• #II. Critical Line of Inquiry

    In this article, Janet Ainsworth investigates feminine and masculine language woven in the american legal system by looking at the rules of admission in trials, where there is a preference for masculine expression over feminine expression.

  • #III. Thesis
    Ainsworth puts forth,”… the evidence rules are premised on assumptions about how the ‘reasonable man’ will express himself – assumptions grounded in masculine norms of language usage and interactional style.”

    Ainsworth claims that in a court of law, the evidence brought into a courtroom relies on assumptions of language, usage, and style. Legally, for the ‘reasonable man’, these assumptions have historically and consistently been presumed masculine.

  • #IV. Examples of Evidence in Support of the Thesis

    1. Law cases where changing ‘reasonable man’ to ‘reasonable person’ and still retaining gender expectations of language. (184)
    2. Law cases where ‘reasonable man’ to ‘reasonable woman’ and, again, still retaining gender expectations of language. (184)
    3. Law cases where when accused, silence is treated as a confession. (184)
    4. Law cases where the ‘reasonable man’ must be alert and react to any inaccurate statements unless they want self incrimination. (185)
    5. Law cases where the failure to argue can be seen as admission (185)
    6. Apologetic language being used mostly by women, as a result, is harmful to women. (190)
  • #V. The Source in Conversation with my Primary Source(s)
    Ainsworth’s analysis of ‘reasonable man’ in the judicial system is greatly helpful for understanding how the american justice system, just by existence, is a sexist structure favorable to anglo-white males. The dialogue from the 2012 vice presidential debate I am using, demonstrates Biden’s full take on of a lot of the principality behind ‘reasonable man’. Biden aggressively demanding Paul Ryan to ‘show’ him a solution, takes on how a ‘reasonable man’ must be alert and react to any inaccurate statement or fallacy. Additionally, when Ainsworth mentions,”Failing to object to innocuous, non-accusatory statements can also result in adoptive admissions…” where the absence of rejection leads to accepting non facts, and forces individuals to be extremely aggressive in the court systems. Similarly, Biden has to constantly assert negative, authoritative language to dismantle Ryan’s factual claims in his behaviour by repetitively asking for substance.

    extending the masculine structural nature of the judiciary to the executive branch.

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