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US NewsRemove 'sexist' definitions of woman, petition demands

20:55  18 september  2019
20:55  18 september  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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Image: Petitioners are calling for changes to how ' woman ' is defined .

"This sexist dictionary must change," demands the petition , started in June by London-based marketing manager Maria Beatrice Giovanardi -- who The "outdated" definitions "denigrate" women , according to the petition , which requests that the definition is expanded to include broader examples

Remove 'sexist' definitions of woman, petition demands © Getty Petitioners are calling for changes to how 'woman' is defined

A petition for the removal of "sexist" dictionary definitions of the word 'woman' and to extend the entry to include transgender and lesbian women has been signed by almost 30,000 people.

Campaigners are calling on the Oxford Thesaurus of English and the Oxford Dictionary of English, which reflects every-day language use rather than academic or scholarly definitions, to remove "unacceptable" language in the texts.

Maria Beatrice Giovanardi launched the petition against Oxford University Press (OUP) this summer.

She writes: "Have you ever searched online for the definition of a woman? 'Bitch, besom, piece, bit, mare, baggage, wench, petticoat, frail, bird, bint, biddy, filly' - these are the words which the Oxford's English Dictionary online tells us mean the same as ‘woman’. This sexist dictionary must change."

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A petition calling on Oxford University Press to change the “ sexist ” definitions of the word woman in some dictionaries has been signed by 30,000 people. The petition cites the following examples that the Oxford's English Dictionary gives as the definition of ‘ woman ’: - ‘Ms September will embody the

The language war is in full swing. An open letter signed by leaders of Women ’s Aid and the Women ’s Equality Party demands that Oxford Dictionaries change their “ sexist ” definition of This objective becomes clear in its demand to “enlarge the dictionary’s entry for ‘ woman ’,” as the petition puts it.

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Remove 'sexist' definitions of woman, petition demands

She also cites examples of the definition of woman as including "Ms September will embody the professional, intelligent yet sexy career woman" and "I told you to be home when I get home, little woman".

Ms Giovanardi argues that part of efforts to tackle online abuse against young women is to look at language.

The petition has three goals: to "eliminate" phrases that are discriminatory or patronising to women, to enlarge the entry for woman and to include representative of minorities, such as a transgender woman.

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Remove 'sexist' definitions of woman, petition demands

OUP’s head of lexical content strategy, Katherine Connor Martin, told The Guardian that editors are considering whether the definition of woman needs expanding and that entries are adapted as the use of English changes over time.

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A petition that now has nearly 30,000 signatures and counting on Change.org was started by a simple online search. Maria Beatrice Giovanardi, a London-based communications Giovanardi took action by starting the Change.org petition titled, "Change Oxford Dictionary’s Sexist Definition of ‘ Woman .'"

"This sexist dictionary must change," demands the petition , started in June by London-based marketing manager Maria Beatrice Giovanardi -- who is also a women 's The petition refers to the online abuse targeted at women and says language usage must change in order to tackle this problem.

"If there is evidence of an offensive or derogatory word or meaning being widely used in English, it will not be excluded from the dictionary solely on the grounds that it is offensive or derogatory," she said.

"Nonetheless, part of the descriptive process is to make a word's offensive status clear in the dictionary’s treatment. For instance, the phrase the little woman is defined as 'a condescending way of referring to one's wife', and the use of 'bit' as a synonym for woman is labelled as 'derogatory' in the thesaurus," she added

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