Is the term "princess" in this story misogynistic?

Hey, all!

We recently published the following story:

In this story, the OP refers to a male customer who is acting entitled and spoiled as a “princess.” As editors, we didn’t consider this term as misogynistic as we felt the term was used to indicate the spoiled and bratty behavior associated with the customer, not their gender. This would be similar to calling someone drama-queen, which we feel conveys the message that the person is overly dramatic, not necessarily a woman.

However, we’d like to know if we dropped the ball here, and should we consider the term misogynistic since it’s using a classically feminine term to insult a man? What do you think?

Sounds fine to me.


It absolutely is, even if it’s low grade misogyny. I doubt OP is some incel women-hater but they think that it is more insulting to call someone a woman than to call them a man.


It’s discreet, but yes, it’s misogynistic.
Just consider, why not “prince”?


It does come across like that, at least a little. I have to admit I was a little confused if the OP was trying to make some dig at the persons sexuality.

To me it seems like saying “He’s a real prince” would have conveyed the spoiled/entitled part.

But then again most things can come off the wrong way if misinterpreted, which can be pretty easy to do at times. This story feels more of a minor issue.


It would have? I’ve never heard prince used as an insult, prince’s are people you look up to and respect. Princesses can be the same, but usually only when talking about the Disney kind or Diana. This OP isn’t some crazy misogynist, but they’re absolutely a normal garden variety one.

When I read “persistent princess”, I did imagine it was a female customer and was surprised at the “he” later on. I’m not a native speaker, but I find even “princess” on its own (and not e.g. after “spoiled”) does not convey being entitled.
As to what could have been used, maybe “one persistent pampered prince of a customer”?

I’ve heard “He’s a real prince” used sarcastically, usually with vain and self-centered men - the ones that look the part but sure as heck don’t act it.


Exactly how I was thinking. Basically the opposite of how you’d expect a fairytale prince to behave.


The prince in “Shrek 2” is no prize… it does seem unfair that the one this time is called a “princess” instead of that, but mainly unfair to princesses. Still, I’d cut it. Just make him a prince, or something else, or cut it altogether, just “there was one who”.

Context is everything. I can’t see anything wrong with the way you used it, although I don’t recall ever hearing a male referred to as a princess. The meaning was very clear, however.

I don’t have a problem with “princess” in this story, but perhaps “His Lordship” or “His Royal Highness” would make the same point?

except princess are also called Royal Highness. So they’re both HRHs

And thus gender-neutral.


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