the fair(er) sex

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the fair(er) sex

Females. The term has come to be considered inappropriate due to its emphasis on the physical appearance of women and girls. Did he just say, "members of the fairer sex"? I feel like I'm in a Victorian novel. Senator, if you think it is up to legislators to shield the fair sex, as you say, from shocking or troubling matters, then I'm afraid you're living in the wrong century.
See also: sex
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

fair sex

Girls or women, as in Many women would object to being called the fair sex nowadays. This euphemism uses fair in the sense of "physically beautiful" and is probably dying out. [Mid-1600s]
See also: fair, sex
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

fair sex, the

Females in general. This cliché, which is rapidly dying out, is a direct translation of the French le beau sexe, a phrase popularized by the English journalists Joseph Addison and Richard Steele (“That sex which is therefore called fair,” The Spectator, 1712). It was already a cliché by the time Arthur Conan Doyle (The Second Stain, 1905) put it in Sherlock Holmes’s mouth: “Now Watson, the fair sex is your department.”
See also: fair
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Nov 5 ( ANI ): Maharashtra Minister Girish Mahajan has scored himself trouble over a derogatory remark against women, saying if products and alcohol brands are named after fairer sex, one could see the demands soaring high.
Feilim Mac An Iomaire from Paddy Power said: "The stats prove rugby is extraordinarily popular amongst the fairer sex, with women lining up to tackle the bookies for the duration of the World Cup.
I'd say the fairer sex are in a darn sight more danger on a late-night carriage without men to split them up.
The idea that ladies should be able to have the facility to be able to travel on the railways, without having to contend with the oafish behaviour and total lack of respect towards the fairer sex displayed by certain members of the travelling public, is I believe, an eminently sensible suggestion!
IN the age-old battle of the sexes, the fairer sex may have just lost the most controversial argument of them all.
Always keen to talk up the fairer sex, Wee Jimmy wants a mention for his granny who used to work as a fishwife in Peterheid.
The same can't be said about the city's fairer sex though, who spent a measly pounds 50 on gig tickets.
But it's still fascinating to delve into the history of the Women's Land Army, and the contribution the fairer sex made to the war effort.
The efforts of the men in World War II have labeled them as heroes, but what of the fairer sex? "When Our Mothers Went to War: An Illustrated History of Women in World War II" tells why the generation of World War II is referred to as The Greatest Generation.
However, it is fairly obvious Danny doesn't take after his older brother Scott when it comes to charming the fairer sex.
But the survey, by HR consulting company Water and Fish, also revealed the fairer sex are rated more highly.
Based on the premise that 'most festivals are male dominated', Ladyfest is attempting to redress the balance with three days of concerts and workshops for the fairer sex.
It just proves the fairer sex aren't shallow and obsessed with looks like men.
One for the fairer sex - triple the amount of loose face powder by buying a darker shade than you need and diluting it with baby powder until you get the right shade.
Hollywood star Jennifer Love Hewitt on the fairer sex