While reading the comments on yesterday's Crap Craigslist From A Dude post, I noticed that one sentiment popped up over and over again: our readers really hate it when men refer to women as "females."
"It's a definite "run the other way" indicator," writes commenter girlleastlikelyto, "that, and men who say "I love women!" Both indicate an inability to see women as individual human beings." Other commenters noted that the use of "females," to describe women seemed to be quite common amongst misogynists. As commenter FroderickFronkensteen writes, "It's a very subtle way of turning people into a biological category; it's used often with a tone or context of contempt for women."
I'll admit that the use of "females" (in a non-ironic way, anyway) automatically raises a few red flags for me, not only for the aforementioned reasons, but also because it's standard d-bag vocabulary, and it just sounds kind of creepy, sort of like "ladies" does when Demetri Martin uses it:
In some ways, I suppose, hearing a man use "females," is a bit of a blessing, as commenter CharlotteCorday points out: "It's like a warning light flashing, "avoid, avoid, avoid" to me." Surely there are other words that raise just as many red flags (or, at the very least, gross you out or get on your nerves): feel free to list them in the comments.