Don’t Call Me A Female!

Social media is an oasis of repetitive topics. Whether mentioned due to boredom, or to get a reaction, people will constantly rehash these discussion points. The problem with this consistent redundancy is that we never have an honest or productive discourse that will create action items. Even better, we don’t walk away with an enhanced perspective or any tangible knowledge to use in future interactions. I hope to change that today as I discuss a topic both passionate to women and oblivious to most men: the use of the word female.

I see women on Twitter and Facebook periodically state that they hate being referred to as “female.” I’ve read a plethora of articles about women’s stance on the word. I too was oblivious to the derogatory nature in which women took the word, and was educated to a point. I would be lying if I said that I 100% saw the woman’s side on the debate, and thus I bring it here to SBM to get better educated and spark a debate.

To me female isn’t a derogatory term for women. It’s a designation of your species. I hate the term “Men are _____ creatures” because I imagine a monster when I hear the word “creature”, but no matter our heightened sense of self, we are a type of “animal” so to say. Men are males, women are females. I don’t get offended when someone refers to me as a male, so why do women get offended when someone calls them female?

In order to answer these rhetorical questions, I decided to look at female the way black people view the word “n****r”. I see the irony in using n****r as an example on the topic of redundant debates. I also know that the N-word use is multi layered too, but walk with me and watch where I go. I put myself in women’s shoes (sneakers not high heels) and I tried to imagine, similar to the N-word, why I would take umbrage with its usage. When black people take offense to n****r, it’s because of who’s using it and how it’s being used. Some blacks will get offended if white people use it, others will take offense if anyone (including blacks) use it. Some see it as a term of endearment. Others see it as a dreaded reminder of a segregated past, inequalities, and a lack of future advancements.

Analyzing the word female, and speaking with women on the topic, the consensus is that when men use the term it makes them cringe. Women say that the word female dehumanizes them, and depicts them as lesser than. They also say that tone is important. When men use female, they use it in a derogatory manner, which conveys the idea that women aren’t on men’s level. Think about those Civil Rights / Segregation movies where the white man would call a grown Black Man “boy,” as if to say “you have as much authority and rights in this world as a child, so hush your mouth when adults are speaking.” Getting that explanation was helpful, but confusing at the same time. I’ve heard men use the term “female” before, but I never saw it as derogatory. I will admit that the usage occurred when talking about male / female relationship items, lol, but I’ve also heard educated and respectful brothers use female when talking about them in the highest regard. Some men just use it in place of woman or interchangeably, with no tone or ulterior meaning in mind.

When I used the N-word to attempt to view the negatives of “female” from a woman’s eyes, I got a good perspective. Suddenly, I thought of a better word to illustrate the positive / negative juxtaposition of phrases in this example: bitch. I see women referring to their friends as bitches, and calling themselves “bad bitches” without taking offense. If you look at the word bitch, you can seamlessly use it in a negative and positive manner. A bitch could be someone of low moral character, a precarious situation, or your best friend. Nas showed us the duality best when he said, “Life’s a bitch, but God Forbid the bitch divorce me.” Rappers, entertainers, and the like have used bitch to refer to women for decades. Yes we’ve seen some women stand up, but a lot of women will denounce the usage of “bitch” on one hand, and sing along to those lyrics at the highest of decibels on the other. So if bitch, which is more abrasive on its surface, can be used by men without rampant outrage, why can’t female? What makes female worse than bitch, when bitch in its textbook definition means female dog, and in pop culture is usually negative?

The polarizing power behind the N-word, and the duality in the evolution of its definition, show that either spectrum of the debate can make strong cases for and against it. I just don’t see the word female as that powerful to justify real outrage in its usage, especially when the word bitch is still being uttered as commonly as the word hello. You can’t define what does or does not offend an individual for them, but this discussion seems like hypersensitivity and bitching for the sake of bitching. My goal is to get everyone here talking so we can get enlightened on the subject. Men can get a better sense of why some women don’t want to be called females. Women can chime in if they hold that position or disagree. Women can find out if there is an ulterior motive when men use the term and see how men perceive the word.

Looking forward to hearing from males, men, women and females on this topic. Transgender people chill. I’m confused enough. lol.

V. Streetz

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  • Suni

    I do not like "female" or "bitch".

    In my opinion, a female can be just about anything–a power cord connection, a plant or…a bitch (in a female dog sense).

    In other words, it's what I am rather than *who* I am.

    You can call lots of things "female" but you can only call a woman a woman.

    I don't get too bent out of shape when I see it, but I must admit I sometimes sense the disdain from some when they pronounce or use it. I prefer woman. :)

    • Mr_SD

      So wait let me get this right, because until today i never knew women hated that term. So if I'm speaking about another woman to you and I use the term female then that's ok? Or should I totally rid the word of my vocabulary?

      • Suni

        I liken using it to hearing someone use the term "you people", for example. Not inherently offensive, but just enough to grab my attention or possibly even a major red flag if spoken with venom.

        Quite honestly, if I were speaking with you and you used "female" I'd probably just make a mental note and keep it moving if it were general conversation.

        • Mr_SD

          That's some good info, I'll make note of it. Thanks Suni.

    • Streetz

      "You can call lots of things "female" but you can only call a woman a woman. "

      What about men referred to as women?
      My recent post Morning Motivation: Overcoming The Most Annoying Week of 2012

      • Suni

        Are you referring to transgender folks? Heeyyyy I thought you said you were leaving them out of this, lol.

        That's a whole 'nother deal altogether, in my opinion; I was referring to born men and women since transgender have been banished for this post. :)

        If you're talking about a man (who identifies as such) being called a woman for whatever reason…well, that's not nice. :-/

        • Streetz

          LOL… Im talking bout people calling men women. For example "stop acting like a woman why are you complaining"

          You knew what I meant…lol
          My recent post Morning Motivation: Overcoming The Most Annoying Week of 2012

        • Sunni

          Lol…

          Truthfully, I un-learned making comments like those in my teens (I'm 25 now). It's essentially verbal/emotional warfare.

          Not cool.

        • Suni

          Spelled my own name wrong..smh…lol.

  • Kay

    I hate it because I am a woman. Its a term of respect…the same way you wouldn't call an 80 year old man 'boy'. I also don't understand why men have to understand why we don't like it. That's like a white person saying 'i don't see the problem with calling them colored. I mean, they are, aren't they?" If a man respects me, he won't do things to me that I deem offensive.

    • Streetz

      " I also don't understand why men have to understand why we don't like it."

      This is why communication in general is f*cked up. You dont understand why men would want further clarification on a topic? Maybe to not offend or get a basis for why its offends you? Maybe to gain clarity so as to see whther their mindset for using certain words is based out of ignorance or general disdain for the target of their wordplay?

      Minorities want whites to do self examination based off of our points all the time. Its wrong when men want to do the same?
      My recent post Morning Motivation: Overcoming The Most Annoying Week of 2012

  • http://twitter.com/undefined @undefined

    Basically, like Kay says, you don't get to tell a group what offends them. If a woman, or a large amount of women, say they don't like being referred to as "females", then don't do it. Are men left with so few terms without it? Yes, it's a scientifically accurate word. I am a female human. And? In a climate that has a difficult time acknowledging that I'm an actual human, I think I'll skip the "female" for now. Thanks.

  • Sith King Jordan

    i guess i see it different.

    if you are someone that i don't know, and you are a member of the XY gender of the homo sapiens life form…i call you a 'male'. in reference.

    if you are someone that i don't know, and you are a member of the XX gender of the homo sapiens life form…i call you a 'female' in reference.

    I probably picked this up from growing up. as i grew up, i peeped how not all males, were men. the equivalent, yet unspoken…statement, regarding the opposite gender, would be, not all females, are women.

    with that being said, i wouldn't have a problem with being considered a 'male', especially if you don't know me. with that being said, if i'm talking directly to you, i'm not going to say "Hey, Female", I'm probably going to say "Ma'am/Miss" (or if i'm talking to a dude – Sir/Bro).

    - a male by birth, a man by choice.

  • RealGoesRight

    I've written about this before. Women hate this term. It makes them cringe and to be perfectly honest, I'm still confused as to why they're so bothered by it. For the sake of argument, I just call them whatever they wish to be referred to, because trying to have a discussion about calling them something they feel disrespected by, is pointless. You can't really tell someone what they should be sensitive to, but I do agree with your initial sentiments of "what's the big deal?"

    Suffice it to say, I look at the term the same way you addressed it in your post. I don't like white men referring to me as "boy" because I'm a grown ass man. Doesn't matter how HE feels about how the word affects me, it only matters how I received it.
    My recent post #30For30 Day 29 – Why Olivia Pope Is The Worst Side Chick In Recent Memory

    • Suni

      When I was in high school a Puerto Rican friend of mine and another friend of hers used to call each other "cosita"–or, "little thing". The way they used had the same connotation as saying "female". It's an adjective. A woman isn't an adjective. You can have a female plant, a female baboon, a female connecting power cord, but you can't have a woman of all these things. :)

      Basically, those of us against its use liken it to being called a thing. I usually hear it when some of disdain is to be had, which has influenced my own dislike of it.

  • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

    I've never heard anyone use the term female in a positive way. Its almost always been used as a placeholder for the b-word or whatever other negative terminology that people use to describe womenfolk.

    Personally i don't really see why anyone should have to defend why a word offends them. The idea that some people refer to themselves as the b-word which supposedly is the more "evil" term is not a valid argument. Even if i was cool with being called the b-word (and trust me, i'm not…at all!), if i'm not cool with being called a female (as anything more than a biological adjective) then that should be respected for what it is.
    My recent post See jamb question

    • AnnT

      I feel the same way. I have never seen the word used in a positive form. It’s always in the negative and I rarely see men get called “male”. I wouldn’t call any women in my family a female and I don’t call other women b- either.

  • Exotic Import

    I feel the way Suni does. Any animal could be female. I am a female HUMAN….emphasis on the human. You don't frequently hear men/guys referred to as "males" but its common to refer to women as "females" like we are less than human. I've never heard someone say "Why do males do ____" or "This male ____" in a conversation.

    • AfterMath

      "You don't frequently hear men/guys referred to as "males" but its common to refer to women as "females" like we are less than human."

      that's a good point.
      My recent post Shade The Cells Puzzle

      • oh ok…

        Dammit I hit -1 by accident! sorry…
        +!000

  • Adonis

    Before I read this post, I am going to have to keep it 1 MIllion.

    9/10 when I am referring to women as "females", I might as well use the word "b*tch". So, I am very understanding to why women take offense to it.

    Most men say "females" with bad intentions/energy and it is a sneaky a** way to dehumanized women, and it is very easy to ABUSE a person when you have stripped them of their humanity.

    • Adonis

      So, now that I read your post. I understand. I do not think women are overreacting to the word "female". So, it is what it is

    • Adonis

      Oh, and calling me a nice/good/decent guy is EQUALLY offensive

    • Young Heaux

      WOW! I'm actually giving you a thumps up for this!

    • BlueSteele

      You pleasantly surprised me; I was prepping the eye roll and everything Adonis. +1

    • Adonis

      I am surprised so many of the comments don't see the word "female" as derogatory.

      I have heard "Broad", "Chick", "B*tch", "sl*t", "wh*re", etc. use in a positive way in a elicited a positive response.

      But I haven't even fantasized, yet experienced on how "female" is alluding to a woman positively.

      Maybe I am talking out of school here?

    • lola289

      @Adonis
      Geez are you serious… Guess Im just around the right ppl cuz I ONLY encounter the term "female" while on the internet. wtf?

  • Well Enuff

    I think this post shows how oversensitive we are as a culture. I was taught to use male and female to remove any and all emotion and subliminal context from whoever you were referring to. This word is not designed to make a (not going to say it) feel less than human, just to differentiate what sex someone belongs.

  • Young Heaux

    Why would any group of people in significant numbers "bitch for the sake of bitching"?

    My feelings on the topic: I don't really care about the usage of "female" unless it's used in a derogatory way, which is very possible and happens often.

  • J. Crawford

    So I get that 'female' is typically used in derogatory measures- but so is the word "male" as in "all males are sex-craving bastards", or any other Extreme-Feminist proclamations. Men don't care about the Word as opposed to the Generalization of our Gender.

    I do use 'female' in positive and negative light, the same as I would use "Women/Woman" and "Ladies/Lady" in positive and negative light, so this topic does sound more "bitching for the sake of complaining". Maybe it's the Hype of Emotions/Feelings for Ladies and More Logic for Men, IDK. I feel until Women get some consenus and agreement on the words "bitch" and "ho/hoe" (there are some women who call each other ho/hoe as endearment, too), I can't totally buy 'female" on the same offensive or insulting level as "boy" or "ni@#&r", I just can't.

  • Uncle Hugh, BP

    When I use “female”, it is a neutral term. Not derogatory, but not complimentary either. It's to prevent using a more offensive term (b___, h__, etc.) This is to show a minimal amount of respect, even when the person in question doesn’t really deserve it. I never refer to women in general as a female though.

    For example, in the post last Friday, I called the woman who was the recipient of an uppercut (SHO-RYU-KEN!) a female. She certainly wasn't acting like a woman or a lady, and was undeserving of those titles. I didn't know her name, so I had to refer to her as something. At the same time, I avoided calling her a b___, although that was exactly what she was acting like. So I called her a term that was not an outright insult, and not a complimentary term.

    • WisdomIsMisery

      +1

    • niksmit

      A euphemism for a derogatory term still reads as derogatory to me. I don't see the neutrality you speak of in your description at all.

      • Uncle Hugh, BP

        There is no euphemism. When I use the term "female", that is exactly what I mean. Not giving the respect of "woman", not giving the insult of "b!tch". It would be a euphemism if I meant "b!tch" but instead called her "female".

  • http://www.singleblackmale.org/author/wisdomismisery/ WisdomIsMisery

    I honestly don’t see the big deal. Seems like semantics to me. If women think I can’t substitute the term “women” sarcastically or offensively as “females” they obviously have never heard me talk. Anyway, I won’t tell women what to be offended by if they don’t tell me what words I’m allowed to use. We see how successful we’ve been at getting the greater population not to use the N-word….o, wait.

    I don’t see myself dropping the word because I use it both neutrally and offensively depending on the specific conversation. If someone gets offended, I’ll address it on a case by case basis. This is an interesting topic but at the same damn time it seems like at this point we’re just searching for new fun and exciting things to be offended by.

    • Suni

      It's not, I've known anyone to speak out or write about it, it was simply my personal internal wince, lol.

      What you've written is the point though…when female is used it usually *is* meant in an offensive or sarcastic way. You wouldn't be able to read the disdain on my face or anything–I said above I liken it being referred to as "you people". I don't actually react to either but make a mental note.

      The point those of us against it's use are saying is you wouldn't use the term for your mom, sister, girlfriend, ect…, but many folks *would* use it for some random on the street who made you angry for whatever reason, for example. Can you imagine a man asking his girlfriend's father for her hand in marriage and saying, "Yo, I really love that female…"?

      BTW I'm a huge advocate of letting folks use the words they want to use. I can see who people are much quicker and make acquaintance adjustments accordingly, if need be.

      • WisdomIsMisery

        I see what you're saying, but this seems to be one of those things I just don't understand. As Adonis said below, perhaps women are simply more sensitive to being objectified than men – and that's fine. I def understand the history behind that. At the same time, I can't apologize for saying something offensive if I didnt mean it offensive-ly. I generally only apologize for what I said not how you took it, unless you're my Queen, then I apologize because I love you…and/or want to go to sleep. You gotta pick your battles though. This is definitely something I wouldn't battle over. If a woman got offended by the term "female," I'd probably just apologize and keep it moving.

        • Adonis

          I respect that philosophy when addressing women, but I hope when building your brand & "riding round & gettin' it" you always remember that.

          The Meaning Of Your Communication is The Response You Get

          And because you are one of those crazy guys who plan on giving some crazy girl a ring, I definitely believe you need to ration out your "offensives" to further your money & your relationships

        • WisdomIsMisery

          You know my philosophy on that. As long as the wife is happy, I'm good. I can't concern myself with keeping all women/females happy – an act in futility, friend.

        • paulb31

          Exactly. Please the one you're with (in reason), and….never mind. I'll stop there.

        • Suni

          Do note that this is only a major issue for a select few…meaning most women wouldn't demand an apology from the person in question calling me "female".

          That would be weird.

          Everyone who's ever called me "female" doesn't know how I personally feel, it's just my response to this post. If someone ever asked what I preferred, I'd say "woman".

  • Lola

    I just learned something new today! As a woman I mever knew other women got offended by te word and use of 'female', I'd much rather be called a female than bitch, a garden utencil or sl*t… I am really lost about this, really? Women take offense to this? My mind is blown…

    • oooh ok…

      IKR?

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

    Why so serious? I never realized it was an offensive term but I see how it can be derogatory in context, but one could use your own name and still offend with the proper dose of sarcasm

  • Beef Bacon

    I never knew this was such a big deal. I see t-shirts with b*tch on them and that makes me cringe. Women call each other all types of mean names. I figure until we respect OURSELVES…why expect others too?

    We tear each other down about hair, makeup, clothes, shoes, and all other superficial stuff that truly don't matter. Collectively, until we model what is acceptable amongst ourselves, we cannot expect others to treat us better then we treat ourselves. Notice that I said collectively because we've seen what happens when only a few demand respect.

    • Smilez_920

      Plus 1.

  • Dana

    I don't think the word female is offensive. Fe, is the chemical symbol for iron, and the latter part of the word is -male. So I like to think it's because we are the strongest of the two sexes! lol.

    But on a real note. If I were offended, or had dislike for the word than I would include woman as well. Not because of the use of the word, but because both female and woman are derived from the word male or man. A woman can't exist without man. And male or man is fine on its own.

    Something to think about. Are semantics really just semantics, or do they shape the perceptions of people and society? To have a world of equality do we need to change our vocabulary first?

  • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com/ madscientist7

    honestly i don't see how being called a female is offensive but then again i'm not a woman so i make a concerted effort to not use the word when describing women. i can see how in some instances men use it in a derogatory way. for example "i hate when females do _____"

  • http://inanimatethoughts.blogspot.com Animate

    This is an example of looking for something to complain about. I can call you a woman and a lady and have much more ill intent than saying female. Bottom line: You are a female in the same way that I am a male. It isn't an incorrect statement.
    My recent post Murci, Murci Me

    • Uncle Hugh, BP

      That is a good point. Woman can definitely be a offensive term in the wrong context.

    • Adonis

      I think women have bigger issues about objectification then men do. And it is hard for me to process "male" as derogatory. I think alot men think like I do in that context.

      • WisdomIsMisery

        Adonis on a roll today. He's like Barack Obama in the 2nd debate.

  • Tea

    I am a "female" and I never knew the depth of this issue until today.

    To me, it's not a big deal.

    "Female(s)" not like the word "bitch(es)". Okay, it's not like the word "lady" either, BUT it's kinda like "womenz." <shrug>/<stebie j face>

    Idk. Technically, it's what I am, but at the same time I don't use "male" the same way that guys use "female". For instance, a guy will say, "this female showed up at my house unannounced." I would never say, "this male showed up…" So I get that point. BUT I would say, "this chick showed up" and I'd say, "this negro showed up". So I guess I currently see females on that same level.

    …thinking aloud (typing silently). lol.

  • Tea

    I guess a lot of this depends on the situation and broader context.

  • cynicaloptmst81

    Eh…I get the issue.

    But, since I've never been referred to as a "female" to my face, its pretty much a non-factor in my world. *shrugs*

    I've heard guys use it to refer to other women. But, since he's not referring to me, I kinda don't care, lol. I assume he's doing it for good reason.

  • http://twitter.com/undefined @undefined

    Look WOMAN!, Get out of my face with your nonsense!

    Hey LADY!! Go sit down somewhere!

    You argue like a FEMALE!

    Yeah, all of them heard and applied offensively. Even if you pick and choose it cant be avoided.

    • Streetz
    • J. Crawford

      THat's exactly what I meant with my comment upthread, but I guess since I didn't say it like this- short, sweet and simple- I got a thumbs down…….

      This is what I call a Twilight Topic @_o

    • paulb31

      Exactly

    • IAAJ

      Not to be nit-picky, because I'm sure that's a part of the "complaining just to complain," but I've never been called a "female" to my face. It's usually used in a third person context, so the person isn't talking to you, but their talking at you, or even otherwise, talking ABOUT you while you're not there.

      I wouldn't respond favorably to any of the above, but at least I can hear those being said in direct conversation (if that makes sense). Like someone would be saying, "Look WOMAN!" to me, not to a group of people, in reference to another woman (although this is possible).

      I am not personally offended by female, but like a poster said above, I note the intent in how someone says it. Often when I hear it, as was also noted above, it's often in place of the word 'b!tch', so it has a different connotation than someone simply referring to my biological sex.

      • http://twitter.com/undefined @undefined

        I can understand where it could be considered offensive in certain social circles. Because you are not acknowledging that particular "female" as a person of substance. But if she means nothing to you..well? It all kind of goes back to people who feel entitled to respect they have not earned. I personally have used lady exclusively with rude women. I actually avoid using B%^ch which is nice of me, but i would escalate to it if need be. But i'm polite and respectful to everyone i meet.

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

    "I got a binder full of females" -Mitt Romney

    • Top5DOA

      LOL … Smh

    • Suni

      LMAO!

  • Streetz

    Cyn is going to kill me…lol

    Anyway i have a follow-up question

    Do women who find female offensive also find "lady" offensive?

    Does it matter who is saying it as opposed to how its being said (ex if Obama came in the room and said I love the females in the room today, would you cringe or swoon (or both?))

    Are there certain groups of women more sensitive to the word play?

    #PleaseRespond
    My recent post Morning Motivation: Overcoming The Most Annoying Week of 2012

    • cynicaloptmst81

      Cyn ain't skinsitive…so she'll let you live…for now, LOL.

      • Streetz

        Im sayin.. u couldnt answer my follow-ups tho?!
        My recent post Morning Motivation: Overcoming The Most Annoying Week of 2012

        • cynicaloptmst81

          Cyn had a lunch date and had to bounce real quick, lol.

          I'm not offended by "lady"…but when someone's trying to get my attention, I usually get "miss" or "ma'am", etc. The worse it gets for me is "shorty". I am 31…I will NOT answer to that.

          It def matters who's saying what. My closest male friend says "s'up shorty!" to me allllll the time and I don't trip. My bf is gonna throw out a "LOOKY HERE, WOMAN!" at least once every 24 hrs…which causes me to laugh every time.

          Not sure about the last question. I'm almost always addressed respectfully…and my girls don't complain about it. I'm not sure which females out here get called "females" on the regular, LOL!

    • niksmit

      I don't find the term lady offensive.
      I find the whole paradigm behind the creation of "ladies" offensive. This is not because I don't want people to be civilized and have decorum, but because I don't think it should be gendered. There are different rules for ladies and gentlemen. I don't subscribe to those rules because I find them oppressive.

  • http://MoreAndAgain.com MoreAndAgain

    I have a question (and I’ll admit I haven’t read all of the comments, so I apologize if someone else already made this point): who actually calls men males? I’ll give context. . .

    “Males be trippin!”

    “Look at all the males in here.”

    “The problem with males is ____.”

    Those phrases probably sound awkward to you, because no one uses the word in that context. But, if you put “female” in there, they’re not uncommon at all. Words have history, and for Black women there’s a history of being stripped of their womanhood. It’s a history Black men could understand, but don’t share. So, the “male” argument doesn’t hold water.

    As far as whether other words can be perceived negatively, tone and inflection are always important. But, who’s ever said “female” in a warm and loving way? “You’re my female” sounds primitive as fuck, even with the right tone and inflection. While, “You’re My Lady” was a hit song. Most people aren’t deliberate enough to choose their words wisely, but we can at least admit that “female” is not on the same level as “woman” with regard to connotation.

    • WisdomIsMisery

      we can at least admit that "female" is not on the same level as "woman" with regard to connotation

      This is somewhat fair. We also have to keep in mind regional dialect. Honestly, if it wasn't for social media, I wouldn't even know "female" was an offensive term considering I've been using it interchangeably for a number of other words to describe the female sex as a whole or specifically for almost all of my life lol Frankly, I think folks either are or act more sensitive on the Internet. Of all the things that ail the world to think I or anyone would waste more than a New York minute to apologize or address the proper or improper use of "female" #InRealLife is very troubling to me.

      This is not the change Obama was talking about.

      • krystllyght

        Honestly, IRL I would never say anything to a person using "female" and I should say that I think offended is too strong of a word for how I feel about it but when I hear it, sounds kind of like fingernails on a chalkboard. I think it was The Artist Formerly Known As Streetz who wrote a post about calling a woman "sweetheart" and she took offense to it. I guess the way I feel about it is just call me by my name or just call me a woman. If I sound crazy because I prefer one word over the other, I'll be that.

    • paulb31

      Instead of males, the term used is "n***as" much more often. From what I've seen, the term female is used as a baseline, a very low baseline at that. It seems like that's the very least that some women are called before crossing into b*tch and h*e territory. It definitely is dancing on that line though.

      • cynicaloptmst81

        "Instead of males, the term used is "n***as" "

        *raises hand*

        LOL…I'll cop to that…

        • Paul B.

          And on top of that, there’s usually no such distinction made between men and n***as whatsoever.

      • Streetz
    • Nate

      Personally I think It really just depends on who you're talking to or who you're around. If you happen to always be around women who have strong feminist ideals, these phrases probably wouldn't sound too akward to you.

  • http://twitter.com/undefined @undefined

    I didn't realize I'd be censored. Woops. That sentence should read:

    "'You're my female' sounds primitive as f^ck even with the right tone and inflection."

  • Crystal

    The term "female" reduces a woman to her LOWEST form. Not cool coming from the mouths of men or other women. It's a judgment call to reduce another person.

    • Streetz

      That's a cop out. You let the word reduce you to a lower form. Its all in connotation but I think some women take the connotation out of context.

      If I came on her and said. I love the female population. You bring joy to my heart. im thankful for the females in my life who've shaped me to be the man I am today. Those my bitches for real!!!

      How many of you would REALLY take offense?!
      My recent post Morning Motivation: Overcoming The Most Annoying Week of 2012

  • http://www.iamrichjones.com Slim Jackson

    So in summary, female is most safely used as an adjective. To use it as a noun can conjure thoughts of dehumanization and institutional/societal attempts to belittle women. Got it.

    There's progress when there isn't a hostile discussion. Thanks to those that took the time to explain rather than throwing out the label "misogynist" and tossing hand grenades in the comment section.
    My recent post How I Used LinkedIn As My Career Consultant

  • Cheekie

    It's a semantics thing mainly because most men have made it so. Women have already cited many examples of men purposely using the term "female" in place of "b*tch", followed by some negative association with women. Women are #reacting to the word because of the many men who have made a direct effort to associate deeper meaning to it. Nowadays, the only REAL use of the true definition of female is via a dayum census form. LOL

  • GoldenG

    I find it funny how women find it dehumanizing to be called a "female" but call each other and allows others to call them "Bitch" or a "Bad Bitch" Lol. Let's measure this logic, a female means: Of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova) that can be fertilized by male gametes. A Bitch means:1.A female dog, wolf, fox, or otter. (Thanks Webster's Dictionary) The term woman needs to be earned just because you have female parts deosn't make you a wmoan. To me being a woman comes with maturity, and material and spiritual substance.

    • niksmit

      I don't like how you switched between the dictionary's definitions and your personal definitions.
      Webster defines woman as: an adult female person.
      None of those adjectives you applied were included. Why can't others have their own definitions of "female" and "bitch" the way you have your own definition of "woman?"
      Or maybe you should switch from woman to something like lady so you can use a noun that describes a particular type of woman.

      • GoldenG

        I didn't say they couldn't I was just trying to get an understanding in what the issue was in being called a female when there are worse things? As far as my opinion on what a woman should be defined as, I was talking from a sociological view that wasnt meant to be a definition.

  • AfterMath

    When I was at work reading this, I tried to think back and I don't recall myself using the term "female" as a noun. I can definitely understand the negative connotation of it, and the statements that it has a history in and of itself (that I was completely unaware of before reading this). I know that since 2005 or so, I've been trying to stop using the term "girl" to describe a lady because I was told that was offensive / derogatory. I admit that I use / used that term quite often (I mean one of my favorite songs is "My GIrl"), but female…not so much.
    My recent post Shade The Cells Puzzle

    • AfterMath

      correction. I just realized that I use the phrase "my female friend" a lot – but that's not in a neagive light.
      My recent post Shade The Cells Puzzle

  • Marie

    The term "female" is used so often in such a demeaning way then when we women read it somewhere or hear it being used, it literally grinds our gears (well…some of us…I digress) I am "female" by design in the scientific sense, that is true, but when the word is used to be a sugar-coated term for, lets say "b*tch" we can't help but get angry. It's as simple as that.

  • oh ok…

    Female=The New Bitch #Done

    • oh ok…

      Sorry didn't read b4 posting…
      But, I just hope ladies will get over this "female" thing.
      If a man says the term then explain to him why it's not ur fav.
      I never gave a crap about the term when I see it on the web. I think I heard it once and just said, "Oh, thats what the kids are saying now;better than the B word". I did not know it was seen as a actual derogatory term. Seriously, Its like the term "bitch"…I'm not that so I really don't care.

  • RPrice

    I tend to follow the Samuel L. Jackson line of thought that just calls everybody a muthaf___er.

  • http://glippost.wordpress.com Darrk Gable

    I’m a day late commenting, but it reminds me of the scene in Baby Boy where Omar Gooding says, “females are some unstable creatures.” Replace females with b*tches and see the response you get. That being said, I never knew calling women females was an issue. I do think it would help if women tried to help men understand why it’s offensive though.

  • Chubb

    Hi guys,

    I'm delurking for a bit to comment. I'll keep it brief. Don't know how many folks here read Jezebel, but check out the comments here http://jezebel.com/5952287/maxipad-company-replie… (the post itself is rather funny). The comments are less about the actual post, and more about why they are offended by the word "female." Hope that helps to provide some insight.

    P.S. Seems like folks on Jezebel are offended my most things, IMO.

    • Chubb

      Also, the terms 'male' and 'female' are generally used to describe non-human animals, whereas 'boy' or 'girl,' or 'man' or 'woman' is used to indicate gender in humans. 'Male' and 'female' are words that are seen, in some circles, to be clinical, dehumanizing, and othering, thus folks taking offense.