Nothing beats a dame — but don’t you dare call her that.
A London woman has initiated a petition against publisher Oxford University Press to strike what she believes to be sexist terms for women from its lexicon.
As of Thursday evening, Maria Giovanardi’s petition surpassed 30,000 signatures urging the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary to remove synonyms for “woman,” which include “bitch,” “mare,” “frail,” “petticoat” and “filly.”
“I was like, 'What’s going on? Why are these the synonyms?” the 28-year-old marketing professional told “Good Morning America.” "I don’t see myself like this as a woman.
The petition points out that women are targeted for online abuse on a daily basis and a change is necessary to reduce invective inflicted on females. It also asserts that one-third of women between the ages of 18 and 24 have been victimized.
“This sexist dictionary must change,” demands the petition. “These examples show women an sex objects, subordinate and/or an irritation to men.”
Giovanardi told CNN that she has been the victim of online abuse, including rape threats, since launching the petition.
“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,” reads the petition. “These misogynistic definitions have become widespread because search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo license the use of Oxford Dictionaries for their definitions.”