16 Derogatory Words Used To Describe Women

16 Derogatory Words Used To Describe Women

Too ambitious? A negative personality trait? That's cause you're a woman.
20109
views

Growing up, I was called “too ambitious,” “feisty” and “bossy” by professors, peers and family. These words were thrown at me and lead me to break my determination, extinguish my passion and hinder my ability to lead. I never truly realized the extent of the effect these words had on me until I attended college and learned that I was purposefully holding myself back because of words people described me with, as I was being told me to be less of myself.

The following are just a few among MANY:

1. Airhead, n.

Usually refers to someone, male or female, who is simple-minded and vapid. Now, mainly thanks to the media it’s come to be synonymous with this type of woman, who aspires to dye her hair yellow (If you've read Bossypants you'll understand why I used yellow and not blonde) with extensive knowledge about celebrity life. Uhh dying my hair and having extensive knowledge about Hollywood celebrity life doesn't make me an airhead. #lolnot


2. Ambitious, adj.

Having a strong desire for success. Nothing bad about it right? But when used in accordance to women, being ambitious is not a positive trait but rather one that is frowned upon. Just ask Cara Delevingne and Madonna, two women who have been criticized for being too ambitious. #eyeroll

3. Abrasive, n.

Irritating or causing annoyance. This word is the up and coming term to describe women in powerful positions. Even Forbes conducted a study where they claimed that "abrasive" appeared "17 times in women's professional performance reviews" and only once for men. Contrary to women, men were actually encouraged to be MORE aggressive. #SMH


4. Bossy, adj

A personal favorite of mine. I can't tell you how many times I've been called bossy. While men are called strong-minded and are rarely called bossy, for women it has much less flattering connotation. As Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook claims, "When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.”

Words like bossy send a message: don't raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead." #banbossy

5. Bitchy, adj

Oh yes, on top of being bitches, women can also be bitchy, which basically means being 'malicious or snide.' This word is usually associated women in powerful positions, like a female boss or CEO. Men? Nah, He's the boss, he has an excuse for being mean. #doublestandards

6. Bubbly, adj

Excited, glowing, animated! Let me ask you something; when have you ever heard a man referred to as being bubbly? Answer: never. Because we're all pretty fluffy unicorns, always excited and batting our lashes at men. #B****PLEASE

7. Emotional, adj

Emotional is to Woman, as Emotionless is to man. And why is that you ask? Because maleness is associated with the inability to be in touch with your emotions. Here just in, men have emotions, too. The word is supposed to be gender neutral, applicable to both men and women. But its not. Like ever. #dafuu

8. Feisty, adj

We've got another "lively" one. Great. Daisy Lewis, the Downton Abbey actress asks the question that's probably on your mind, "Have you heard a man described as feisty? Have you heard a male character described as feisty? I think not." #raisedeyebrow

9. High-maintenance, adj

If you're a woman and have been called 'high-maintenance' put your hands up! Yes, I'm a woman who loves her manicures, money, traveling and I do have demands. Because cleanliness and having standards and aspirations is a bad thing. Basically, this word is deeply rooted in sexism. #ihavestandards

10. Hormonal, adj.

When have I been called hormonal? Too many times to count. When have I been asked if I'm on my periods? Also countless times. Newsflash, both men and women have hormones, and both can be hormonal. #facts #themoreyouknow

11. Hysterical, adj

Hysterical is derived from the word Hysteria, a condition that only really existed because male doctors were too lazy to delve deeper into the science of the female anatomy. It applies to women today to basically mean irrational. Because men can't be irrational *cough cough* TRUMP. #SCOFF

12. Illogical, adj and Irrational, adj

Feelings = men and women. Men and women. Expressing too many feelings equals illogical/ irrational. How does that even make sense? Once again, the world should be reminded, that men too have emotions, men too can be illogical and men too can be irrational. See Hysterical. #PFF

13. Sassy, adj.

I don't like this word. First of all, it's linked to gender, sexuality, and race. It reduces people to stereotypes and is almost never applied to heterosexual men. Also, why does a strong woman have to be sassy? And why can't a straight man be sassy? #WHYUNOBESASSYMEN

14. Voluptuous, adj.

When have we ever called a man voluptuous? Answer; never. We call women voluptuous and curvy because the word has sexual undertones. I said I was a woman not a sexual object #knowyourwords


15. Whining, v.

When a woman complains, she's whining. When a man complains, he's... well just complaining. Which one's worse. Ding, ding ding! 'Whining' is the correct answer! #facepalm

16. Working Mom n.

Why does the word "working" have to be separate from mom. We don't say "working dad". If you ask me, it's a derogatory description of the word mom, basically saying that being a mom and being a working mom are two different things. They're not! #upliftourmoms

Cover Image Credit: PEXELS

Popular Right Now

Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

6424
views

Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
797
views

I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

Related Content

Facebook Comments