How to Be Inclusive and Grammatically Correct: A Guide for Journalists on the Gender Beat PDF Print

16 June 2019

Country: Global

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

Screen_Shot_2019-06-16_at_11.06.42_AMLast week, I came across a Buzzfeed listicle explaining why you should stop referring to women as ‘females’. Published all the way back in 2014, it gives six simple reasons for this:

  1. ‘Female’ refers to a sex of any species, while ‘woman’ refers to human females;
  2. Reducing women to their reproductive abilities is dehumanising and excludes women who cannot reproduce, trans and gender non-conforming people;
  3. It is not widely acceptable to refer to men as ‘males’;
  4. ‘Female’ is often used in a pejorative sense – to insult or belittle;
  5. ‘Female’ is an adjective. “When you use "female" as a noun, the subject that you're referring to is erased”;
  6. The word you are looking for when you say ‘female’ exists. It’s ‘woman’.

Today, 2014 seems like distant history. A lot has changed since then. Obama had been replaced by an orange. Chinese and Chechen authorities are concentrating ‘undesirable’ citizens in camps on an industrial scale. The Brexit referendum actually happened. Japan resumed commercial whaling, even though the climate emergency shows no signs of going away. Тhe list goes on and on.

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