Bird, babe and ball-breaker - the words Sheffield women want banned

Bird is the most hated word among women in Sheffield.
Bird is the most hated word among women in Sheffield.
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Bird is most definitely not the word for women in Sheffield, according to a new study published today.

British women want to banish ‘bird’ from the social dictionary with nearly 60 percent branding it their most hated pet name.

Taking to task phrases they deem derogatory, a survey of more than 2,000 British women placed ‘mumsy’, ‘hormonal’ and ‘ball breaker’ among the top ten words they would like to see banned from day to day vocabulary.

The findings, released as part of a new campaign from Special K inspiring inner strength in women, revealed women are tired of being labelled ‘hysterical’ and ‘high maintenance’, and according to open responses, also aimed to silence words such as 'Feminazi' and 'baron’ from daily lingo.

Where it was once believed to be an endearing term for your male co-worker to call you ‘honey’ or ‘gorgeous’, 40 per cent of women said they felt ‘patronised’ when subjected to a pet name especially in the workplace.

But it isn’t just men handing out the sexist slurs in the office, more than a quarter of women described the use of pet names such as ‘babe’ or ‘doll’ by their female peers as ‘patronising’ or ‘belittling’ (13 per cent).

According to the Special K research, on average women claimed to hear men use these undermining terms seven times a month- interestingly the same amount as other women.

British women claimed they felt their strength as a female is undermined four times a day.

Infuriated by the gender balance, a whopping on third of young women (16-24 years old) confessed they had been told to ‘man up’ in the workplace.

Keen to strike a balance, 72 per cent of women said they would like to see more often women described ‘confident’, or ‘resilient’ (46 per cent) and ‘courageous’ (35 per cent).

The findings, released as part of a new campaign from Special K inspiring inner strength in women, lifted the lid of the lack of ‘strong female’ representation in society, with 51 per cent of Brits believing a strong women is viewed negatively in today’s world.

Worryingly the study showed one in ten believed strong female role models were most lacking in our schools – with high powered city (26 per cent) jobs and trades (22 per cent) failing to provide female role models.

Nearly a third of British women surveyed said they had been described as a ‘flirt’ or a ‘show off’ for being confident growing up– with 30 per cent admitting this has affected their self-esteem later on in life.

TOP FIVE PET NAMES WOMEN WANT BANNED

1. Bird - 56 percent

2. Doll - 45 percent

3. Chick - 42 percent

4. Babe - 38 percent

5. Queen Bee - 33 percent

TOP 20 WORDS WOMEN WOULD BAN

1 .Hormonal - 68 percent

2. Drama Queen - 56 percent

3. Bitchy - 53 percent

4. High Maintenance - 51 percent

5. Hysterical - 50 percent

6. Ball Breaker - 49 percent

7. Diva - 48 percent

8. Highly Strung - 46 percent

9. Mumsy - 42 percent

10. Princess - 40 percent

11. Attention Seeking - 35 percent

12. Emotional - 31 percent

13. Manipulative - 28 percent

14. Bossy - 27 percent

15. Controlling - 25 percent

16. Difficult - 21 percent

17. Sexy - 20 percent

18. Aggressive - 19 percent

19. Sassy - 16 percent

20. Feisty – 14 percent