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Dear Men, Stop Calling Women “Females”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kent State chapter.

Why are men so obsessed with calling women every word besides “women”? Why are they constantly thinking of new ways to take away our personhood? I am tired of correcting their insulting vocabulary and having to defend why. It should be as simple as “I find this word disrespectful, don’t refer to me as that” but it’s not.

The word “female” gives me the ick. There is an appropriate way for it to be used and then there is the way that this new generation of men use it. They do not use it in any way that is respectful to women. They use it to avoid recognizing that we are people too and continue to use it despite us expressing our discomfort with it. They think they deserve a pat on the back for not using the word “bitch” but what they’re really doing is repackaging the word and making it easier on their conscious when they say it. “Female” is not an inherently dirty word so therefore men think they are doing us a favor by using it over “bitch.” However, it would be better for us to just be called women. But no, that would be too humanizing.

If you’re confused as to what I’m even referring to, I’ll give you a few examples: “These females on TikTok…” “All females do is lie” “I can’t stand these females” etc. See? It just sounds nasty. Like I said earlier, you would think us telling them to stop would be enough.

If men hate one thing it’s listening to women. Okay, I’m being harsh. Obviously, I am not talking about all men. I am talking about men who blatantly disrespect women with anything from their vocabulary to their body language. These men don’t have to come out and say they do not respect us. They hide their misogyny subtly. They interrupt women and speak over them and mansplain and diminish us. It’s more than just the word “female,” it’s their actions that speak the loudest. It starts with their language though. Men refusing to refer to women as women normalizes it for those who look up to them. This is leaving a mark on the next generation of boys learning from a young age that it’s okay to dehumanize women.

Taking away our personhood with their vocabulary is the first way to show those who look up to them that it’s okay to disrespect women. Young boys will see their favorite influencers refer to women as “females” and begin to dehumanize women subconsciously. This vocabulary will teach them to undermine women, diminish their opinions, speak over them and view them as objects instead of complex, multifaceted human beings.

Women are tired of men finding new and creative ways to strip us of our identities. They are diminishing us to our most basic form by calling us “females.” We are simply chromosomes and bodies to them when they refer to us as that. I hope that men will learn to respect our wishes and cease referring to us as females when the word “women” is the same amount of syllables and is less disrespectful.

Fiona Loudon

Kent State '23

Fiona Loudon (Senior Editor) is a senior at Kent State University studying English with a minor in Creative Writing. She's a Pittsburgh native who enjoys watching movies, reading and spending time with her cat, Link. This is her fifth semester in Her Campus and third semester as Senior Editor.