i don’t actually have a lot of time on my hands…

…despite the subject of this post….

So I was reading Overheard in New York on my lunch break just now which brought me to this:

Female student: I have a question — what is the plural for ‘clitoris’?
Professor: That is a great question.

And they had a little link to Dictionary.com’s definition for clitoris. (The plural is “clitorides,” by the way. No, really.) So I skimmed the page and saw a half dozen definition for clitoris. Almost all of them were a single sentence in length and most of them contained the phrase homologous to the penis of the male.

Which of course got me thinking: does the definition of penis say “homologous to the clitoris of the female”? And of course, it doesn’t (with the sole exception of the American Heritage’s first definition). But not only does it not make the same comparison, but the definitions are decidedly longer. They go on and on at great length to describe the penis, what it looks like, and what it does.

Poor little clitoris.

(Hmm…. when I first made this observation, it was all about the latent sexism in the dictionary industry. I wasn’t going to talk about that so much; I figured I’d leave the job of conclusion jumping to my readers. But now that I’ve made this entry, I probably have bigger things to worry about. Like my new employers reading an entry in which I use the words clitoris and penis over and over again. And then tie it all up with the phrase “poor little clitoris.” Oh well.)

And on that note, back to work!

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