Feminist War on Words


Feminists have been claiming that certain words and phrases are discriminatory, but a recent feminist list takes the prize for silliness.

We’ve heard for decades that it’s wrong to mention only the male gender. There’s nothing new about feminists demanding that we use the clumsy “he or she” or replace chairman with chairperson. But now they’ve broadened their complaints. The phrase “you guys” is now discouraged at Macalester College, where students told that such phrases have an “oppressive impact” on our culture. Duke University launched a campaign against “man up,” which supposedly implies that only men can be strong. And we’ve now been told that even the phrase “Founding Fathers” is sexist, because it refers only to men—even though we know that all the Founding Fathers actually were men.

It used to be that you could avoid the scorn of the feminists if you mentioned both genders. But not anymore—the Women’s Media Center says that even “husband and wife” and “men and women” are problem phrases unless you make sure to alternate which gender you mention first. “Ladies and gentlemen” is also out—the correct word, surprise, surprise, is “gentlewomen.”

Other words are forbidden not because they themselves are sexist, but because they’re supposedly used more often to describe women, and that’s said to be degrading. Examples include aggressive, feisty, opinionated, and spirited. A simple Google search shows these words are used just as often about men, but the feminists take offense anyway.

The feminists spend a lot of their energy attacking men as unnecessary and oppressive. They demand that we overthrow what they call the patriarchy. On the other hand, it obviously is pretty easy for feminists to claim they have been offended.

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Contributing Editor, Phyllis Schlafly, is the Founder and President of Eagle Forum, a national radio show host, and a best-selling author.

Used with the permission of Eagle Forum.