Confronting Sexist CommentsVerbal (Im)Politeness in Spanish and German

  1. Topf Monge, Guiomar 1
  1. 1 Universidad de Sevilla

    Universidad de Sevilla

    Sevilla, España


Filanderas: Revista Interdisciplinar de Estudios Feministas

ISSN: 2530-6022

Year of publication: 2023

Issue: 8

Pages: 83-100

Type: Article

DOI: 10.26754/OJS_FILANDERAS/FIL.2023810002 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openDialnet editor

More publications in: Filanderas: Revista Interdisciplinar de Estudios Feministas


This paper adopts a pragmatic perspective to examine the verbal responses to micro-sexist comments. The objective is to define and analyse the speech act «confronting sexist comments», focusing on the facework used among peers. The study was carried out with a Discourse Completion Task at the campus of the University Pablo de Olavide in Seville, involving Spanish students as well as German Erasmus students. The aim was to investigate how strategies of verbal (im)politeness, as defined by Culpeper, Bousfield, and Wichmann (2003) and Bousfield (2008), vary based on the Spanish or German linguaculture and the gender of the speakers. Intercultural studies (Siebold & Busch, 2015) predict that Spanish speakers would utilise positive facework more frequently than German speakers, while feminist studies (Mills, 2005) suggest that women are expected to display more polite linguistic behaviour than men. The results indicate that negative assessments of sexist comments were more prevalent in Spanish culture and among female speakers, whereas German and male speakers more frequently avoided reacting to sexist comments. Furthermore, the findings suggest that «confronting sexist comments» may be a speech act where the gender bias is more significant than intercultural differences between Spanish and German students.

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