Politics & Policy

HuffPo: The Word ‘Too’ Is Sexist and Hurts Women

#CheckYourAdverbs
Adverbs: They're hurting people.

According to a piece in the Huffington Post, the word “too” is sexist and hurts women by constantly making them feel like they’re not good enough.

In a piece titled “The 3-Letter Word That Cuts Women Down,” University of Vermont freshman Cameron Schaeffer explains that she had an “epiphany” about the word after talking with a friend about how she should cut her hair.

“Our conversation ended with, ‘Well you don’t want it to be too short or too long,’” Schaeffer writes.

“There is no proper way for a woman to cut her hair, let alone do anything right in this world . . . Everything is too this or too that,” she continues.

Now, when she says “everything,” of course what she really means is “everything as it applies to women.” After all, the very real damage inflicted by this word is yet another tragedy that only affects us:

“In my experience, I rarely hear too thrown around about men,” she explains. “You hear someone say, ‘He’s short,’ but you seldom hear ‘too short.’”

(To be fair, I don’t really hear a male described as “Too Short” very often either, but kind feel like that’s probably just because he hasn’t released an album since 2012 and isn’t really on the scene as much as he used to be.)

If you think Schaeffer’s reaction to the word “too” is crazy, don’t worry. She thinks it’s crazy, too — crazy that a “a well-versed feminist” like her didn’t realize that she needed to be outraged sooner:

“I never realized how deeply a three-letter adverb could cut,” she writes.

“My internal opinion is always that I’m too this or too that,” she continues. “I, like most women, have been deprived of self-satisfaction and appreciation because of this word and this attitude.”

#share#Yes…. Schaeffer says the word “too” has “deprived” her of “self-satisfaction and appreciation”  – which sounds pretty serious — and claims that “most women” feel the same way. Personally, I’ve never been offended by “too.” Actually, not to brag, but I’ve never been offended by to or two either. I guess I must just be really strong.

In any case, it’s not like Schaeffer is just ranting and whining. She ends her piece with a solution:

#related#“We should call on both genders to cut the word too from their vocabulary when discussing women . . . I am taking a vow to ban the word too from my vocabulary.”

Other than the fact that she uses the word “both” when describing “genders” — suggesting that she still believes in that oppressive notion of a gender binary — this really sounds like a great idea.

There are a lot of grave dangers out there, and it’s clear to me now that the word “too” is one of them. I’m just glad that Schaeffer was smart enough to notice it, and also brave enough to alert all of us less-educated commonfolk so we can all work together and make the world a better place.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review.

 

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