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Macquarie Dictionary Release

Macquarie Dictionary Release

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Published by: Latika M Bourke on Oct 17, 2012
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01/23/2013

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Macquarie Dictionary broadens definition of misogyny

A STATEMENT FROM THE EDITOR OF THE MACQUARIE DICTIONARY, SUSAN BUTLER: As Editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, I picture myself as the woman with the mop and broom and bucket cleaning the language off the floor after the party is over. And in this case it was quite a party. But what it left on the floor was misogyny – with a new meaning. The established meaning of misogyny is ‘hatred of women” but this is a rarified term that goes back to the 1600s in English and that acquired the status of a psychological term in the late 1800s when its counterpart misandry was coined. Both terms refer to pathological hatreds. Since the 1980s misogyny has come to be used as a synonym for sexism – a synonym with bite but neverthess with the meaning of ‘entrenched prejudice against women’ rather than ‘pathogical hatred’. It seems to be used for an underlying frame of mind or attitude of which sexism is the outward form, displayed in language, discriminating policies, workplace injustices, etc. The recent debate brought this to the attention of the Macquarie Dictionary editors. The extended meaning was not created in that debate, just made highly visible. And so we felt the need to keep the record of the language up to date, and to adjust the entry at misogyny to cover its current use.

SUSAN BUTLER, EDITOR OF THE MACQUARIE DICTIONARY, IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW/COMMENT EX SYDNEY

For interview requests or further information please contact: Charlotte Ree on T: 02 9285 9147 or E: charlotte.ree@macmillan.com.au

PAN MACMILLAN AUSTRALIA Level 25, 1 Market Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 • Phone: (02) 9285 9100 Fax: (02) 9285 9191

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