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They Speak: Gender Divide in COVID-19 Metaphors Found in Online Sources

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of English and Humanities, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Central Luzon State University, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
  • 2Department of English and Humanities, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Central Luzon State University, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
  • 3Department of English and Humanities, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Central Luzon State University, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
  • 4Department of English and Humanities, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Central Luzon State University, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
  • 5Department of English and Humanities, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Central Luzon State University, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines

Res. J. Language and Literature Sci., Volume 10, Issue (3), Pages 1-17, September,19 (2023)


Language and the linguistic device used in news articles is critical for it greatly influences readers’ perception of COVID-19. Metaphor, as used to describe the pandemic and its difference between male and female gender is scant. Thus, this study sought to examine the various conceptual metaphors of COVID -19 employed by male and female personalities in the Philippines in online articles. It also aimed to compare the male and female use of metaphors and determine its implication to the readers. Through qualitative research design, 30 online articles written by male and female online personalities were scrutinized using the Metaphor Identification Procedure (MIP). After the analysis, it was found that both male and female use metaphors like enemy, beast, disaster, blessing in disguise, fight, battle, threat, and defeat where enemy was the common metaphor between the two genders. Meanwhile beast, disaster, and a blessing in disguise were the common metaphors among the male participants. With these metaphors, a dichotomy of reactions among the readers emerged, optimism, and anxiety and depression. This suggests that there is a need for speakers to be cautious in their language while discussing COVID-19.


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