The Culture of Sexist Language among Male University Students in Ghana

Kari Dako


This article is about women as conceptualised by male university students and how their attitude towards women is revealed in the vocabulary they use to refer to females and the sexual act. It is based on a letter that appeared in a Ghanaian newspaper some years ago. For the purpose of this article, the text has had all names and references to places and institutions altered. The letter deals with a young woman who, some years ago, hit the headlines by accusing a prominent politician of rape. As the press dived into the issue, the credibility of the woman was questioned. In this text she is not a victim, she is among other designations a “devil of a girl” and a “Jezebel”. Her nickname is “Ashokabula” – a compound of the pidgin 3.p.s. pronoun “a” (wa), the English verb “shock” and the Hausa noun “bula” (penis). The vocabulary referring to the woman we are dealing with reflects what Fairclough (1993) calls “overwording”. The article poses the questions: What should appear in print and what should not appear in print? Should the language of the locker room appear in print?

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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