June 18, 2009
Sexist Language: Frosty the Snowman
The song “Frosty the Snowman” is a classic. It’s a catchy tune, all the kids learn it and sing it around Christmas time and I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like it. I know I did. But now that i’ve learned a thing or two about gender communication, one of the first questions that popped into my mind when reading about sexist language was this song. Why does it have to be Frosty the Snowman? Why not Frosty the Snowgirl? Frost should have no gender assosiated with it but in this case it does. Would the name Iccy have any other connotation?
According to the text, “sexist language is language that discriminates against individuals or groups solely on the basis of their gender’ (pg.68). Although in the cartoon Frosty is really only being discriminated against for being a snowman, why is he so much more popular than his wife or girlfriend that he eventually found? Is it because she was a snowwoman. I don’t remeber her having any official title of what she was. Was she a snowwoman, snowgirl, or snowperson?
Source: Gamble, T. K. & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The gender communication connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.