In today's antifeminist news, Oxford Dictionaries is apparently enforcing the patriarchy through example sentences of definitions. Who would've EVEN thought?
Say, on some nonspecific 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— emery lord (@emerylord) January 22, 2016
"research" - male pronouns
IS THIS THE 1800s GUYS CMON NOW
— Michael Oman-Reagan (@OmanReagan) January 21, 2016