In today's anti-feminist news, Oxford Dictionaries is apparently enforcing the patriarchy through example sentences of definitions. Who would've EVEN thought?
Say, on some non-specific day, you want to use the word "rabid," perhaps to describe a wild boar or some other slightly vicious forest animal. You decide to check out the word on Oxford Dictionaries, as it is generally known to be a reliable and trusty source of jargon. You come across the definition, which says, and I quote, "Having or proceeding from an extreme or fanatical support of or belief in something." Directly below, you'll find, and again I quote, "a rabid feminist."
Further below that? "(Of an animal) affected with rabies."
That's not all. Now, say you'd like to use the word "shrill" — perhaps to describe said rabid forest animal. You trudge back to Oxford Dictionaries in your desire to educate yourself once more, maybe a bit more begrudgingly this time. At the top of the page, you'll see the definition. "(Of a voice or sound) high-pitched and piercing."
Scroll a little ways further down, and "A shrill sound or cry" jumps out at you. The example sentence, as you may have come to expect: "the rising shrill of women's voices."
Because all women are high-pitched, piercing, and overall obnoxious-sounding, obviously.
Sadly, our misogynistic journey through Oxford Dictionaries is not yet over. The word "housework" has a particularly lovely example sentence. "In my experience, it would seem that the biggest problem facing new mothers is not housework but a general sense of isolation." And definitions 1.1 and 1.2 of "research" (at the top of the page) consist of entirely male pronouns.
Shout-out to YA author Emery Lord for bringing these things to my attention via her tweets. (Anthropologist Michael Oman-Reagan originally discovered the hot mess.) TBH, I couldn't be rolling my eyes harder right now. Raise the bar, Oxford Dictionaries!
"housework" - example sentence uses female pronouns
"research" - male pronouns
IS THIS THE 1800s GUYS CMON NOW
— emery lord (@emerylord) January 22, 2016
— Michael Oman-Reagan (@OmanReagan) January 21, 2016