Ask Siri to Define "Bitch," and the Result Is Straight-Up Inexcusable

Ask Siri to Define "Bitch," and the Result Is Straight-Up Inexcusable

Siri's dictionary has a race problem. 

When you ask your iPhone's robotic personal assistant to define the word "bitch," you receive the following definitions:

1. a female dog, wolf, fox or otter.
2. (informal, derogatory) a spiteful or unpleasant woman.
3. (informal) a difficult or unpleasant situation or thing
4. (informal) a complaint.

This second definition is where things get a little, well, problematic. Under "a spiteful or unpleasant woman," you get a couple variations on the theme of bitch-as-sexist-insult. The first: "a person who is completely subservient to another." 

The second: "(black slang) a woman."

How Siri defines the word "bitch"
Source: 
Mic

Let's be clear: For Apple to imply that the usage of a misogynist epithet is related to skin color is — say it with me now — not OK.

The Huffington Post first discovered this "definition" on Thursday.

So where did it come from? Siri aggregates its answers from around the Internet, but it seems that Apple may be taking its definition of "bitch" from some version of the Oxford Dictionaries

The Oxford Dictionaries defines the word "bitch" in the exact same way as Siri. There's just one difference: Oxford designates the "woman" definition as "offensive" — not "black slang."

The Oxford Dictionary definition of "bitch"
Source: 
Oxford dictionary

It seems that just a few years ago, Oxford's definition was exactly the same as Apple's, but it has since changed. 

This isn't the first time Apple's dictionary has made waves. In 2013, Siri's definition of "retard" included the following: "a person of subnormal intelligence." This offensive definition has since been removed from Wolfram Alpha and Siri. 

Mic has reached out to Apple and will update with any response.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Alexis Kleinman

Alexis is the editor of The Future Is Now.

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