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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Every woman, whether she has been online or is going through her day to day life, has experienced the dreaded word. Female.

Now you might be wondering: what’s so wrong with calling women females? When we were in our elementary biology class, we were taught that there are two sexes: male and female. When we fill out important documents, we are told to check boxes that represent the dichotomy of M and F. When we see how restrooms are treated in American society, we see pictures showing who should belong to each bathroom. So, what’s the problem?

In the English language, we have denotations and connotations. We have words that can be explained literally and words that are explained through how our society views certain ideals. Regardless of the logical fallacies that exist to state that female is a harmless term, the usage of the word proves otherwise.

With female, the connotational value is obviously apparent. When simply scrolling through Twitter, we see men complain about the mannerisms and actions of women. Some even promote misogynistic remarks weaponizing the word female to attack and lower women. Women are just bitches that are too promiscuous or too prudish.

Female means you do not have humanity. It means that women are just anything. It means women are just simplified to genitalia that not all women have. It means that there is no difference between her and a female dog.

In our heteronormative society, females are seen as members who are meant to only have the roles of mother and wife, being told we have to carry children. We are forced to go through the bio-essentialism and strict gender roles that have been pushed upon us since birth, which a lot of fundamentalists continue to push on to this day.

Female is a way to force women into a box of femininity. So, if we deviate away from it or have same-gender relationships, we are seen as less. When a woman is butch, stud, or stem we are treated like shit because of not presenting and engaging in relationships with men the way society wants us to.

Female is a way to tell trans women and femmes that they don’t belong to the world of womanhood because of what originally was on their birth certificate. Their rights, beliefs, personalities and humanity doesn’t matter, only postulations rooted in bigotry are seen as the code of conduct.

Female is a way to tell trans men and mascs that because of what they were assigned at birth that their manhood means nothing even though it most definitely does.

We work hard. We go to work or school during most of the week. We decide to have children and stay at home or work, or not have any children at all. We talk. We eat. We laugh. We cry. We solve the world’s problems. We have morals. We engage in romantic or sexual relationships or we do not. Most importantly, we live, and we breathe.

So no, we are not females. We are women. Some of us are men. We are all people.

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Trading long winters for long summers, Deborah has been living in the Sunshine state to complete her education. Deborah currently attends the University of Central Florida where she double majors in political science and psychology with a minor in journalism studies. Her hobbies consist of singing, gardening, writing, reading, and playing on the ukulele. If you want to find her outside of studying, you’ll see her at the local coffee shop reading a DC comics book.
UCF Contributor