The dictionary is finally catching up with the times. After someone tweeted Merriam-Webster the current definition of femininity, the dictionary immediately changed the outdated phrase.
Yesterday, if you looked up femininity in the dictionary, you would’ve seen an example of the word’s possible usage reading, “She managed to become a CEO without sacrificing her femininity.” But after Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s lexicographer, saw the tweet that brought the definition to his attention, he called for an immediate update. Now, at least on the Merriam-Webster website, there’s no example.
Though this might not seem like such a huge deal, language inevitably informs culture, and even something as minor as an outdated dictionary definition can reinforce stereotypes and means of oppression. Merriam-Webster’s edit is a small, but necessary change in the fight for equality. Now, if only our future president could be as progressive as them.