To push this a bit further: the insult inherent in the use of explicitly female
words (as opposed to explicitly male
, so-called "inclusive
" ones) is one result of a deeper gender
ed value system inherent in the language
. Words associated with the female tend to acquire a stigma
over time, even if in their original usage they were not offensive.
Consider the following pairs of words: spinster/bachelor, sir/madam (which one runs a whorehouse?), king/queen (which one wouldn't you call Arnold Schwarzenegger in a dark alley?). Consider, also, the fact that men frequently insult each other with no stronger words than those used simply to designate female persons (girl, lady, woman, etc.); e.g., "He cried like a little girl," or "If any of you ladies wants to go home, now's your chance." It may be insulting to call someone a bibliotyekarsha, but if so, this is probably a reflection that being female is in and of itself considered shameful.
Here's a final note on the supposed "inclusivity" of male language. Without making any judgment calls on the truth or falsity of the statements made, notice your reaction to the following two sentences:
Man is the only animal that rapes.
Man typically begins to menstruate at twelve or thirteen years of age.
Despite the fact that both sentences pretty much refer to only one gender, the first is "legitimate" whereas the second usually strikes the reader as ridiculous. Male language does not "include" the female, it eclipses her.