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The Oxford Dictionary is urged to change sexist definitions

Derogatory definitions related to women are dehumanizing and only one example of everyday sexism

From words to violence: The Oxford Dictionary is urged to change sexist definitions
Image of woman checking a term in a dictionary - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 04/03/2020 19:13 Newsroom Mexico City Actualizada 19:34
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Leaders of England’s Women’s Aid and the Women’s Equality Party have issued a letter requesting the Oxford University Press to eliminate from sexist definitions related to the word “woman” from their dictionaries.

The letter mentions that in the Oxford Dictionary there are synonyms like “bitch” and “maid,” concepts that denigrate women and that are used for derogatory means in society.

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According to The Guardian, these words contrast with those that are related to “man,” which includes words like “bravery” and “toughness.”

“It’ dehumanizing to call a woman a bitch. It is but one sad, albeit extremely damaging, example of everyday sexism,” reads the letter that requests the changes in the publications of the Oxford University Press.

The letter, which has been signed by over 30,000 people, has been done in the framework of the International Women’s Day, which is commemorated every March 8 with activities all over the world to create awareness on violence against women.

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The letter mentions that the modifications requested to the publishing house might not end everyday sexism but they think it is a good starting point to create change for when these terms are used without context, they reinforce negative stereotypes.

It is worth remembering that in the Spanish-speaking world, the Spanish Language Dictionary, endorsed by the Spanish Royal Academy (RAE), as well as the academies belonging to the Association of Spanish Language Academies (ASALE), was amid controversy in 2017 when it was asked to review the term “weak sex.”

The controversy began in March 2017 when it was revealed that the RAE’s publication defined women as the “weak sex,” ignited a petition in Change.org titled “RAE: Women are not the weak sex #IamNotTheWeakSex.”

It was until November 2017 when the RAE said that it would include a use label to evidence that the concept was used with a contemptuous or discriminatory objective.

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