NPR : News

Australian PM's Fiery Speech, Prompts Change In Definition Of 'Misogyny'

Mark pointed out the fiery, unrelenting verbal beat down that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered to the leader of the opposition on the floor of Parliament.

It was as hot as political fireworks get and The Guardian reports that the speech provoked a debate about the treatment of women in politics and another, more nerdy, conversation: Was Gillard misusing "the word misogyny and falsely accusing Tony Abbott of hating women?"

Australia's Macquarie Dictionary, the premiere authority on Australian English, has now settled the debate, saying it is changing the definition of the word. Reuters explains:

"[The dictionary] has decided to broaden the definition of 'misogyny' to better match the way the word has been used over the past 30 years.

"The dictionary currently defines misogyny as 'hatred of women,' but will now add a second definition to include 'entrenched prejudice against women,' suggesting Abbott discriminated against women with his sexist views.

"'The language community is using the word in a slightly different way,' dictionary editor Sue Butler told Reuters."

The Oxford English Dictionary, the authority on the English language period, already included "prejudice against women" in its definition.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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