The petition was launched by Maria Beatrice Giovanardi in June, who came across words like 'bitch, piece, baggage, frail, bird and bint' used as a definition of a woman, in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.
According to her, if you search the definition of a woman, you'll come across a sexist sentence that calls woman a 'daft'.
The word 'woman' in the Oxford Dictionary also has some disrespectful words listed as a direct synonym like 'bitch, piece, baggage and bint'.
Well, that's not all. The definition of a 'man' has 25 examples but the definition of a woman only comprises of 5 examples, which goes to show that the double standards only applied to the definition of a woman. In her petition Marie wrote,
This is completely unacceptable by a reputable source like the Oxford University Press, but it’s even more worrying when you consider how much influence they have in setting norms around our language. These misogynistic definitions have become widespread because search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo license the use of Oxford Dictionaries for their definitions.
Marie demands the removal of all phrases and definitions that discriminate and humiliate women. She also wants Oxford University to expand the dictionary's entry for 'woman' by including examples that represent minorities (transgender woman, lesbian woman).
A spokesperson for Oxford University said,
We are taking the points raised in the petition very seriously. Our dictionaries strive to reflect, rather than dictate, language so any changes will be made on that basis.
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