I've noticed that when discussing political demographics or candidates, many reporters use the phrases "women voters" and "women candidates". This feels horribly awkward grammatically. It's hard to imagine referring to male voters or candidates as "men voters" or "men candidates". Is there a reason that the word women is more commonly used than female in these situations?
There's nothing grammatically awkward about it. Nouns are often used to modify other nouns. The reason 'women' is used rather than 'female' is a general cultural one rather than a specific linguistic one. I'd speculate that 'female' may sound too impersonal, and possibly inhuman, to some ears.
protected by RegDwigнt♦ Jan 17 at 19:56
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