fair-sex

fair sex

noun Older Use: Sometimes Offensive.
women as a group (usually used facetiously): an insult to the fair sex.
Also, fairer sex.


Origin:
1680–90


This is a dated term, usually used for humorous effect. It uses the word fair in the sense of “physically attractive”; because it refers to a woman in terms of her appearance, it is sometimes perceived as demeaning.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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