Lady Lawyer, Lady Engineer...

My mother still occasionally uses such sexist constructions as "lady lawyer" and "lady engineer". Last night she came into the living room and said, "I just watched a really good Criminal Minds. It was the one with the lady Jack The Ripper."

I am still laughing.

Of course, I am not laughing at Momma. My mother and other women in my family have told me that when they were growing up in the 1950s, they did not wish to be referred to as "women". "Woman" implied "that kind of woman". One wanted to be called a lady. Furthermore, my mother knew few if any female engineers or lawyers, so the totally unnecessary sex marker in occupation titles seems relevant to her.

Given that so few serial killers are women, and that Jack The Ripper was male, one could argue that "female Jack The Ripper" would be a relevant phrasing. But lady? LOL!

My mother's internalized sexism frustrates me on a near-daily basis, but this particular one-liner is comedy gold nonetheless.

Update: I have changed the title of this post because my original title was offensive. There is more discussion on that in comments. Again, my apologies.

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