[Ads-l] Slight Antedating of "Sexist" (Adj.)

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Fri Jul 9 09:38:43 EDT 2021


Another early meaning of "sexism," noted in the OED definition, was "Originally: the state or condition of belonging to the male or female sex; categorization or reference on the basis of sex (now rare)."

Fred


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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Friday, July 9, 2021 9:27 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Slight Antedating of "Sexist" (Adj.)

Yes, that 1961 citation is the earliest known occurrence of the modern term "sexist."  It's in the OED, contributed to them many years ago by me.  The earliest known occurrence of the word "sexism" is more complicated -- the OED has a number of old citations, and I have found others, but the meaning in the early citations is different from the modern meaning, often denoting something like "preoccupation with sex."

Fred Shapiro


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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
Sent: Friday, July 9, 2021 9:20 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Slight Antedating of "Sexist" (Adj.)

I suppose by analogy that anyone who believes in genetic sex differences is a "sexist."

1961 p. 320, Cosmos, "Scientific Racism Again?" Current Anthropology 2/4 Oct. [JSTOR]

SG
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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Friday, July 9, 2021 9:05 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Slight Antedating of "Sexist" (Adj.)

sexist, adj. (OED 1968 Nov.)

1968 Caroline Bird in Evening Sun (Baltimore) 16 Sept. B1/1 (Newspapers.com)  "Do you think a woman will ever be President of the United States?" She parried the question, "Now, that's what I call a "sexist" question -- that's like asking me, 'do I mind if my daughter married a Negro?' -- That's a racist wuestion."

Fred Shapiro

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