Ali Segel is a writer, who happened to stumble upon a sexist entry in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. After pointing it out to the unofficial online word authority, Merriam-Webster acted swiftly to make changes and even acknowledged their own mistake.
Some might think that this is a minor matter, but if politics has taught us anything, it's that words matter a lot. They shape the way we think about each other and ourselves. The right word can empower or dismantle an entire group of people.
So, when Ali spoke up, she was speaking up for women everywhere.
The phrase might seem normal to some, but to Ali, it was off. She tweeted it out to her audience who agreed and immediately shared it out.
"I decided to tweet it out because yeah, that's nuts!" she told Cosmopolitan. "Can you imagine: 'He managed to become a CEO without sacrificing his masculinity.'"
"As someone who formerly taught elementary school, honestly, the idea of a little girl looking up a word in the dictionary and seeing a sexist definition that limits her really pissed me off."
People started to tag Merriam-Webster in the tweet...
And then something great happened:
Someone at the great book of words was totally on it - they even used a non-word to apologize!
What do you think? Do words matter? Should we care about how we define women and femininity in our culture? Let us know in the comments below!