Australian PM's rant changes dictionary definition of misogyny - Macleans.ca

Australian PM’s rant changes dictionary definition of misogyny

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s rant in Parliament, in which she accused Opposition leader Tony Abbott of sexist and misogynist behaviour, has prompted Aussie dictionary editors to literally rewrite the definition of misogyny.

The Macquarie Dictionary, which bills itself as Australia’s National Online Dictionary, announced that it is changing the current definition of misogyny from “a pathological hatred of women” to “entrenched prejudice against women,” reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

The coming change was, in part, inspired by the heated debate between Gillard and Abbott, dictionary editor Sue Butler told ABC News. “The debate certainly brought it to our attention,” she said. “I always think of myself as the person with the mop and the broom and the bucket who’s cleaning up the language after the party’s over.”

Opposition members were unimpressed with the dictionary’s decision. “Ms. Gillard called Mr. Abbott a misogynist. Mr. Abbott clearly does not hate women,” Senator Fiona Nash told the Morning Herald. “It would seem more logical for the Prime Minister to refine her vocabulary than for the Macquarie Dictionary to keep changing its definitions every time a politician mangles the English language.”

Nearly two million people have watched Gillard’s rant on Youtube since it was posted last week. Her attack was prompted after the Opposition leader said that the House Speaker should step down over a mounting scandal about inappropriate text messages sent to another staffer. Speaker Peter Slipper did eventually step down, but not until Gillard did this:

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