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Edited 1 year, 4 months ago

Poll: POLL: Is it weird to use the word "Female"? (277 votes)

Yes. 32%
No. 66%

What up duders.

As some of you might have noticed, I'm currently in a discussion regarding the word "female". Some random duder used it when commenting on the video for the second part of the PAX panel. I quote:

First female I've seen to ask a question on one of these and IMO she had the best one, good job ma'am!

I obviously think that's PURDY WEIRD. It just feels so detatched. Like we're watching a documentary on Animal Planet. Imagine you're at the hospital, and your baby comes to the world, the nurse comes over and says:

It's a beautiful baby female!

In both those istances, the right word to use would be girl (or woman for the first one). Female is something that's normal to use when talking science and stuff.

So, let's settle this. In that context, was it weird to use "female"?

#51 Edited by bennyboy (328 posts) -

@trebert: Oh, didn't read your first post in that conversation. Thank goodness that wasn't the case!

EDIT: Wait, so judging by Canteau's response...my reading comprehension is just fine? Screw it I don't care anymore. Where's my coffee.

#52 Edited by trebert (45 posts) -
@canteu said:

@bennyboy: Also the fact there are alternative nouns which can be used more accurately in more situations, it's generally a poor choice for a noun.

I only ever say Man, or Woman in these cases when I'm distinguishing someone as an adult. So, why is it less accurate when you'd be using a casual more neutral word, were it a guy being talked about.

#53 Edited by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@trebert: I never said that. My statement is generally accepted without gender coming into play.

Man/Woman and Boy/Girl are not more "accurate" since they fulfil the same role as the adjective, but they can only be used as nouns (and have the added bonus of distinguishing age), which is generally why it's better to use them than the adjective/noun that is Male/Female.

@bennyboy: Who the fuck is Canteau? You should work on your reading comprehension!

#54 Edited by bennyboy (328 posts) -
#55 Edited by trebert (45 posts) -

@canteu: Yes, but they're used to distinguish maturity, and gender[edit:when I would use a word that just references gender were it a male]. Would you have referred to a male, as a man in that same "first x I've seen to ask" sentence were that the case? I know that I wouldn't have.

#56 Posted by Milkman (16646 posts) -

It is rather...livestocky, yeah it's weird.

Online
#57 Posted by Jimbo (9799 posts) -

There is no 'safe' option here.

Using female (noun) as a noun isn't 'wrong' (as in 'incorrect') though. It may be considered disrespectful, bad form or even 'weird', but that doesn't mean it's being used erroneously.

#58 Edited by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@trebert: I already covered this in an earlier post to you

"@trebert: In your example, the correct use is male, as you are using it as an adjective. If there was no noun following it, then it would be Woman or Man.

The first man on the scene.

The first male officer on the scene.

You can't use an adjective on its own as a noun, thus adjective nouns."

edited to fit.

#59 Edited by Legion_ (1270 posts) -

I must add that I also find it strange how quick people are on the trigger around these parts. I mean, why are people so hostile on such a goofy site? Obviously I think it's weird to use the word "female" in that context. Because of that, I feel that I can say that - to me - those of you voted no are weird in that way. Not all over weird, just a little.

And just because I said it, it certainly doesn't make it a universal fact. That's just my opinion, and I can choose to present that opinion in a spesific way. After all, I can only talk for myself. Instead of constantly writing "in my opinion" and similar stuff, I choose to just say it. If I am speaking for more people than myself, I will present that in my post. So, unless otherwise is mentioned, I speak for me, and only me.

#60 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@jimbo:

I'd say that it's wrong on the grounds that you're using an adjective as a noun, but English is a fickle bitch that doesn't take kindly to semantic categorization. As such, it merely sounds weird, partially because it reduces a woman entirely to a description. (Awkwardly phrased, but I hope I got my point across.)

#61 Posted by trebert (45 posts) -

@canteu: That was in reference to formal writing, news and the like. There's a stark difference in the casualness, which I felt counted as a separate case, but I'll take your response to mean that it doesn't factor into your word choices. Personally, I'd only write/speak with that level of formality at serious engagements, but to each their own style I suppose.

#62 Posted by Slag (4242 posts) -

Well it shouldn't be, but given the way I've seen it used by d-bag Bros and Guidos in the club they definitely have a knack for making it weird.

So depends on context I guess.

#63 Posted by Neurotic (632 posts) -

@legion_ said:

I must add that I also find it strange how quick people are on the trigger around these parts.

Yet you took issue with a dude using a word.

@legion_ said:

Not all over weird, just a little.

I believe you said 'major creepy' and accused them of lacking social skills. That's doesn't sound like just 'a little weird'.

#64 Posted by teh_destroyer (3566 posts) -

Female=Sex?

#65 Posted by Icicle7x3 (1178 posts) -
Any Objections, Lady?

#66 Edited by PillClinton (3291 posts) -

Female is perfectly fine. Here's why: when mentioning a male, you have a more varied selection of age distinctions that are all socially acceptable and politically correct. You can call a male a boy if he's young, a man if he's grown and a 'guy' for everything in between, and no one takes issue with these labels.

For females, it's either girl if she's young (younger than say 20 or so, or else it's potentially 'offensive'), or woman/lady if she's older. Now, the problem arises when woman/lady is too formal, or you're describing, say, a 25 year old. In this case, woman/lady just sounds weird, excessively formal, and stilted, but girl is potentially disrespectful, so one must resort to female. I thinks that's perfectly appropriate and anyone who takes offense to that likely hasn't looked very hard at all the other options.

These old languages we speak are just that: old. They retain remnants of times long past when social norms were very different. Gender distinction in something as simple and basic as the sounds we make to communicate ideas (even when gender almost never has any real relevance to the idea) only perpetuates division.

#67 Posted by Legion_ (1270 posts) -

@neurotic said:

@legion_ said:

I must add that I also find it strange how quick people are on the trigger around these parts.

Yet you took issue with a dude using a word.

@legion_ said:

Not all over weird, just a little.

I believe you said 'major creepy' and accused them of lacking social skills. That's doesn't sound like just 'a little weird'.

I thought it was strange, yes. I didn't get all up in his face about it.

I said that they were weird. Then I said that use of the word is "major creepy".

Thank you.

#68 Edited by Sanity (1896 posts) -

All about context... It sounds weird to me at times, but generally i think no.

#69 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

I say girl or woman. Female seems too PC

#70 Edited by TheManiacsGnome (269 posts) -

When my girlfriend walks into my apartment I on occasion say "Hey there fella!", I don't know why I'm saying this here as it's bound to be misconstrued as her being homely or something. I don't know, I don't particularly care THAT much about any of this kinda jazz, while I agree a better word should be found that wont offend those, where woman and lady don't necessarily apply.

Ladies.

#71 Edited by BisonHero (6432 posts) -

@legion_ said:

@nivash said:

It's not just weird, it's actually wrong. "Female" is typically never used as a noun when referring to humans, only as an adjective. The correct word in your first example is obviously "woman" and in the second "girl". The correct use of "female" is contexts like "female gamer" or similar. And yes, I've noticed this too.

While on the topic: I've seen a lot of people on this very forum being incapable of using "woman" and "women" correctly. Learn the difference people;the first is singular, the second plural.

Strangely, I almost never encounter similar problems when using "male" or "man/men". It's an oddly selective error.

Well said.

The poll results are straight up wrong. In the given context, there are human-specific nouns. That's why it's always funny on Futurama when Morbo starts off a news story with something like "Human female Nicole Kidman was recently spotted doing..."

#72 Edited by Darson (450 posts) -

'Duder', as I understand it, has a genderless distinction.

Just pointing that out.

#73 Edited by ArbitraryWater (11621 posts) -

Considering I use the term "Female" when I want to be creepy, I'm saying yes.

#74 Edited by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

Female is perfectly fine. Here's why: when mentioning a male, you have a more varied selection of age distinctions that are all socially acceptable and politically correct. You can call a male a boy if he's young, a man is he's grown and a 'guy' for everything in between, and no one takes issue with these labels.

For females, it's either girl if she's young (younger than say 20 or so, or else it's potentially 'offensive'), or woman/lady if she's older. Now, the problem arises when woman/lady is too formal, or you're describing, say, a 25 year old. In this case, woman/lady just sounds weird, excessively formal, and stilted, but girl is potentially disrespectful, so one must resort to female. I thinks that's perfectly appropriate and anyone who takes offense to that likely hasn't looked very hard at all the other options.

These old languages we speak are just that: old. They retain remnants of times long past when social norms were very different. Gender distinction in something as simple and basic as the sounds we make to communicate ideas (even when gender almost never has any real relevance to the idea) only perpetuates division.

calling a woman in her 20's+ a girl is RARELY offensive. they don't see it as offensive. i've personally never seen ANY female be offended as being called a "girl".

however calling an adult male a "boy" is often seen as offensive.

so uh.... what?

#75 Edited by PillClinton (3291 posts) -

@clonedzero: Huh, well I have, although, only when I've encountered more feminist-leaning people. But I don't think many self respecting 20s-30s aged women would necessarily like being referred to as a girl. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong.

Also, I should clarify; I think using 'female' as an adjective is in most cases perfectly fine. Noun, much less often, but it depends on the context. For instance, in the the context of the first example in the OP, I think it's fine, but saying "that female over there" would indeed be weird.

#76 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@pillclinton: Most self respecting 20-30 year olds don't give a fuck how you refer to them. They have this thing called "self respect".

Also, lady is the female equivalent to bloke. At least in the England.

Female is way more formal than using a noun used to denote a human female. Almost like... science or something.

#77 Edited by Legion_ (1270 posts) -

Considering I use the term "Female" when I want to be creepy, I'm saying yes.

Nailed it.

#78 Posted by Red12b (9084 posts) -

yes, it's fucking dumb, stop it.

#79 Posted by Red12b (9084 posts) -

it's sad that so many people don't find it weird

#80 Edited by Arabes (338 posts) -
  
#81 Posted by Legion_ (1270 posts) -

@red12b said:

it's sad that so many people don't find it weird

You speak the truth.

#82 Edited by FreakAche (2952 posts) -

#83 Edited by hiono (49 posts) -

since im in the military its pretty much all theyre called

#84 Posted by Fattony12000 (7283 posts) -

They prefer the term "brood sow".