I don’t think “female” is offensive.

I thought it was offensive because some (supposedly female) users said it was offensive; but I didn’t understand why my female friends used the term (female).

I found another saying that it wasn’t offensive, and I immediate copied that belief.

LGBTQ+ politics is confusing …

  • TheConquestOfBed
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    22
    ·
    2 years ago

    “Woman” is more appropriate for adults 90% of the time unless you’re talking specifically in a scientific context. “Female” feels way too medical, like you’re talking about something foreign or of another species. Before incels popularized it, I’d never heard the term used as commonly as it is now. In fact, I’d only ever seen it used the way it is now in media where you’re supposed to recognize the character as sexist (“haha, the female sex is a mystery indeed” kinda thing).

    It’s become oddly normalized in Gen Z, but the question I have is: why aren’t men called “males” nearly at the same frequency?

    • iortega@lemmy.eus
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      6
      ·
      2 years ago

      I’m not a native English speaker, but I thought “female” and “male” were both used quite commonly. I guess I’m wrong.

      • TheConquestOfBed
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        4
        ·
        2 years ago

        Usually I hear “guys” or “dudes” most often to refer to men. But women don’t get to have fun words. :(

        • iortega@lemmy.eus
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          2
          ·
          2 years ago

          I don’t know, but in Spanish, there are numerous ways to name men and women. And trends change year to year, so the slang to call each of them changes too… so it might just be a cultural or society issue. But well, I’m not in contact much with “common” people since I stopped using proprietary and enterprise software, so I only know about several terms from relatives and videos, but I can ensure that there is several of them. It might also be that Spanish is spoken in a lot of countries, which, I guess, might be the reason for this rich term variety.

    • meloo@lemmy.perthchat.org
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      4
      ·
      2 years ago

      why aren’t men called “males” nearly at the same frequency?

      this deserves a post of it’s own too.

      IMO, bro, dude, homie are hip man/male/boy alternatives. Whereas women don’t have as many hip ones. I used to say ‘girls’, but then i saw what some people mean when the say girls in dark places on matrix (underage) and switched to women/female. Lass/lassy is old school cool and would love to see that as a come back.

      Alternatively, reclaiming ‘female dog’ would work too

      • pingveno
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        5
        ·
        2 years ago

        I’ve tended to use “female” when talking about both girls (children) and women. Calling a grown woman a girl always felt a little infantalizing, especially when that isn’t done much to men. At the same time, girls are not women, and I try to be precise in my wording. Female (and male) just make the most sense.

        • meloo@lemmy.perthchat.org
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          1
          ·
          2 years ago

          especially when that isn’t done much to men

          Ive heard this is in relation to some guys preferring women as girls sexually but it being less common for people to prefer boys sexually. Also iirc that weeb moe movement focuses on girls not boys.

      • comfy
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        1
        ·
        2 years ago

        Alternatively, reclaiming ‘female dog’ would work too

        I have a feeling many younger feminists have done that intentionally, treating the word as a badge of honor for their vocalness in protesting. For the past 26 years, Portland, Oregon had a feminist zine with that exact title.

  • gun
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    20
    arrow-down
    1
    ·
    2 years ago

    No, it’s just an adjective for gender. But if instead of saying something like “my best friend is a woman” you said “my best friend is a female” it sounds like you are an alien talking about some kind of specimen.

    • VictimOfReligion@lemmygrad.ml
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      11
      ·
      2 years ago

      " I am a fellow human too. My hobbies are to intake water, nutrients, exchange gases via oxidation through a respiratory system and replicate long chains of protein. Ayy lmao. "

    • Tmpod@lemmy.ptM
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      6
      ·
      2 years ago

      Great answer. Context, tonality and people’s mood/feelings vary wildly and are fundamental aspects of how someone will take such a thing.
      Your last point is key - when unsure (e.g. not talking to a close friend), choose the most polite words.

  • Mad@sopuli.xyz
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    14
    ·
    2 years ago

    incels occasionally use it to depersonify women. like they’ll call men just men, and then call women females. that’s a very specific context though, so any sane person will not get offended if you use the word normally

  • comfy
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    11
    arrow-down
    1
    ·
    2 years ago

    To provide some responses to your extra questions:

    I don’t think “female” is offensive.

    The frustrating thing about offense is it often relies on people having a different perspective, which sometimes is obvious (especially with terms clearly used as insults) but sometimes is more subtle. I feel that it helps to seek out a properly-explained reason someone is offended, to understand the context rather than just the text.

    LGBTQ+ politics is confusing …

    It’s not even that (those letters stand for things and ‘female’ isn’t one). It’s not even feminism either, I’ve seen “femcel” misandrist groups using ‘male’ the same way to alienate and objectify. Some other people have already explained, it’s a technical biological/medical term that is legitimate, but some people (especially those who don’t like women) use it in a context that is dehumanizing and objectifying, by not using adjectives or nouns more casual and specific to people. Context is the big thing with offense and something I think needs to be emphasized.

    I understand that the nuance, like most social nuance, my seem silly and a big thing to care about; a woman is literally an adult female person and that isn’t in itself an insult, it’s a category. But using technical language in a casual context can be interpreted as treating someone like they’re an object of study rather than a fellow human, same with referring to people as ‘it’ (a few people are fine with that for they purpose of explicitly denouncing the concept of gender, but most people would be offended if you referred to them as ‘it’ instead of (for examples) their name or another gendered pronoun).

    I think much of it comes down to how “male/female/intersex” are often used in non-technical language when referring to animals (or flowers or electronic connectors), whereas “boy/girl/kid/man/woman” and others usually refer to humans (although they are regularly used also with pet animals, which people often like to humanize and develop personal bonds). That’s why some people are instinctively offended by male/female in a casual non-technical context, like “I find you males interesting” or “It’s easy to talk to you guys, but females make me nervous”. It’s alienating and sexualizing.

    • ree
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      6
      arrow-down
      1
      ·
      2 years ago

      It’s interresting because in French (my native language) female is only ever used in it’s biological aspect and after such definition you can find in a dictionary :

      “familiar, offensive : woman” source

      An example would be : “Bob is really horny and is looking for a female/male”

      So I always though that using female in a sentence was to reducing women to their reproductive dimensions.

      But English is more complex. If i understand correctly female is valid as an adjective for persons “female/male friendship , female/male artist”. That would sounds really wrong in French if translated literally. And the noun in a dictionary is “formal : woman or girl”.

      So to jump back on your comment, it’s all about context and usage. “Words politics” is a super interresting topics. At the moment, probably because of the internet, we observe over really short amount of time linguistic shift due to the usage by specific groups. Sometimes it is pretty easy to follow because the groups are large and divide society such as political orientation but sometimes it stem from obscure subculture such as incel here…

  • Whom
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    8
    ·
    2 years ago

    It’s contextual. “Females” is often a slightly nicer way of saying “removed,” but it’s also often just a neutral term. I’d say the top comment from /u/frankaiden02 in that thread gets it right.

  • Tryp@fuckreddit.tryp.digital
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    5
    arrow-down
    1
    ·
    2 years ago

    What is offensive is just a personal perspective so you’re gunna get mixed answers. Ultimately it will always come down to what the person meant by it and how the other person perceives it, by default that is a mixed bag of emotions and reactions.

    I’ll note that I do something I call synonym panic where I get to a keyword in a sentence and I kind of blank, start struggling for words then start cycling through all the possible words I could use it and often land on some pretty odd sentences. Referring to the ‘past’ as the ‘back-timies’ as a prime example or more commonly just saying the ‘stuff’ or ‘things’ because I’m afraid I’m about to choose the wrong word.

  • bluetoucan
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    3
    arrow-down
    1
    ·
    edit-2
    2 years ago

    It might be offensive to some people, but even if it doesn’t offend it makes you sound like a weirdo. This has nothing to do with LGBTQ+ politics

      • Redpandalovely @midwest.social
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        6
        ·
        2 years ago

        I agree. The word is fine, it is how it is used. Like the word male and plural forms of both words. The anonymity shows how people really think of others and perpetuates toxic thinking and treatment of others.

  • yxzi
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    3
    arrow-down
    1
    ·
    2 years ago

    It’s only offensive if it’s meant to be offensive

  • meloo@lemmy.perthchat.org
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    7
    arrow-down
    6
    ·
    2 years ago

    Great question, keeping up with what is political correct is very difficult and it’s easy to get cancelled. Which sounds like i’m sprewing rightwing bs, but if someone knows how to keep up with the trends let me know. (That isn’t spend my life on twitter trending hashtags)

    • sexy_peach@feddit.de
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      7
      ·
      edit-2
      2 years ago

      Great question, keeping up with what is political correct is very difficult and it’s easy to get cancelled.

      It’s not really though. As long as you’re open to understand a good argument against a habit that you learned earlier and you’re a respectful person, you shouldn’t have a problem.

    • MerchantsOfMisery
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      3
      ·
      2 years ago

      but if someone knows how to keep up with the trends let me know.

      Make a mistake, get corrected, and act accordingly. I say this as someone who has made plenty of mistakes and has been corrected plenty of times, and these days I find it easier to keep up with language that evolves. I wouldn’t say it’s an easy way to get cancelled, unless one insists on planting their feet in the dirt and not being willing to budge at all.

      • meloo@lemmy.perthchat.org
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        1
        arrow-down
        1
        ·
        2 years ago

        There was that one celebrity who was cancelled for saying ‘all lives matter’. They apologized and said they didn’t know.

        • MerchantsOfMisery
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          2
          ·
          2 years ago

          Were they cancelled, or did they just say a really stupid statement and face public backlash that typically come as a response to divisive, contrarian statements?

    • bluetoucan
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      2
      ·
      2 years ago

      Saying that this is keeping up with changing trends of what is politically correct language implies that there was a time when referring to women as “females” outside the context of a biology lesson didn’t sound weird as hell. Have you got any sources for mass usage of the term in that way from the past?

  • angarabebesi
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    1
    ·
    2 years ago

    There is nothing offensive about it. There are people who will get offended at anything and you can’t live your life constantly in fear of such people.