Is it degrading/condescending to refer to a woman as 'female'?


#1

I had absolutely no idea…


#2

Well, someone once got upset with me when I called her “ma’am” and she was a 50 something year old lady. But just because someone will always get offended at something does not mean they are right. Why would referring to a girl or woman as a female be degrading? It’s what they are.


#3

I don’t see why it would be, but then again, some people are offended by very odd things sometimes.


#4

I literally just got crucified for referring to a girl whom I was engaged to as ‘this female’ to protect her identity. I had absolutely no clue that people got offended by the use of ‘female’ in the context of referring to a girl/woman, i.e. human being that is not male.


#5

It’s virtually impossible to keep ahead of the language police these days, or to avoid getting in trouble with the brown shirted forces of political correctness.


#6

The only possible reason I can think of someone being offended by the word “female” is because the word is often used to describe lower animals. Most of the time when we refer to other people, we don’t use male/female. We use boy/girl or man/woman. So it’s possible that whoever is offended is offended because the word sounds like it’s referring to something nonhuman.


#7

I find it rather reductive: just call me a woman. We generally don’t call men as “males” outside of hospital records or police reports, so why refer to women thusly?


#8

But for anyone to speculate as that being my intention, especially referring to someone whom I love and was engaged to, as something nonhuman, seems disingenuous to me.


#9

“Non-male” is generally safe. Don’t use the term “broad” either.


#10

I agree with you


#11

Okay, but is not that kind of a non-sequitur? Is that an attempt at equality (sameness) simply by the mere fact of what we do not call men?


#12

LOL! :rofl: That term I am aware not to use.


#13

Um, yes. Why would it be okay to casually call a woman a female, when we almost never call men males?


#14

That logic doesn’t flow there; e.g. Why would it be okay to casually call a child a kid, when we almost never call adults kids? Hence, non-sequitur.

“Male and female he created them.” Genesis 3:5


#15

Don’t let other people bully you.


#16

Yeah, “male and female.” We don’t do that though - we just call women “females.” Why use such a clinical term just for women?


#17

I use “males” all the time in casual contexts, or at least, as often as I use “female”…


#18

Fair enough. I never hear “male” used in casual conversation like “female” though, and usually when someone calls me a “female” it’s in a denigrating way.


#19

And, that is inherently wrong if that is the intention. But, from the context I used ‘this female’ in, there is no way any rational ‘female’ or ‘male’ would presume this use to be ‘denigrating’.


#20

It could come across as very impersonal, though.


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