From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/17/julia-gillard-australia-misogyny-dictionary
Australian prime minister’s impassioned attack on opposition leader’s views of women provokes debate over word’s meaning
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 17 October 2012
When Australian prime minister Julia Gillard launched a ferocious attack on the leader of the opposition for his repeated use of sexist language, she was feted by feminists the world over. But critics in Australia rounded on her for supposedly misusing the word misogyny and falsely accusing Tony Abbott of hating women.
Now, however, Gillard’s critics no longer have the dictionary on their side. In the wake of the row, the most authoritative dictionary in Australia has decided to update its definition of the word, ruling that a contemporary understanding of misogyny would indeed imply “entrenched prejudice against women” as well as, or instead of, hatred of them. Sue Butler, editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, admitted that, on this occasion, the dictionary had failed to keep pace with linguistic evolution.
“Since the 1980s, misogyny has come to be used as a synonym for sexism, a synonym with bite, but nevertheless with the meaning of entrenched prejudice against women rather than pathological hatred,” she said in a statement.
While the Oxford English Dictionary had reworded its definition a decade ago, staff at the Macquarie had been alerted to the issue only in the aftermath of Gillard’s extraordinary speech in parliament, she said. “Perhaps as dictionary editors we should have noticed this before it was so rudely thrust in front of us as something that we’d overlooked,” Butler told the Associated Press.
Gillard – Australia’s first female leader – accused Abbott, head of the centre-right Liberal party, of repeated instances of sexism and misogyny, including his description of abortion as “the easy way out” and a political campaign against Gillard using posters urging voters to “ditch the witch”.
Continue reading at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/17/julia-gillard-australia-misogyny-dictionary