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Helen Mirren Says these Are the Two Most Insulting Words to Call a Woman

By Margaret Manning May 23, 2015 Mindset

As the founder of Sixty and Me, I know just how difficult picking names for groups of people can be. After all, some people are proud to be called baby boomers, while others want nothing to do with the title.

Well, according to Helen Mirren, there are two words that no one should call a woman – “sassy” and “feisty.” In an interview with The Times, she said that “We need new words for female power and funniness and smartness.”

Baby Boomers Have Always Been Unconventional

Throughout the decades, we have challenged stereotypes and chosen to live life on our own terms. So, why is it that, after so much progress, our language still puts people in boxes?

If a woman is courageous and determined, why not just leave it at that? Why label her “feisty,” and imply that she is breaking away from what is normal by pursuing her dreams?

Ok, clearly there are far worse things that you can call a woman than “sassy” or “feisty.” But, Mirren raises an interesting point, none-the-less. When someone calls you a swear word, you recognize it instantly as an insult. When someone hides an insult within a compliment you may not even notice.

I’m curious what you think about this. Please join the conversation below.

Do you agree or disagree with Helen Mirren that words like “sassy” and “feisty” are insulting? Why or why not? What better words would you use to describe a woman who is funny, powerful and smart? Please join the conversation.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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