In a push for promotion of gender equality at the global level over 30,000 petitioners have signed for changing the sexist definition of the word “women” in the Oxford dictionary. Interestingly, Google on searching for the meaning of word women shows a sexist sentence “don’t be daft, woman!” to explain the meaning.
The petition was started by Maria Beatrice who pointed out that derogatory and sexist words are used to define the meaning. She pointed out that words like ‘bitch, piece, baggage, wench, frail, bird, bint, etc are commonly used in example or definitions.
Maria Beatrice has put the petition online by the name “This sexist dictionary must change,” on change.org. Maria also highlighted sentences that define women as a sex object or subordinate. One such sentence is “Ms September will embody the professional, intelligent yet sexy career woman”, pointed out Maria.
Apart from meaning the word has got derogatory synonyms listed for it in the Oxford dictionary. On comparing the definition of men with that of women Maria said that the definition of the former is quite exhaustive. There are 25 examples to explain the meaning of the word as compared to 5 for women.
The petitioners are saying that this misogynist definition of women on reputed sources like Oxford dictionary and platforms like Google search is highly unacceptable. Petitioners have a demanded the Oxford University press to Eliminate all phrases and definitions that discriminate against and patronize women and/or connote men’s ownership of women.
The petitioners have also demanded that the dictionary must enlarge the entry for ‘woman,’ and include examples representative of minorities, for example, a transgender woman, a lesbian woman, etc.”