This woman used the power of Twitter to change the dictionary’s definition of “femininity,” and HECK YES!
One of the great things about the current conversation about gender — specifically in regards to women — is that femininity (and what it even means to be feminine), is taking on a new meaning. Many different meanings, in fact.
But sometimes the world needs to catch up with the social climate, and this woman’s Tweet convinced Merriam-Webster to change their definition of “femininity” (shout out to Cosmo for finding this!).
Given that femininity includes girly-girls, tomboys and way (WAY) more, and being sexy means so many different things, we’re applauding Ali Segel (a HelloGiggles contributor!) for taking initiative and challenging an established institution to get with the times.
So here’s what went down: Last week during the election news, Segel was collecting inspiring words and artwork to put into a zine. She came across Merriam-Webster’s example sentence of femininity, and noticed it basically needed immediate updating.
"One woman sent in some poetry along with a screenshot of the definition of femininity being like, 'P.S., isn’t it insane that this is in the dictionary?!'"
Yes. Yes that is insane, not to mention unbelievably sexist and offensive. After Segel Tweeted it, Merriam-Webster responded in the most positive way.
And just like that, it was removed.
Way to take action, girl!
Of course, this is only the beginning of the changes that need to be made. Segel pointed out to Cosmo that the example sentence of femininity on Google is also incredibly sexist.
"She celebrates her femininity by wearing makeup and high heels."
As Segel has demonstrated, it is entirely possible to make meaningful changes simply by alerting the people responsible.