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


It can be poor grammar, too.


It is, unfortunately, a particularly common usage among the sort of man who has a mostly masturbatory interest in women and no other. I suspect that usage taints it.


Female is an adjective not a noun


I am a woman. And I don’t find it degrading to be referred to as female. I am female.

Now, if someone referred to me as, “YO, Mama!,” I would find that degrading.


I wouldn’t be offended at being referred to as a female sexually mature human but surely it’s quicker to say woman.


Indeed. I too am a male, why would I be offended because someone simply states reality? The fact that the term “female” could be deemed offensive is a sad indictment of the state of things today.


I don’t get the meltdowns but I can see why it’s considered rude.

I have seen lots of guys referring to men as men but women as females. It can seem really weird, as if it is dehumanizing. I feel uncomfortable when I see the difference.

Other than that, it’s just awkward phrasing and some people don’t really think twice about the word. Especially if that person tend to use ‘males’ too.


True. We think of a general sex when male/female use (that is, female and male are not terms limited to human beings). So when that term is used as a noun, it sounds really weird.

Not all men who use the term intend to degrade but that term can sound degrading for women who are not used to such language since they tend to use it as an adjective/refer to animals


There can be a bit of a patriarchal tendency to divide humans into men and non-men. Men and females feels a bit like this.


But God divided us into male and female. If you are a woman you are female, if you are a man you are male.

The whole argument is bonkers. It seems that (especially if you are male) you cannot state what is simply reality about someone’s sex/gender/identity without causing offence.


Er… I’m not sure I’d refer directly to a woman or man as “This female/male I met…” I’d always use woman/man/person in that context.

There are situations I’d use the word female/male for people, but never “This female…” or “that female…” That seems weird and like you’re talking about them as specimens in a science project…


If someone were to say “Wesrock is male” that sounds normal. If someone were to point at me and say “That male there said…” I’d feel like a lab rat.

And it’s more weird when a person uses “man” for a man but “female” for a woman in the same context.


I really doubt that the word female is the problem here. Referring to your fiancee as “this female” sounds very disconnected, and even dismissive. Why not call her "my fiancee?"
Looking at that thread, this seems to have been the point made by at least some of the posters there. You were hardly “crucified.”


Men and women is fine, males and females isn’t so bad but men and non- men fails to realize that woman are a meaningful group in their own right, it makes us sound like the leftovers.


Very droll Random! :grinning:


It can be denigrating, because it ignores my humanity in favor of zeroing in on my sex. A pig, cat, dog, and an insect can be female, but only a human being can be a woman.


Also, Star Trek.

The Ferengi are always going on about “feeemales.” I couldn’t find an appropriate clip with use of the term, but here’s their general relationship philosophy (just one minute):


If I say, “well, I was discerning whether I was called to a religious vocation, and I was engaged to a male at the time”, doesn’t that sound weird? Why would you not say “a man”, or “my fiance”, or “this great guy” or something besides “a male”? It’s not criminal or anything, it’s just … Odd.


In that particular example, it does sound like being engaged to a female was an option on the table.


I would assume this referred to a man but I suppose you could equally have meant a bull or stallion.

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