This is why you shouldn't call women "females."

4 Reasons You're Disrespectful AF For Referring To Women As 'Females'

It's really simple.


I have always been turned off by men who use the word "females" to describe women. I mean, I had never heard those men use the word "males" to describe themselves. In fact, time and time again I would hear men use the words "females" and "men" in the same sentence or thought. And if that wasn't suspect enough, I began hearing men use the word "female" to describe a black woman and then "woman" to describe a white woman, again in the same thought. So what is really being said, here?

1. "Woman" and "female" do indeed have two different meanings.

First of all, it is dehumanizing and completely neglects the fact that the poor person being referred to is, in fact, a person when you refer to them as plainly "female."

The term "woman" refers specifically to human beings, while the term "female" is a scientific term used to describe the sex of species capable of giving birth. Ergo, you'd refer to your dog as "female," and your wife as a "woman." There is no need to refer to a woman by her reproductive abilities because women are not just sexual objects here for your consumption.

2. It's grammatically incorrect.

The word "female" is an adjective, and if we can think all the way back to the 5th grade, we remember that adjectives can only be used with a noun, not in place of one. And in case we have forgotten, a noun is a person, place, thing or idea, while adjectives are for describing those nouns.

Using an adjective without a noun would be like someone saying, "The obedient behaved the whole semester," instead of "The obedient class behaved the whole semester"

So for our delight, every language in the world has come up with a NOUN to refer to humans with vaginas... women, mujer, donne, femmes... do we get the point?

Now, you can say, "female President," or "female mathematician," because in those cases, "President" and "mathematician" are the nouns connected to the adjective.

3. It has a colloquial meaning, and you know it.

We all know "female" is a synonym for "bitch." Stop the games. Ya know, kinda like when white people say "thug" in place of "nigger." We know what you mean. And in listening to people who frequently use the term "female," as opposed to "woman," you'll notice they generally do so in an aggressive way. The term is usually used to imply contempt or inferiority, especially when the emphasis is put on the first syllable "FEmales!"

And if you've ever been called a misogynist for using the term, well there's a reason for that. More often than not the term is used by those with backward and toxic views of women.

4. You know all of this.

You're not that dumb. This has been explained to you time and time again in one form or another. You just chose to ignore it because you either hate women and think of us as just "females" or your too proud and don't like to admit when you're wrong.

And I know what you are saying, "why are you females so offended about everything?" "It's not even that deep," "Uh! Not everything is sexist," "It's not negative." But it actually is offensive. It's rooted in patriarchy and the mere fact that the majority of women would prefer you refer to them as women should be enough.

And the pushback from people who are guilty of incorrectly and inappropriately using the term "female," is enough to give pause. When I've asked to be referred to as a woman, I've been met with resistance, anger, and confusion.


Popular Right Now

Mansplaining Is A Myth

If we're fighting for equality, we shouldn't silence half of the population.

The term "mansplaining" is often used to silence opposing opinions that come from men. Cambridge Dictionary defines "mansplaining" as "explain[ing] something to someone in a way that suggests that they are stupid; used especially when a man explains something to a woman that she already understands." According to this definition, some might argue that mansplaining only applies when a man is being condescending to a woman. In practice, however, the idea of mansplaining is often extended to silence men who might have different opinions regarding issues like feminism. A man might also be accused of "mansplaining" even if he is talking about something that has nothing to do with gender. The concept of mansplaining hinders productive discussion and is sexist to both women and men.

I know what some of you are thinking: "Men cannot experience sexism! Only those with institutional power have the ability to be sexist!" First of all, this supposed definition of sexism is extremely sexist towards women. You're telling me that women in the world have never held any power? While there are some countries in the world in which women are treated like second class citizens, there are many countries in which women are CEO's or hold political office. Men can in fact experience sexism. Are men oppressed in the west? Not necessarily. However, men do often face unfair treatment in the United States; courts are often biased towards women in custody battles, and male victims of rape and domestic abuse are hardly ever taken seriously, but I digress. The concept of "mansplaining" is sexist towards men because it completely disregards a person's opinions and ideas simply because they came from a man. Are there experiences that women face that might be difficult for men to relate to? Sure. The same can be said for women trying to relate to some experiences that men face. However, someone should not be dismissed simply because of their gender. I've often seen cases in which men are silenced during conversations about gender issues. This is counter-intuitive; we're fighting for equality here! If we're going to talk about gender, then both women and men should be a part of that conversation because the last time I checked, there are more genders than just female.

As a woman myself, I find the idea of "mansplaining" to be insulting. Mansplaining is often code for "Be quiet because you disagree with me!" We are not so fragile that we cannot handle opposing views. Women are stronger than that! We are smart enough to defend our views. We do not need censorship. The idea that women should not have to listen to those who disagree with them is incredibly infantilizing. The truth is, there are always going to be people with opinions that you do not like. People are going to disagree with you. Defend your position on issues instead of silencing the opposition. The concept of mansplaining is counter-intuitive to the feminist movement as well. Feminism was supposed to be about promoting equality for women. Feminists should be encouraging women to be brave and assertive and stand up for what they believe, not hide while accusing the other side of "mansplaining." We as women are better than that. If we truly want to be equal to men, then we should not be afraid to have open discussions in which both men and women are free to express their opinions.

Cover Image Credit: Washington University Political Review

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

Paying To Be A Woman: The Tampon Tax Explained

We often hear of the so-called "tampon tax" or the "pink tax" referring to the sales tax placed on tampons, here is why it is so important to eradicate it.


Periods are often a very taboo topic and aren't often discussed. In many countries, specifically in South Asia, periods are considered so secretive and odd that women have to be secluded or exiled during their period or cannot participate in daily activities. Men are so often uncomfortable talking about feminine hygiene and the natural process of menstruation, which makes women insecure about their periods and less likely to discuss them openly as a part of their bodies. With periods as this foreign, hidden thing that we don't talk about, it isn't hard to believe that legislatively, it is not considered a natural or need-based process.

The tax code in the United States specifies a sales tax for "luxury items". Non-luxury items usually include food, medical, supplies, agricultural supplies, and sometimes clothing. The list varies from state to state, but items that aren't taxed are those considered to be an item we need rather than want. Tampons don't make this list, meaning they are considered a "luxury" item or something women buy to make their lives easier without necessarily needing. This could not be further from the truth, as women need to have a way to control their bleeding in order to go about their lives. Women cannot bleed freely without staining clothing, furniture, etc. and free bleeding is not acceptable anywhere in modern society.

Arguably, tampons and other sanitary products should be considered a medical item, since they must be replaced every four to six hours or women risk toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Further, menstruation is a medical process that needs to be dealt with in order to live a comfortable life. Women need access to tampons in order to function during their period. Making tampons expensive and only accessible to wealthier women is not only wrong but discriminatory, as it prohibits women who cannot afford period products from getting the schooling and careers that women who can afford them can get.

Women spend nearly $2,000 on tampons in their lifetimes, which is a pretty significant price tag for something that occurs naturally and is out of your control. Further, women spend an average of $11,400 on birth control over their lifetimes, which is the only way to avoid the need to purchase tampons. The one way to avoid having your period costs more than actually having your period, so this is definitely a need for women everywhere.

Only 7 states currently do not tax tampons and 3 of those states have no sales tax at all. We need to put force behind legislation that eradicates the tampon tax in every state because it is simply immoral. Society has made menstruation, and as an extension simply being a woman, a degrading act. Girls hide their tampons at the store and go home from school because of stains. Making women literally pay for something that the public faults them for makes periods even more embarrassing. We need to get rid of the stigma surrounding periods and being female, which will only happen when we stop putting a price tag on menstruation.

Related Content

Facebook Comments