Some words or phrases we say are just common language, and we likely don’t think twice about why we say them. But thankfully, Amanda Montell is here to help us change that. As the host of the feminist linguistics show The Dirty Word on Wifey.tv, Montell explores how gender has profoundly impacted our language. While some origins of words or phrases may bring your feminist self down, Montell always presents the information in an awesomely informative way.
In her latest segment, she was joined by HelloGiggles’ own Beauty Editor Marie Lodi to discuss whether certain colloquial and formal phrases we say are sexist or not. What follows is an enlightening discussion on language and sexism.
For her special segment Sexist or Chill?, host Montell cited that she got the idea from Andrew Ti’s podcast Yo, Is This Racist?, but tweaked it to focus on sexism.
She had viewers submit phrases that could be considered sexist toward women, and Montell and Lodi talked out whether or not they are inherently offensive.
Montell and Lodi discuss terms like “feminine hygiene,” the always-tricky “you guys,” titles for women that imply marital status, and the newer term “cougar.” They try to assess where they fall on the sexist spectrum — if at all.
The episode is also full of fun facts, like Montell revealing that commercials for feminine hygiene products typically can’t reference the word “vagina” if they ever want to hit the air. That may make your feminist blood (mind the period pun) boil.
So watch The Dirty Word’s Sexist or Chill? segment above and see if the insights and background that Montell and Lodi present change your opinion on these terms. It’ll make you realize there’s a whole lot of sexism packed into even the smallest words.