Woman: wom⋅an. n. pl. wom⋅en: 1. An adult female human
“Woman” is a common word used to describe females without sounding patronising, or medical. Or at least I thought it was. What appears to be a harmless word, is apparently fraught with oppression.
Modern extreme feminists would have us believe that “woman” is a dirty word. Favoring terms such as womyn, wimmin, wombman (as if that’s not objectifying), and more recently, wom*n.
As you can see, they are all attempts to remove “man” from the equation.
The word wom*n is particularly prolific in university circles, but I would forgive you if you’ve never seen it before. It hasn’t made much of an impact at UTas… yet.
Let’s break that one down: “wo” – “m*n.” Where “m*n” now resembles “sh*t,” or “f*ck,”… Like “man” has become a swear word, a dirty word.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s first ponder the origin of the term “woman.”
“Woman” was first derived in middle Old English – centuries after the term “man” was in use, describing humans of both genders. “Woman” derives from the literal translation “Wife-man,” so perhaps feminists are onto something when they say that “woman” was coined to be inferior to “man.” Or, maybe it was just easier for those early English speakers to have a word that differentiates between the two.
And here we are, ~700 years on. Apparently the biggest challenge to the current feminist movement is to decide what women, sorry, wom*n, should call themselves.
Who cares about sexual violence, equal education, forced marriages and universal suffrage, not while those dirty, dirty men have infiltrated our very identity. Obviously our first priority is to determine what we let men call us. Then the rest will take care of itself.
Perhaps using wom*n is really just doing more harm than good. To a young woman who doesn’t get the point that’s being made, it’s confusing. To a feminist who cares about more important issues, it’s mildly insulting. To a man it must look downright stupid.
As I mentioned earlier, using “wom*n” turns “man” into a dirty word. It ignores the ideal of true equality of all sexes, and becomes offensive to any woman who doesn’t have a problem using the word “woman.” Are we to be considered lesser feminists because of that?
I hope you pardon my English as I continue to use the word “woman” unashamedly. And if you really have a problem speaking a language that ‘oppresses’ women in such a way; Parlez-vous français?