Ad feminam

Ad feminam

Ad feminam and Argumentum ad feminam are terms mistakenly coined, due to a misunderstanding of Latin, as the female counterparts to "(Argumentum) ad hominem".

The Latin "homo" refers to all humans; "ad hominem" is therefore a gender-neutral term (the male-specific term, if it existed, would be "ad virum"). However, a misconception that the term "ad hominem" pertains specifically to the male sex has caused the neologism "ad feminam" to be coined as the supposed female equivalent. The use of "ad feminam" may thus be considered erroneous or redundant, as in the following contexts:
*"… in which both or multiple parties … avoid ad hominem and ad feminam judgements …" (Barbara Levy Simon)
*"Almost any ad hominem (or, in this case, ad feminam) response …" (Marsha M. Linehan)
*"Ahmad's characteristic method here of reductive "ad hominem" and "ad feminam" critique subverts his accompanying claim to Marxist subjectivity..." (Robert Young, "Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction," Oxford:Blackwell, 2001, 413)

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