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"The Collins English Dictionary defines the word “woman” as “an adult female human being.”

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 7 Replies

"The Collins English Dictionary defines the word “woman” as “an adult female human being.” But this past August, a tempest began on Twitter when a user posted two responses written to people who had contacted the dictionary: one to advocate that the entry should be changed, and the other to argue that it should stay the same. The first letter writer, identified in the Twitter post as a man, received a long response that said Collins is “currently reviewing all our gender-related vocabulary to make sure that we accurately reflect the evolution in the vocabulary of gender and sexuality.” The other letter writer, a woman, received a polite but curt response informing her, “[A]ny changes we make to our definitions are the result of a detailed review process and evidence-based linguistic research.”

The ensuing thread—in which one incensed respondent called for a boycott of HarperCollins’ products, the second letter writer piped up to say that she is, in fact, a transgender woman, and feminists of various stripes debated miscellaneous accusations of dictionary sexism—is less interesting than the question that inspired both commenters in the first place: Is it time for dictionaries to make room in their definitions for transgender and intersex women who may not fit under the umbrella of “adult female human being,” especially given that Collins’ primary definition for “female” in its American dictionary is “of the sex that produces ova and bears offspring”? In other words, exactly how well are dictionaries keeping up with the evolving contemporary conversation around the language of gender and sexuality?

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 17, 2017 at 6:17 AM
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Replies (1-7):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Oct. 17, 2017 at 6:23 AM
That is by definition what a woman is. Transgender people will never be a true woman (or man) it’s not biologically possible. So she can be womanlike, or continue to use the word as she sees fit.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Oct. 17, 2017 at 7:02 AM
It shouldn’t be changed. They can add transgender woman if they like.
Cajunqueenslsg8
by Platinum Member on Oct. 17, 2017 at 7:07 AM


Quoting Anonymous 3: It shouldn’t be changed. They can add transgender woman if they like.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 4 on Oct. 17, 2017 at 7:09 AM
1 mom liked this
People have too much time on their hands.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 5 on Oct. 17, 2017 at 7:10 AM
1 mom liked this
This country Is being held hostage by people with mental health issues
AbbyWalsh
by Gold Member on Oct. 17, 2017 at 7:18 AM
What, in your mind, makes a post-op transgender woman not a true woman? If it’s about reproductive organs, do you consider cis-women who have had radical hysterectomies to be not true women?

Quoting Anonymous 2: That is by definition what a woman is. Transgender people will never be a true woman (or man) it’s not biologically possible. So she can be womanlike, or continue to use the word as she sees fit.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Oct. 17, 2017 at 7:19 AM
It would be the fact her chromosomes are XY.
Yes l, sure some chromosomal disorders would give a different pairing but those are very rare.

Quoting AbbyWalsh: What, in your mind, makes a post-op transgender woman not a true woman? If it’s about reproductive organs, do you consider cis-women who have had radical hysterectomies to be not true women?

Quoting Anonymous 2: That is by definition what a woman is. Transgender people will never be a true woman (or man) it’s not biologically possible. So she can be womanlike, or continue to use the word as she sees fit.

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