Merriam-Webster has revised its entry for the word “femininity” after a Los Angeles writer said the example sentence offered online by the dictionary was sexist.
— Ali Segel (@OnlineAlison) November 15, 2016
@OnlineAlison AND IT'S GONE. Oof. Sorry about that.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) November 15, 2016
Alison Segel wasn’t the first to take issue with how dictionaries have defined “femininity.”
merriam webster definition of femininity is predictable and disappointing
— mm mm honeybee (@postmoderneel) August 17, 2016
— CSMMD_WIU (@CSMMD_WIU) April 3, 2012
Google dictionary fail. How else might we celebrate our femininity? pic.twitter.com/Zsg7N93r68
— Lauren Carlyle Smith (@lscribbly) November 5, 2015
Merriam-Webster’s quick revision won praise from prominent women’s magazines.
Note to self: The dictionary doesn't actually know everything. https://t.co/9EhwiU6qBc
— Glamour (@glamourmag) November 16, 2016
— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) November 16, 2016
— ELLEUK (@ELLEUK) November 17, 2016
But not everyone was thrilled with the revision.
Left force Dictionary to redefine "Feminity" How about "She expressed her femininity by shaving her beard"? https://t.co/MTMuKCOQdg
— David Vance (@DVATW) November 16, 2016
— Sandra Rupp (@ExecCareerCoach) November 16, 2016
#feminism changed definition of femininity in dictionary to uhhhh
Makes more sense now. pic.twitter.com/399UK0ucjE
— Landon Ritchie (@LandonRitche) November 16, 2016
@OnlineAlison exactly, the dictionary was literally promoting the fact that she didn't have to sacrifice her femininity to succeed
— Hightop David (@HightopDavid) November 16, 2016
Segel fired back at some of her critics.
JUST INTERESTING 2 POINT OUT: every website called me a woman except the one mocking me called me a girl. I'm 30. pic.twitter.com/er8fVGopZe
— Ali Segel (@OnlineAlison) November 17, 2016