Oxford Dictionary's Apology for 'Rabid Feminism' Reference Isn't Rabid Enough

It's not often you think of the dictionary as being controversial, but you throw in some misogynistic examples regarding terms like rabid feminism, shrill, nagging, and housework, that's what you get. Oxford Dictionaries came under fire this week after an observant PhD student took offense to some of the examples he found under certain definitions.


Several days ago, Michael Oman-Reagan noticed some alarmingly sexist references in the Oxford Dictionary. He shared his findings on Twitter, complete with graphics of the offensive terms.

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You know, because the first thing that comes to mind when you think rabid isn't "dog with rabies," it's feminism. But it didn't stop there. What about shrill? That has to be a woman screeching, right? Isn't that what women do? #HeadDesk

And of course women are the ones doing all the housework. We are still trying to get beyond that stereotype.

Oh, we're also bossy. Men can be determined, strong, opinionated, etc., but women are bossy -- and meddling! Whatever.

And we nag.

Guess what, though? Dudes get to be the doctors.

This is the current Oxford Dictionary, folks, not some tome from the 1950s. You'd think that they'd be quick to respond that they meant no offense, and would be looking into revamping some of their definitions to reflect the fact that it's 2016, but no. The genius in charge of their social media sent out this gem:


Um ... yeah. That's not just offensive, it's totally condescending. Thankfully they got their act together after the social media backlash, and the next day they tweeted out a somewhat more appropriate apology.

At least it's a start. But I kindly suggest that the folks over at Oxford get with the times and stop assuming that shrill, bossy, rabid feminists are just nagging about doing all the housework. 


Image via © Caleb Jones/AP/Corbis

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