Following a campaign, the phrase ‘Essex girl’ has been removed from the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. The Essex Girls’ Liberation Front called for the term to be removed, which was defined in the dictionary as “a name used especially in jokes to refer to a type of young woman who is not intelligent, dresses badly, talks in a loud and ugly way and is very willing to have sex”.
Led by author Syd Moore, the campaign group found the expression to be “very offensive”.
Referencing the “Essex girl” at an International Women’s Day conference, Moore told The Times: “Women from the Congo had heard of the Essex girl.
“I thought, ‘It’s time to get rid of this once and for all’,” the Independent reported.
At the backdrop of the announcement of the term being removed, Moore tweeted, “Ladies and gentlemen- here is the news. Proof that, if you put your mind to it, you can change things. Big up to all my fellow frontiers and campaigners. Today is a day to celebrate.”
However, the phrase will still be included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which defines “Essex girl” as a derogatory term for a “type of young woman, supposedly found in and around Essex, and variously characterised as unintelligent, promiscuous and materialistic”.
The OED said it would not remove the term as it is a “historical dictionary”, in which nothing is ever taken out.
Moore’s campaign was backed by another group, Snapping the Stiletto, which is dedicated to stopping women being degraded. The initiative was given a £200,000 (1.97 crore) lottery grant and supported by Essex born women, including model Penny Lancaster, from Chelmsford, and Dame Helen Mirren, born in Southend-on-Sea.
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