Do you say sexist things?
If so, an attendee of University of California, Santa Barbara would like you to stop.
School outlet Daily Nexus recently published an op-ed titled “Stop Calling Women ‘Females.’”
“Can we, as a society,” Kenneth Moody asks, “agree to stop referring to women as ‘females’ in casual conversation?”
“Outside of biology,” the author explains, “it always feels dehumanizing.”
Perhaps worst of all: “overwhelmingly sexist.”
It is time to let the word “female” be reserved for biology class or join the ever-growing dictionary of archaic terminology.
Kenneth contends the use “as a scientific adjective…in medical spaces” isn’t kosher, because those spaces “have a history of pathologizing people for who they are.”
pathologize: (v) to view or characterize as medically or psychologically abnormal
Need more convincing?
As it so happens, the mental disorder hysteria “was considered an exclusively female disease to justify the notion that women are crazy, while men are not. Even though it is common knowledge now that there is no such thing as female hysteria…”
The writer employs yet another point prover: a meme in which a man calls “females” “crazy” for having male best friends.
Here, “female” directly alludes to women’s behavior being incomprehensible to “logical” men which harkens back to that history of hysteria.
Furthermore, insists the student, “female” implies that “women…are a different species from ‘normal’…and therefore less human.”
Using the term, subsequently, suggests a “‘deviant’ characteristic is highlighted to be the only quality that matters, and all the other human qualities like having a family, dreams, emotions and hobbies disappear.”
If you’re still not getting it, the student goes the extra mile.
Kenneth links to an anime Instagram image of a cartoon warrior.
“I’m fine with you females watching Naruto, but don’t think you’ll EVER understand Sasuke’s true pain like us boys do,” the character is captioned as saying.
Here is a prime example in which a guy is gatekeeping the anime, “Naruto,” by saying that “females” can watch the show but only boys can relate to Sasuke. He is using “females” and “boys” rhetorically to create and exaggerate a distinction between what is for women and what is for men. The meme communicates that even if women watch anime, the “innate” difference between “females” and “boys” makes any woman watching anime invalid.
Moving on, who refers to women as females?
That would be “only men.”
Shamefully, “it rarely goes the other way around.”
Given the worldwide history of sexism and gender inequality, men using an animalistic term like that makes sense, as it linguistically degrades women and asserts their own dominant social status.
The final reason given for not calling women “female”: It “reaffirms our entire binary gender system.”
So it’s okay to call them women, but not female.
No word on whether “chicks” is allowed.
Language and sex are certainly areas where walking on egg shells may be advised.
It’s sure confusing out there these days.
Culturally in general, we’re living in a state of constant update.
Bonus if you’ve mastered the above:
Back to Kenneth, the presumed feminist isn’t the only one finished with “female.”
As noted by Campus Reform, UC Berkeley Professor Robin Lakoff made a similar argument in 2016.
She laid it out to Time:
“[To refer to a woman as female] is to subtly downgrade her to a lower mammalian status, rather like calling a guy an ‘ape.’”
Think about it:
To be able to call a guy an ape is possible only when he is a particular kind of guy — clumsy, brutish, etc. But any woman can be called, disparagingly, a “female” just because of the chromosome thing.
So there ya go.
And in case you were wondering, Kenneth didn’t take a stand for only ladies:
[W]hen “female” is used as a synonym for women, a loaded history is being alluded to. This is not much different than the reason why we do not refer to gay people as “homosexuals.”
With all due respect, where those with XX chromosomes are concerned, Kenneth may have more miles to go:
Debra Messing Celebrates Women Having Vaginas; the Woke Attack; She Admits Women Don’t Have Vaginas https://t.co/MVmIcZTAcI
— RedState (@RedState) March 12, 2019
Either way, celebrate women, everyone.
But — just to be safe — don’t fete females.
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