CNN reports that The Oxford University Press (OUP), which oversees multiple dictionaries including the Oxford English Dictionary, has changed its definition for the word “woman” after an online petition insisted it removes “sexist” language in their entry.
Earlier this year, Oxford University Press changed its entry for “woman” in its dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary, to include more positive ways to describe a female https://t.co/0bLXWUh5ed
— CNN (@CNN) November 10, 2020
In one entry, Oxford University Press described a woman as “a man’s wife, girlfriend, or lover.” The language has since been modified to show a woman can be “a person’s wife, girlfriend, or female lover,” instead of only a man’s.
Problematic synonyms for women like “wench” or “piece” were either removed or labeled as “offensive, derogatory, or dated” terms.
The updates were ignited by a 2019 Change.org petition that first called for the OUP to remove the antiquated verbiage. It has since received nearly 35,000 signatures.