My sister, who is a Sistah if you know what I mean, takes offence at the usage of the word lady, to wit: The common use of lady referring to woman is pretentious, bourgeoise, obsequious, euphemious, ignorant and incorrect.
That statement of facts is a perception, not factual, and is contentious.
Dictionary.com states the origin of the word woman was Old English wīfman, equivalent to wīf female + man
language: a feminist guide states ‘lady’ was the female analogue of ‘lord’, and it can still be a title for the wife or daughter of an aristocrat. But it has undergone a process known as ‘semantic derogation’, where the female term in a male-female pair gets downgraded in status. ‘Lady’ was initially downgraded to apply to bourgeois women as well as aristocrats. Later, it became a polite way to refer to a woman of any social class.
Usage in society changed: formerly ‘woman’ was regarded as demeaning and ‘lady’ was the term of courtesy; now ‘woman’ is the designation preferred by some modern female adults. The word ‘lady’ has been perceived as a classist tool to divide society.
I remain divided. When I use the word ‘lady’, I do not intend it to convey disrespect for a female. However, I would not be respectful if I persisted in addressing my Sistah as a lady, so I will avoid doing so; but I reject her right to require me to do so generically to all women.
That is my choice.
Emily Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward wrote in 1873: Burn up the corsets! … No, nor do you save the whalebones, you will never need whalebones again. Make a bonfire of the cruel steels that have lorded it over your thorax and abdomens for so many years and heave a sigh of relief, for your emancipation I assure you, from this moment has begun.
I can’t fault her viewpoint and admire her radical standpoint. Women are in no way inferior beings and I wholeheartedly support their rights to equal treatment and demands for the removal of impediments to social, economic and political and any other type of equality they seek.
Womens’ struggle against centuries of cultural domination is justified.
Most men educated in the European norm agree, I am sure. Not sure about African, Arab or Asian men, though.
I did continue but in retrospect, discerned that what I wrote was not respectful, so I cut it out.