Original Research

The sexist nature of sexual expressions in Afrikaans

G. B. van Huyssteen
Literator | Vol 17, No 3 | a625 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v17i3.625 | © 1996 G. B. van Huyssteen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 May 1996 | Published: 02 May 1996

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G. B. van Huyssteen, Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, Potchefstroom University for CHE, South Africa

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Abstract

Cognitive metaphor theories indicate that sexual metaphors are metaphors in which a taboo domain of knowledge is described in terms of a non-taboo domain of knowledge. Data from the Afrikaans language substantiate the idea that mappings between these two domains are motivated on cognitive as well as on pragmatic grounds. In this article, it will be attempted to indicate how sexism is sustained by sexual metaphors in the Afrikaans-speaking community. The fact that sexism is underlaid by sex role stereotypes, leads to the conclusion that sexism is also sustained by means of the use of metaphors. The fact that different metaphors exist in different sub-culture groups indicates that metaphorical mappings are strongly influenced by culture and ideology. Data from feminist communities substantiate this assumption. Finally, the possibility of metaphor transformation as a mechanism of purification with regard to sexism and stereotyping is investigated.

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