tends to be more democratic and egalitarian, literacy, unless universal, is elitist and creates a significant social class differentiation.  From writing with a pencil to composing at a computer, the "technologizing of the word" has also brought about "a sense of closure, a sense that what is found in a text has been finalized, has reached a state of completion."[57]  Since modes of production are systems of social classes and social classes are institutions of alienation, writing is alienating for some and a source of power and control for others.  So, we need to ask both "who is writing?" and "who cannot write?"  The illiterate do have voice, but voice, in the aftermath of the technologizing of the word, is irrelevant except as a metaphor for empowerment.  What the illiterate and otherwise powerless need is pen or, nowadays, computer.

Beyond literacy is the issue of what language is accepted as the official one and whose interest this practice favors and in what ways others are oppressed by this decision.  At this point, a transition occurs to the more obviously abusive forms of linguistic violence.[58]


3.33.  Abusive Forms of Linguistic Violence


Racist and sexist language are two of the most obvious examples of linguistic violence.  David Burgest notes how racist language serves to justify and rationalize the formation of groups for purposes of isolation.[59]  Sexist language, along with racist language, pervades the history of discourse,[60] and both are often expressed in extreme forms within hate speech.[61]  Since I will later be treating more extensively feminist research into linguistics, I will here only note the interesting way in which patriarchal language reverses nature.  In this regard, Deborah Tannen observes that while in most languages the female form is "marked" (that is, carries endings that mark a term as feminine), biologists have shown that genetically males are the marked gender.[62]  In fact in species that produce individuals who work but do not reproduce, such as worker bees, the workers are sterile females, which, since they have no reason to be one sex or the other, default to female.[63]

Another arena in which abusive language abounds is in the derogatory terminology used to describe the lifestyles of lesbians and gay males.  The long-standing, and often physically violent reenforcement of the heterosexism of established discourse often makes an open discussion of sexual orientation quite difficult.[64]  Instead of citing examples here, I will save for my conclusion some of the street tactics and academic arguments that have emerged to respond to these cases of linguistic violence.

In looking at linguistic violence, one eventually can focus on entire social classes.  The working class is, of course, a standard Marxist example.  As Charles Woolfson observes, "the successive forms of class societies ... have each generated ideological superstructures which have turned language into its opposite; from a social effort to comprehend objective reality in the interest of all, into an attempt to obscure it in the interest of the few."[65]

Moreover, for many oppressed social groups, their language is presented as inferior.  Brittan and Maynard, for example, have documented how this designation has occurred in relation to African Americans and women.[66]  In relation to classism in language, Cameron observes that "communicative skills" are crucial in increasingly bureaucratic societies.  As she put it, "Those who cannot express themselves in a way the bureaucracy finds acceptable (or minimally, comprehensible) will be disadvantaged."[67]

More neglected in the literature is the way in which, under colonialism, the languages of national groups in the third world have been relegated to an inferior status in favor of a first-world language as the official one.  In this regard Mahmoud Dhaouadi uses the term "linguistic underdevelopment" to refer to "the widespread use of one or more foreign languages in a given society and ... the under usage (the less than full use) of society's own native language(s) (spoken/written or both)."[68]


3.34.  The Linguistic Violence under Totalitarianism


At the most abusive extreme is the language of totalitarianism and war.  Just as the Holocaust and the numerous instances of genocide and politicide account for the most abusive occurrences of overt institutional violence, even so they also account for the most abusive occurrences of linguistic violence.  In this regard, the work of three scholars deserves special citation.  Berel Lang has provided very insightful analyses of Nazi discourse, Jeanette Malkin has focused on the subversive fiction of writers such as Havel, and John Wesley Young has written an extensive comparison of Nazi and communist discourse.

Lang stresses that under Nazism, language was viewed as an instrument and focuses on the term Endlösung ("Final Solution").  He concludes that with Endlösung and similar terms the language of genocide becomes a distinctive literary figure.  As he notes:

The characteristics of this figure are that the denotation of the term, although logically consistent with it ... substantively contradicts it; that the term itself is abstract and general but designates an event or object that is concrete and specific; and that the figurative term is meant to draw attention away both from this change and from the individual aspects of its referent, thus concealing what is denoted (and intending to conceal the fact of concealment as well).[69]

He proceeds to argue that, in addition to developing a language of domination, the Nazis "intended to demonstrate that language itself, as a whole, was subject to domination."[70]  One of his aims is to show that the Nazis' oppression integrated the mental and the physical and that the abuse of language was central to this endeavor.  In this regard, he observes, "It is the mind, together with bodies, that genocide acts to destroy; and as language is an essential element of mind, it would be extraordinary if an attack on the latter did not also involve the former."[71]  Consequently, he contends that genocide violates not only people but also language itself, which is "a corporate entity much like the corporate object, the genos, of genocide itself."[72]

In her book Verbal Violence in Contemporary Drama, Malkin addresses how in the plays of Ionesco, Pinter, and Havel one finds a linguistic indictment of the ideologies of fascism, capitalism, and Marxism, and she suggests that these ideologies "form a backdrop and offer a context for the verbal violence" that transpires in the plays.[73]  For example, in a chapter titled "Gagged by language:  verbal domination and subjugation," she says of Václav Havel's The Garden Party and The Memorandum that he treats language "as a form of aggression, a prod to uniformity, and a threat to personal identity and autonomy."[74]  While these plays show the "inhuman absurdities of a centralist bureaucratic system," they also present "language domination as the extension of an ideology."[75]

While Malkin focuses on literature, John Wesley Young analyses the political discourse of the Nazis and Soviet Communism in his book Totalitarian Language.  Young stress how in the twentieth century, totalitarian regimes have relied heavily on "the technology of modern mass communication and the insights of psychology into human motivations and thinking" in order to vastly increase "control of the mind through verbal means."  The result has been "a language of assent and domination whose essential characteristic is its univocity:  for every politically significant word, one meaning; for every historical event, one interpretation; for every social problem, one solution; for every genre of literature, one style of writing."[76]  Nevertheless, Young concludes, "the language of historical totalitarianism has had only limited success in achieving the goal of thought control."[77]


3.35.  Linguistic Violence in Justifying and Waging War


From a moral perspective, both preparation for and the waging of war present problems.  Both Bob Holmes and Doug Lackey have provided us with very thoughtful overviews of these moral problems.[78]  In addition, several authors have explicitly connected language about war with violence and oppression.  For example, Haig Bosmajian, who was one of the first to address systematically the many ways in which language can oppress, ends his pioneering work The Language of Oppression with a chapter on war.[79] Better known authors include Aldous Huxley and George Orwell.  Following a brief side remark, I will give an illustration from each of them and then give more detailed consideration to an excellent essay by Carol Cohn.

Bob Litke has suggested to me, and I agree, that some groups subject to oppression themselves employ parts of the language in an authoritarian manner, specifically in a warist manner.  I have noted elsewhere the related problem of how a protest community can constitute itself as an elite group that uses language in a manner that causes linguistic alienation.[80]  A similar point is made more generally by Freire when he addresses how liberators can end up becoming oppressors in relation to the very groups for whom they are seeking emancipation.[81]  Despite the consequences, such instances often reflect unintentional reliance on warist language.  Far more serious is the intentionally warist discourse.

Back in the 1930s, Huxley commented on the distortive nature of discourse about war.  Since we realize that straightforward talk about war is often quite unpleasant, he says "we create a verbal alternative to that reality," and our emotional and moral responses are to "the fiction of war as it exists in our pleasantly falsifying verbiage."[82]  Huxley also notes how to many people it seems reasonable to rely on "force" to secure justice, peace, and democracy, whereas, in fact, the use of force increasingly results in social chaos that brings about what we set out to eliminate--"injustice, chronic warfare and tyranny."[83]

In his often cited essay "Politics and the English Language," Orwell writes in the same vein.  In one particularly incisive passage, Orwell observes:

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible.  Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of political parties.  Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.  Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets:  this is called pacification.  Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the road with no more than they can carry:  this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers.  People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps:  this is called elimination of unreliable elements.  Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.[84]

Such passages make it quite obvious that when Orwell presented Newspeak in his novel 1984 he was not referring to a merely fictive possibility.

Very intriguing in relation to the nuclear establishment is Carol Cohn's "Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals."  Early in the essay she notes  how nuclear discourse often contains references to virginity.  For example, she remarks that one strategist used the expression "losing her virginity" to refer to India's entry into the nuclear club and that others referred to entry into this elite club as "being deflowered."[85]  Noting how a language of domestication is often employed in relation to nuclear weapons, she observes that "the imagery that domesticates, that humanizes insentient weapons, may also serve, paradoxically, to make it all right to ignore sentient human bodies, human lives."[86]  If we consider the names given to the first nuclear bombs, "Little Boy" and "Fat Man," we learn that "these ultimate destroyers were ... male progeny;" the inventors even said they hoped "the baby was a boy, not a girl--that is, not a dud."[87]

Cohn refers to learning nuclear discourse as gaining "cognitive mastery."  However, in the case of nuclear discourse, "the content of what you can talk about is monumentally different, as is the perspective from which you speak."[88]  Reminiscent of Camus, she states, "Technostrategic language can be used only to articulate the perspective of the users of nuclear weapons, not that of the victims."[89]  In describing cooptation, she goes on to address how as proficiency in strategic discourse increases the ability for self-expression decreases.  As an example, she notes that "the word "peace" is not a part of this discourse.  The closest one can come is "strategic stability."[90]  Much of the language of violentism is that of the users of violence instead of its victims; so, I would suggest that Camus' call to side with the victims needs a linguistic component as well.

Cohn notes we need to ask the questions feminists often raise about theories in various disciplines:  "What is the reference point?  Who (or what) is the subject  here?"  In relation to nuclear discourse, what we learn is that far from being the universal human subject or even white males, the reference point is the weapons themselves.[91]  Cohn concludes by questioning whether language itself is the basis of technostrategic discourse (or, I might add, of any alienating discourse of power and domination).  Instead, she argues it is "a type of ideological curtain" which "functions as a legitimation for political outcomes that have occurred for utterly different reasons."[92]  Again, the point may not be to speak the discourse but to change it.  And, when all else fails, to know when is the appropriate time to remain silent.

We may never have a language of peace, but sometimes we can or at least should suspend the language of war--especially after the occurrence of war.  Both Kant and Camus have seen the propriety of silence after such excessive violence.  Kant suggests:

It would not be inappropriate at the end of a war ... for a people to set aside ... a day of atonement so that in the name of the nation they might ask heaven to forgive them for the great sin that the human race continues to be guilty of by failing to establish a lawful contract in relation to other peoples.[93]

Immediately following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Camus advised that this event should be "the subject of much reflection and a good deal of silence."[94]  But when the time comes to break the silence, when we need to "talk the talk" and "walk the walk," then we need some role models.



4.  Conclusion:  Feminism as a Model for Responding to Linguistic Violence


4.1.  Feminism and Supplanting Linguistic Violence


Feminism provides many role models for those wishing to supplant linguistic violence.  Feminism has exposed many practices of oppressive language  This exposure has been radical in the sense of going to the roots of our linguistic usage.  After uncovering the sexist roots of many forms of linguistic violence, feminism has then attempted to supplant them.  To illustrate how such supplantation can be extended to other areas of linguistic violence, I will provide a few illustrations from feminist criticisms of sexist language.

First, whether one speaks of socialist or radical feminism, what I have in mind goes beyond liberal feminism.  Jagger notes that while liberal feminists offer different value judgments about purported facts of social life, radical feminists call for a redescription of what is really the case.  She observes that radical feminists, such as Mary Daly, designate as "naming" the process of reconstructing patriarchal language, for example, "what has been called consent must be renamed coercion."[95]

Second, the foundations of a feminist peace politics is already available.  In this regard, I find particularly useful the work of Sara Ruddick and Karen Warren.[96]  However, since my focus is on linguistic violence and, in this conclusion, on the prospects for a pacific discourse, I will turn to some other feminists who have focused on some specific problems of language.[97]

In Gender Voices, David Graddol and Joan Swann go beyond the somewhat determinist poststructuralist view that "discourse is the 'site of struggle' and a cause of oppression;" instead, they claim "language both helps construct sexual inequality and reflects its existence in society."[98]  Language does not so much determine thought as, for practical purposes, language makes some rows much easier to hoe and makes others require arduous and often unappreciated labor.

One of the most helpful books on the topics I have been addressing is Deborah Cameron's Feminism and Linguistic Theory.  She begins by noting how Mary Daly and Julia Kristeva have argued that since "language is part of patriarchy," we need a radical theory of language.[99]  But what sort of radical theory does feminist linguistics need?  Cameron cites, but ultimately argues against, linguistic determinism; in fact, referring to the "dominant and muted" model of Shirley and Edwin Ardener; the "man made language" theory of Dale Spender, and the psychoanalytic model developed in the wake of Lacan, Cameron notes, "All three approaches display some degree of linguistic determinism."[100]  Instead, she turns to Kristeva for an initial opening into the purported closure of linguistic determinism.[101]

Cameron concludes that "linguistic determinism is a myth," that "male control over meaning is an impossibility," and that there is no reason in principle why language cannot express the experience of women to the same extent that it expresses the experience of men."[102]  She further notes that "The institutions that regulate language use in our own society, and indeed those of most societies, are deliberately oppressive to women.  ...  But the language, the institution, the apparatus of ritual, value judgement and so on, does not belong to everyone equally.  It can be controlled by a small elite."[103]

In a feminist counterpart to Rossi-Landi, Cameron asks several questions that need to be raised in relation to discourse.  She asks, "What are the registers that men control, how do they gain and keep control of those registers, and why does male control constitute a disadvantage for women?"[104]  In answering these questions, she refuses to give language a privileged status in the construction of our "personalities."  Instead, she notes the equal or even greater influence of "socio-familial relations," "the division of labour and economic organisation that regulates societies," "the physical environment," and even "individual genetic make-up."[105]

Cameron rejects the view that language itself precipitates disadvantage and oppression.  She observes that if language itself were the culprit, then we could provide "compensatory" education to underprivileged children and assertiveness training to women; in other words, those with privilege need not give up anything and society need not admit that its institutions "disadvantage the poor, the black and the female just because they are poor, or black, or female."[106]

This view parallels the distinction that Marx makes between formal and material equality.[107]  Changing language is like changing the law; it affects the form but not the substance; it may be necessary, but it is not sufficient.  Along with linguistic transformation, cultural transformation is equally important.


4.2.  Toward A Practice of Linguistic Nonviolentism


In addition to the instructive methods of feminism, mention needs to be made as well of a continuum of responses to linguistic violence within other oppressed communities.  For purposes of brevity, I will only mention a couple of examples of ways lesbians and gay males have responded to heterosexist discourse, and I will then end my reflections with some parting words from several other philosophers.

Language that is abusive is sometimes used within oppressed communities as a way to prepare for encounters outside the oppressed group.  In "The Art of Gay Insulting," Stephen Murray observes that "while many insults denigrate the participants' own group, such verbal play is training in the quick and incisive perception and formulation about others used in self-defense in encounters with hostile representatives of the dominant culture."[108]  Such practices can be an effective interim solution, but we need more than mere self-defense.  We need transformation of the linguistic and social system.

In this regard, Foucault has stressed that the present mode of sexuality is a discursive product.  Commenting on Foucault's reflections on the exclusion of homosexuality from the reigning discourse, Megell notes that by stressing the "absolutely arbitrary character of that exclusion," Foucault is showing how a subversive discourse can magnify its power by "defining as purely discursive that which it seeks to oppose."[109]  In other words, the institutional view of language can be turned against itself.  Since the system is arbitrary, it can be changed.

We even know what to call the alternative to the current system of violentism.  We can work for a system of nonviolentism.  In more established terminology, Galtung observes, "the opposite of cultural violence would be 'cultural peace', meaning aspects of a culture that were to justify and legitimize direct peace and structural peace."[110]  Part of such a peace culture would be a pacific discourse.  In relation to such a discourse, Elshtain rejects either the currently dominant masculinized discourse or a complementary feminized discourse; instead, she favors a "devirilizing discourse" of "politicization," by which she means a discourse for women and men who take seriously in their life as citizens what Arendt calls their "faculty for action" and who, in giving "forgiveness" a central role, "break cycles of vengeance" and regard the refusal to use maximum force as "a strength not a weakness."[111]  Such a vision can be linked to Rossi-Landi's observation that "No real operation on language can be only linguistic.  To operate on language, one has to operate on society.  Here as everywhere else, politics comes first."[112]


[1]  Jean Paul Sartre, "Existentialism is a Humanism," Existentialism From Dostoevsky to Sartre, ed. Walter Kaufmann (New York:  The World Publishing Company, 1956), pp. 291 and 303.

[2]  Robert Paul Churchill, "Bosnia and Somalia:  Why Is It So Hard To Stop Torture and Genocide?" Concerned Philosophers For Peace Newsletter 13:1 (Spring 1993), p. 17.

[3]  Michel Foucault, The Order of Things (New York:  Pantheon Books, 1970), p. 128.

[4]  Hannah Arendt, On Violence (New York:  Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1970), p. 35.

[5]  Newton Garver, "What Violence Is," The Nation 209 (24 June 1968), pp. 817-822.

[6]  John Galtung, "Cultural Violence," Journal of Peace Research 27:3 (1990), pp. 291-305.

[7]  Ibid., pp. 294-95.

[8]  Ibid., p. 292.

[9]  Ibid., p. 302.

[10]  Thomas Platt, "The concept of violence as descriptive and polemic," International Social Science Journal 44:2 (May 1992), p. 188.

[11]  Cf. V.N. Volosinov, Marxism and  the Philosophy of Language, trans. by Ladislav Matejka and I.R. Titunik (New York:  Seminar Press, 1973).

[12]  Platt, "The concept of violence as descriptive and polemic," p. 189.

[13]  Cf. James Sterba, "Reconciling Pacifists and Just War Theorists," Just War, Nonviolence and Nuclear Deterrence, eds. Duane L. Cady and Richard Werner (Wakefield:  Longwood Academic, 1991), pp. 35-50 and "Peace Through Justice:  A Practical Reconciliation of Opposing Conceptions of Justice," In the Interest of Peace, eds. Kenneth H. Klein and Joseph C. Kunkel (Wakefield, NH:  Longwood Academic, 1990), pp. 279-288.

[14]  Platt, "The concept of violence as descriptive and polemic," p. 190.

[15]  Duane Cady, From Warism to Pacifism:  A Moral Continuum (Philadelphia:  Temple University Press, 1989), pp. 3-11.

[16]  Robert L. Holmes, "The Morality of Nonviolence," Just War, Nonviolence and Nuclear Deterrence, eds. Duane L. Cady and Richard Werner (Wakefield, NH:  Longwood Academic, 1991), pp. 131-148.

[17]  Ibid., pp. 132-133.

[18]  Duane Cady, "War, Gender, Race & Class," Concerned Philosophers For Peace Newsletter 11:2 (1991), pp. 4-10.

[19]  Stephanie Ross, "How Words Hurt:  Attitude, Metaphor, and Oppression," Sexist Language:  A Modern Philosophical Analysis,  ed. Mary Vetterling-Braggin  (Littlefield, Adams and Co., 1981), p. 195.

[20]  Ibid., p. 197.

[21]  Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics, eds. Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye with Albert Riedlinger, trans. Wade Baskin (New York:  McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1959), p. 71.

[22]  Ibid., p. 74.

[23]  Ibid., p. 114.

[24]  Ibid., p. 120 and 117.

[25]  Talbot J. Taylor, "Which is to be master?  The institutionalization of authority in the science of language," Ideologies of Language, ed. John E. Joseph and Talbot J. Taylor (New York:  Routledge, 1990), p. 11.

[26]  Ibid.

[27]  Ibid.

[28]  Frederich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy and The Genealogy of Morals, trans. Francis Golffing (Garden City, NY:  Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1956).

[29]  Taylor, "Which is to be master?" p. 21.

[30]  Ibid., p. 25.

[31]  Ibid., p. 26.

[32]  John Wesley Young, Totalitarian Language:  Orwell's Newspeak and Its Nazi and Communist Antecedents (Charlottesville, Vir.:  University Press of Virginia, 1991), esp. pp. 12-18.

[33]  Cf. my essays, "Merleau-Ponty on Language and Social Science:  The Dialectic of Phenomenology and Structuralism," Man and World 12 (1979), pp. 322-338, "Analogy and Metaphor:  Two Models of Linguistic Creativity," Philosophy and Social Criticism 7:3-4 (1980), pp. 299-317, and, esp., "Ricoeur on Metaphor and Ideology," Darshana International 32:1 (Jan. 1992), pp. 59-70.

[34]  Cf. Richard W. Wilkie, "Karl Marx on Rhetoric," Philosophy & Rhetoric 9:3 (1976), p. 237.

[35]  Ferruccio Rossi-Landi, Linguistics and Economics (The Hague:  Mouton, 1977), Language as Work & Trade: A Semiotic Homology for Linguistics & Economics, trans. Martha Adams et al (South Hadley, Mass.:  Bergin & Garvey Publishers, Inc., 1983, "On Linguistic Money," Philosophy and Social Criticism 7:3-4 (1980), pp. 346-72, "Ideas for the Study of Linguistic Alienation," Social Praxis  3:1-2 (1975), pp. 77-92.  Cf., as well, my essay, "Nuclear Discourse and Linguistic Alienation," Journal of Social Philosophy 18:2 (Summer 1987), pp. 42-49.

[36]  Ranjit Chatterjee, "Rossi-Landi's Wittgenstein:  'A philosopher's meaning is his use in the culture,' " Semiotica 84:3-4 (1991), pp. 275-283.

[37]  Ibid., pp. 278-279.

[38]  Ibid., pp. 280-81.

[39]  Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, trans. G.E.M. Anscombe, (New York:  The Macmillan Company, 3rd ed., 1958).

[40]  Cf. my essay, "From Wittgenstein to Applied Philosophy," The International Journal of Applied Philosophy 9:1 (Summer/Fall 1994), pp. 15-20.

[41]  Arthur Brittan and Mary Maynard, Sexism, Racism and Oppression (Oxford:  Basil Blackwell, 1984), pp. 1-2.

[42]  Ibid., p. 20.

[43]  Karl Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach," The Marx-Engels Reader, ed. Robert C. Tucker (New York:  W.W. Norton & Company, 2nd ed., 1978), p. 145.

[44]  Cf. my annotated "Bibliography on Teaching Peace to Children," Concerned Philosophers For Peace Newsletter 12:1 (Spring 1992), pp. 3-10.

[45]  Sandra McCosh, "Aggression in Children's Jokes" Maledicta 1:2 (Winter 1977), p. 131.  Cf., as well, Jonella Harbin and Donald Miller, "Violent Play Behavior and Language of Four-Year Old Boys:  The Significance of Teacher Mediation," Early Child Development and Care 75 (October 1991), pp. 79-86.

[46]  Dae H. Chang and Charles H. Zastrow, "That Martini Hit Me Like a German Tank:  Our Aggressive Use of Language," Monda Lingvo-Problemo 6:16 (1976), p. 18.

[47]  Ibid., p. 20.

[48]  Edwin A. Burtt, "Philosophers as Warriors," The Critique of War:  Philosophical Explorations, ed. Robert Ginsberg (Chicago:  Henry Regnery Company, 1969), pp. 30-42.

[49]  Andrea Nye, Words of Power:  A Feminist Reading of the History of Logic (New York:  Routledge, 1990).

[50]  Marsha Houston and Cheris Kramarae, "Speaking from silence:  methods of silencing and of resistance," Discourse & Society 2:4 (1991), p. 288.

[51]  Ibid., p. 289.

[52]  James C. Scott, "Prestige as the Public Discourse of Domination," Cultural Critique 12 (Spring 1989), p. 146.

[53]  Ibid., p. 150.

[54]  Ibid., pp. 157-58.

[55]  Ibid., p. 164.

[56]  Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy:  The Technologizing of the Word (New York:  Methuen, 1982).

[57]  Ibid., p. 132.

[58]  Cf., esp., Pierre Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power, ed. John B. Thompson and trans. Gino Raymond and Matthew Adamson (Cambridge, Mass.:  Harvard University Press, 1991).

[59]  David R. Burgest, "The Racist Use of the English Language," The Black Scholar (Sept. 1973), p. 44. Cf. Patricia Williams, "Spirit-Murdering the Messenger:  The Discourse of Fingerpointing as the Law's Response to Racism," University of Miami Law Review 42:1 (Sept. 1987), pp. 127-157.

[60]  Cf. Dale Spencer, Man Made Language (Boston:  Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980), Barrie Thorne, Cheris Kramarae, and Nancy Henley, eds., Language, Gender and Society (Rowley, Mass.:  Newbury House Publishers, 1983), Mary Vetterling-Braggin, ed., Sexist Language:  A Modern Philosophical Analysis (Totowa, NJ:  Littlefield, Adams and Co., 1981), Joanna Russ,  How to Suppress Women's Writing (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 1983), and Luce Irigaray, "The Language of Man," trans. Erin G. Carlston, Cultural Critique 13 (Fall 1989), pp. 191-202.

[61]  Cf. Henry Louis Gates et al., Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex:  Hate Speech, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties (New York:  New York University Press, 1994), Mari J. Matsuda et al., Words that Wound:   Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, and the First Amendment (Boulder:  Westview Press, 1993), and Samuel Walker, Hate Speech:  The History of an American Controversy (Lincoln, Neb.:  University of Nebraska Press, 1994).

[62]  Deborah Tannen, "Marked for life," St. Petersburg Times (18 July 1993), pp. D 1 and 5.

[63]  Ibid., p. D 1.

[64]  Cf. Gary David Comstock, Violence Against Lesbians and Gay Men (New York:  Columbia University Press, 1991), and Judy Grahn, Another Mother Tongue:  Gay Words, Gay Worlds  (Boston:  Beacon Press, updated and expanded ed., 1990).

[65]  Charles Woolfson, "The Semiotics of Working Class Speech," Working Papers in Cultural Studies 9 (Spring 1976), pp. 165-66.

[66]  Brittan and Maynard, Sexism, Racism and Oppression, pp. 161-64.

[67]  Deborah Cameron, Feminism and Linguistic Theory (New York:  St. Martin's Press, 1985), pp. 149-50.

[68]  Mahmoud Dhaouadi, "An Operational Analysis of the Phenomenon of the Other Underdevelopment in the Arab World and in the Third World," International Sociology 3:3, (Sept. 1988). p. 220.

[69]  Berel Lang, "Language and Genocide," Echoes from the Holocaust:  Philosophical Reflections on a Dark Time, eds. Alan Rosenberg and Gerald E. Myers (Philadelphia:  Temple University Press, 1988), pp. 349-50.

[70]  Ibid., p. 356.

[71]  Ibid., p. 358.

[72]  Ibid., p. 359.

[73]  Jeanette R Malkin, Verbal Violence in Contemporary Drama:  From Handke to Shepard (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 95.

[74]  Ibid., p. 75.

[75]  Ibid., pp. 76 and 94.

[76]  Young, Totalitarian Language, p. 31.

[77]  Ibid., p. 230.

[78]  Cf. Robert L. Holmes, On War and Morality (Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press, 1989), and Douglas P. Lackey, The Ethics of War and Peace (Englewood Cliffs, NJ:  Prentice Hall, 1989.

[79]  Haig A. Bosmajian, The Language of Oppression (Washington, D.C.  Public Affairs Press, 1974 and reissued by University Press of America in 1983).  Cf., as well, Dwight Bolinger, Language -- The Loaded Weapon:  The Use and Abuse of Language Today (New York:  Longman, 1980), and Paul Chilton, ed., Language and the Nuclear Arms Debate:  Nukespeak Today (Dover, NH:  Frances Pinter, 1985).

[80]  See my essay, "Nuclear Discourse and Linguistic Alienation," p. 46.

[81]  Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, trans. Myra Bergman Ramos (New York:  Herder and Herder, 1972).

[82]  Aldous Huxley, "Words and Behaviour," Olive Tree (New York:  Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1937), p. 86.

[83]  Ibid., pp. 94-95.

[84]  George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, In Front of Your Nose:  1945-1950, v. IV, eds. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus (New York:  Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1968), p. 136.

[85]  Carol Cohn, "Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals," Exposing Nuclear Phallacies, ed. Diana Russell (Elmsford, NY:  Pergamon, 1989), pp. 130 and 136.  Cf. Paula Smithka, "Nuclearism and Sexism," Issues in War and Peace, eds. Joseph C. Kunkel and Kenneth H. Klein (Wolfeboro, NH:  Longwood Academic, 1989), pp. 229-254.

[86]  Ibid., p. 140.

[87]  Ibid., pp. 141-42.

[88]  Ibid., pp. 145-46.  Cf. my essay, "Star Wars and the Language of Defense," Just War, Nonviolence and Nuclear Deterrence:  Philosophers on War and Peace, eds. Duane L. Cady and Richard Werner (Wakefield, NH:  Longwood Academic, 1991), esp. pp. 250-251.

[89]  Ibid., p. 147.

[90]  Ibid., p. 149.

[91]  Ibid., p. 152.

[92]  Ibid., p. 158.

[93]  Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace and Other Essays, trans. by Ted Humphrey (Indianapolis:  Hackett, 1983), p. 118n.

[94]  Albert Camus, "After Hiroshima," trans. Ronald E. Santoni, Concerned Philosophers For Peace Newsletter 7:2 (October 1987), p. 4.

[95]  Alison M. Jaggar, Feminist Politics and Human Nature (Totowa, NJ:  Rowman & Allanheld, 1983), pp. 238 and 268.  Cf. Heidi Hartmann, "The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism:  Towards a more Progressive Union," An Anthology of Western Marxism:  From Lukács and Gramsci to Socialist-Feminism, ed. Roger S. Gottlieb (New York:  Oxford, 1989), pp. 343-355.

[96]  Sara Ruddick, Maternal Thinking:  Towards a Politics of Peace (New York:  Ballantine Books, 1989), esp. the final chapter, "Notes Toward a Feminist Maternal Peace Politics," pp. 219-51, and Karen Warren, "Towards a Feminist Peace Politics," Journal for Peace and Justice Studies 3:1 (1991).

[97]  Cf. M.J. Hardman, "Gender Through the Levels," Women and Language 16:2 (1993), pp. 42-49 and "And if We Lose Our Name, then What About Our Land? or, What Price Development?" Differences That Make a Difference:  Examining the Assumptions in Gender Research, eds. Lynn H. Turner and Helen M. Sterk (Westport:  Bergin & Garvey), pp. 151-162.

[98]  David Graddol and Joan Swann, Gender Voices (Cambridge, Mass.:  Basil Blackwell, 1989), p. 164.  Cf. "Sex Differences in Language, Speech, and Nonverbal Communication:  An Annotated Bibliography," complied by Nancy Henley and Barrie Thorne, Language and Sex:  Difference and Dominance, eds. Barrie Thorne and Nancy Henley (Rowley, Mass.:  Newbury House Publishers, Inc., 1975), pp. 204-305.

[99]  Cameron, Feminism and Linguistic Theory, pp. 1 and 3.  Cf., Deborah Cameron, ed., The Feminist Critique of Language:  A Reader (New York:  Routledge, 1990).

[100]  Ibid., pp. 92-93.

[101]  Ibid., pp. 125-126.

[102]  Ibid., pp. 143-44.

[103]  Ibid., p. 145.

[104]  Ibid., p. 146.

[105]  Ibid., pp. 169-170.

[106]  Ibid., p. 171.

[107]  Karl Marx, "On the Jewish Question," The Marx-Engels Reader, pp. 26-52.

[108]  Stephen O. Murray, "The Art of Gay Insulting," Anthropological Linguistics 21:5 (May 1979), p. 211.

[109]  Allan Megill, Prophets of Extremity:  Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida. (Los Angeles:  University of California Press, 1985), p. 238.

[110]  Galtung, "Cultural Violence," p. 291.  Cf. my essay, "The Inadequacies of the Modern State and World Government," In the Eye of the Storm, eds. Laurence Bove and Laura Duhan Kaplan (Amsterdam:  Rodopi, 1995), pp. 5-16.

[111]  Jean Bethke Elshtain, Women and War  (New York:  Basic Books, 1987), p. 258.  Cf. Laura Duhan [Kaplan], "Feminism and Peace Theory:  Women as Nurturers vs Women as Public Citizens," In the Interest of Peace, eds. Kenneth H. Klein and Joseph C. Kunkel (Wakefield, NH:  Longwood Academic, 1990), pp. 247-257.  Cf., as well, Jean Bethke Elshtain, "Feminist Discourse and Its Discontents:  Language, Power, and Meaning, Signs:  Journal of Women in Culture and Society 7:3 (1982), pp. 603-621, and Fred Dallmayr, Language and Politics (Notre Dame:  University of Notre Dame Press, 1984).

[112]  Rossi-Landi, "Ideas for the Study of Linguistic Alienation," p. 90.